Physicians for Human Rights: On the 33rd day of her hunger strike, Hana Shalabi is in imminent danger of death

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On the 33rd day of her hunger strike, administrative detainee Hana Shalabi is in danger of imminent death
An independent physician from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel) examined her today and determined that she must be hospitalized immediately.

Ethnic Cleansing / Land Theft & Destruction / Apartheid / Refugees

Report: Israel to build 187,000 apartments
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli government on Sunday announced a series of measures to build 187,000 new apartments over the next five years, Israeli daily Maariv reported. Around 40,000 apartments will be for affordable housing and the majority of the new buildings will be constructed in the Tel Aviv area, central Israel and Jerusalem, Maariv said. The limit in rental assistance provided to residents in public housing will also be raised and property tax on uninhabited apartments will be doubled, a move expected to free around 15,000 apartments annually.

Settler Group Presses Israeli Government to Accelerate Palestinian Home Demolitions – Inadvertently Giving the Game Away
We previously reported on the worrisome escalation in demolition of Palestinian structures in South Hebron Hills (see also this story). The body issuing the demolition orders is the deceptively-named “Civil Administration”. Contrary to its name (invented in the 1980′s by Ariel Sharon to mislead the outside world), this “Administration” is in fact a military body(its former name was simply “military government”), and its head is a general serving full-time in the Israeli military. It claims authority to run Palestinian civilian life in the less-densely populated West Bank “Area C”, which accounts for some 60% of the territory and about 150,000 Palestinian residents.

Expelling Palestinian communities through ongoing home demolitions
Already in 2011, Israeli occupation authorities had informed UN agencies that in 2012 they would start to “relocate” Palestinian communities in area C. In other words, the Israeli authorities have been blatant that they would ethnically cleanse the some 60% of the West Bank that fall under area C from Palestinian communities. The UN has informed the international community and all together are standing silent by as Israel  is starting to implement this large scale mass eviction and ethnic cleansing plan.  Only on March 7, two of the most targeted areas – the Jordan Valley and the south of Hebron – have been handed out demolition orders, in one case targeting practically the entire community.

Report registers escalation in targeting olive trees in West Bank
The national bureau in defense of land and to resist settlement said that Jewish settlers and soldiers have escalated their targeting of olive trees in West Bank land over the past

Israeli occupation stymying Palestinian economy
Palestinian development efforts have been systematically stymied by Israeli policies, a Palestinian report to be submitted to international donor countries later this week says. A rival Israeli report blames the failings of the Palestinian economy on a drop-off in the delivery of aid to Palestinians. The Palestinian report to the European Union’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which groups donors to the Palestinian Authority (PA), said their “constructive policy program was not met with a similarly positive and forward-looking response from Israel.”

IDF opposes the screening of Israeli documentary about West Bank legal system
The documentary film The Law in These Parts, critical of the IDF justice system in the territories, was not authorized to be screened for IDF soldiers.

Hamas in Lebanon dismiss Geagea’s call to invade Palestinian refugee camp
A Hamas leader in Lebanon has dismissed Samir Geagea’s calls for the Lebanese army to invade a leading Palestinian refugee camp, claiming it was about improving the Lebanese Forces leader’s power base. Geagea called for the Lebanese army to invade the Ain al-Hilweh camp near Sidon to capture Tawfiq Taha, who has been hiding in the camp since security forces last week named him as the head of a Salafi “Takfiri network” which was running a sleeper cell within the army.

Israeli Violence & Terrorism

Soldiers raid Nabi Saleh, witnesses say
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the village of Nabi Saleh overnight Sunday, witnesses told Ma’an. Soldiers threatened to raid the village every night unless residents stopped their popular resistance campaign and weekly protests, locals said. Troops filmed the raid and took photos of residents. They also raided several homes in the village.

Settlers Attack Homes In Hebron
A group of armed extremist Israeli settlers of the Ramat Yishai illegal settlement outpost, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, attacked on Sunday at night several Palestinian homes in Tal Romedia neighborhood, and chased the children around while cursing at them.

Settler Attacks in South Hebron Hills
For the third time in only a week, the South Hebron Hills Meshaha Hill is the scene of settler attacks against Palestinians.


“The house is dark without them”: Israel kills father and daughter as they water vegetables
Muhammad al-Hisoumi and his daughter Fayza were killed in an Israeli missile attack as they tended their land in the Gaza Strip on 12 March 2012, leaving behind a devastated family and a darkened house. Rami Almeghari profiles them.

‘Refusing to die quietly’: Israel invades home of Popular Committee leader Abu Husam Tamimi in Nabi Saleh, Annie Robbins
Last night, the Israeli military invaded the home of Abu Husam Tamimi, a popular resistance leader in his community of Nabi Saleh. Last August a settler group started training attack dogs and supplying them to Jewish settlements in the West Bank ahead of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. They instigated horrific violent attacks all across the West Bank . Tamimi was part of a group who launched a defense campaign dubbed “Refusing to die quietly”

His story told by his mother: Ayoub Asalya, 12 years old, killed by an Israeli missile
Ayoub Asalya, 12, was going to school on Sunday morning when he was killed by an Israeli missile. On the walls of his house there is a poster with his image. Ayoub is shown smiling with a cap on his head. “The nights before he was killed, he came to me stating that he was afraid to sleep alone in his room because of the attacks,” his mother told us.  So that night Ayoub slept in his mother’s room, and he woke up early in the morning to go to school.

Two Days in Gaza
I have read several accounts over the last few days of how life in Southern Israel has become unbearable for the people living there. In retaliation for the latest provocation by Israel over 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. 11 people were injured, one seriously. Most were suffering from “shock”. Two were injured when they tripped on the way to secure areas. Minister of Strategic Affair  and deputy premier Moshe Yaalon on Thursday said, “Anyone threatening us is risking his life. We will retaliate until they beg us to stop.”

Hana Shalabi & Other Administrative Detainees

On the 33rd day of her hunger strike, administrative detainee Hana Shalabi is in danger of imminent death
An independent physician from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel) examined her today and determined that she must be hospitalized immediately.

PLO demands international intervention for Hana Al Shalabi
The Palestinian Liberation Organisation has appealed to the international community to intervene with the Israeli government for the release of Hana Al Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike for two months. Miss Al Shalabi is protesting at her administrative detention, which is open-ended and can be renewed arbitrarily by the authorities. Her protest is now such that her life is in serious danger. A statement from the PLO’s International Relations Department pointed out that so-called administrative detention is contrary to international law and human rights conventions.

Palestinian prisoner hospitalized amid hunger strike
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — A Palestinian woman prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 33 days was taken to hospital briefly on Monday over health concerns, Palestinian and Israeli officials said. “Hanaa al-Shalabi was transferred this evening to Israel’s Meir hospital after her state of health deteriorated,” Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa told AFP. “This morning, an independent doctor from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel examined Hanaa al-Shalabi in the name of PHR-Israel and concluded that her health had deteriorated considerably and her life was at risk,” the group said.

Ofer court extends illegal detention of MP Haj Ali
The Israeli military court of Ofer extended the administrative detention of Palestinian lawmaker Ahmed Al-Haj Ali, 72, for other six months, despite his hunger strike and his worsening health.

Political Prisoners / Child Prisoners

Israeli occupation detains Jerusalemite youth, seven minors
Israeli intelligence agents arrested a 22-year-old youth from his home in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday.

Witnesses: 2 teenagers detained in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Monday detained two teenagers in the Qalqiliya village of Azzun, witnesses told Ma’an. Muawiya Abdul-Latif Radwan, 17, and Qusay Shair Salim, 18, were seized after soldiers raided their homes. Both were handcuffed and taken to an unknown destination, locals said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said two people were arrested in Salfit and one in the Ramallah village of Silwad overnight, in addition to a man detained in Hebron. She had no reports of arrests in Qalqiliya.

AIC Video: Palestinian Children Ex-Detainees
It is estimated that 8,000 Palestinian children, including some as young as 12-years-old, have been arrested and detained by the Israeli authorities since 2000.

IOF soldiers storm Jenin villages, arrest two young men
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested two Palestinian young men in a Jenin village at dawn Tuesday after storming six villages to the east and south of the city.

IOF kidnap Palestinian young man, raid homes in Al-Khalil

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed at an early hour Tuesday Al-Khalil city and kidnapped a Palestinian young man during raids on homes in different towns.

IOA summons liberated Jerusalemite prisoner

The Israeli occupation police served a summons to Samer Al-Aissawe, who was liberated from Israeli jails in the prisoners’ exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, on Monday.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Rome: BDS Action Against Culture as Cover for Israeli Crimes

On Sunday March 18, 2012, at the Cartoons Festival of Rome, a group of 20 activists of the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel requested, and were granted by the organizers.

Two Israeli refusers on why they support BDS

Our difficulty with understanding the complex reality of Palestine and Israel was founded on the difficulty of recognizing that crimes were committed in our name, on a daily bases, by virtue of being Israeli citizens. We were born as Israeli citizens, and by virtue of this, the decision was made for us that we were to bear the burden of financing the occupation. Over time we have come to the understanding that as long as these crimes continue, they will be done in our name and at our expense.

Human rights group B’Tselem backs away from “sponsorship” of J Street’s Olmert gala

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has backed away from its sponsorship of US Israel lobby group J Street]s 26 March “gala” featuring former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert under whose leadership thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese were killed and injured in what B’Tselem itself has termed war crimes.

Other News & Developments

In rebuff to Obama, Abbas says he will send ultimatum to Israel

Abbas says he intends to send Netanyahu a letter in the next few days in which he will blame Israel for the impasse in the peace process and stress that ‘the current situation cannot continue.’

ISRAEL: Address inequalities facing Arabs, says ICG

TEL AVIV 19 March 2012 (IRIN) – Urgent steps should be taken to address the widespread marginalization of Arab minorities in Israel, including Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, to improve their livelihoods and encourage sustainable peace in the Middle East, says the International Crisis Group (ICG).

W. Bank MPs slam PA for not protecting their rights

The Hamas change and reform parliamentary bloc denounced the Palestinian authority for its passivity and silence towards the Israeli violations being committed against its lawmakers in the West Bank.

Israel: “P.A Not Ready For Statehood”

As part of its efforts to obstruct every step the Palestinians conduct to achieve statehood recognition, the Israeli government is preparing an extensive report to submit it to the donor countries in an attempt to convince the international community that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is not ready for statehood, the Arabs48 news website reported.

Al-Malki: Israel trying to block UN inquiry

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel is trying to thwart Palestinian efforts to secure a United Nations inquiry into the impact of settlements, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Monday. Al-Malki told Ma’an the PA is asking the UN Human Rights Council to appoint an international fact-finding commission “to come to the occupied Palestinian territory to witness firsthand the illegal Israeli practices violating Palestinian people’s rights.” Such a commission “will reveal the false claims Israel makes during international circles.

Palestinians back unity, split on chances of success: poll

Palestinians overwhelmingly back a unity deal signed by rival factions Hamas and Fatah in Qatar last month, but are divided on the chances of its success, a poll showed on Monday.

EU official remarks on Toulouse spark Israel flap

Israeli officials on Tuesday condemned remarks by the EU’s foreign policy chief, which they said drew an inappropriate comparison between a shooting in Toulouse and the situation of children in Gaza.

Analysis / Op-ed

Mahmoud Darwish Award: Erasing the Borders of Palestine

Jalila Baccar (b.1952), a Tunisian theater actress and writer, was supposed to take part in the award ceremony in Ramallah last Tuesday but she was barred from entering Palestine. She was unable to get to the Ramallah Cultural Palace where the ceremony was held because the Israeli authorities denied her an entry permit.

“Visit Palestine” poster by Franz Kraus – what does it stand for?,

Gaza, March 20, I came across this “Visit Palestine” poster somewhere and I stopped to admire my homeland’s beauty. Honestly, the portrait is beautiful. The past two years have been a sole proof that when “its too good to be true, then its probably NOT true”. I took a closer look. I spotted writings in Hebrew and the name of the artist behind it. I was right. A quick note: This poster was made in 1936.

Israel, UN Legitimacy and Khulood Badawi

Khulood Badawi versus Israeli Ambassador the UN Ron Prosor – our choice is obvious, and so should be the choice of every decent woman and man: to side with the human right defender against the advocate of Israeli war crimes on international platforms.

No Justification for War on Iran, Gulamhusein A. Abba

The hysteria over Iran’s nuclear capabilities having reached such a stage as to call for immediate bombing of its nuclear facilities is deliberately and insidiously being whipped up by Israel to achieve its own ends. Israel has been itching to bomb Iran ever since Iraq was neutered, leaving Iran the only country in the region that can be expected to stand up to Israel. The main purpose of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest visit to the White House was to get President Barack Obama’s backing for his plan. He did not get the green signal he sought.

Delusions of Power: Obama is No Gandhi, Deepak Tripathi

First the video of United States Marines urinating on bodies of Afghans who had been killed. Then the revelation that copies of the Quran had been burned at Bagram Air Base, which also serves as an American prison camp in Afghanistan. Nearly thirty Afghans and several NATO troops died in the violent reaction. The BBC Kabul correspondent described these events, and the violent public reaction to them, as the tipping point for NATO in the Afghan War.

Israel Cranks up the Perpetual War Generatorm, Stuart Reigeluth

Sporadic violence in Gaza is a way for Israel to test its latest military gadgets. As depicted last week in a very real way, Gaza is a large petri dish for Israeli security experiments. The most recent is called ‘Iron Dome’ — like something out of Star Wars. Iron Dome is a mobile air defence system designed to intercept rockets. Or according to Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, ‘comets’ — which by definition reveals an indifference to what they actually are: small home-made rockets (like firework comets) or large astronomical comets orbiting our solar system. In either case, the supposed threat is coming from ‘out there’, beyond the gates.

Uncontroversial yet Taboo: Gaza in Context, Roger Sheety

The recent killing of 25 Palestinians in Gaza and the wounding of at least 80 more within four days—March 9-12—requires some context as the majority of western mainstream media outlets are either unwilling or unable to provide any. More often than not these mainstream media reports in some form or another refer to the Palestinian dead as “militants.” The term militant is defined simply as “vigorously active and aggressive, especially in support of a cause” and “engaged in warfare; fighting.”  Synonyms listed include “belligerent, combative, and contentious.  See:  fanatic.”  Already then, Palestinians, even as they are killed in large numbers by the most sophisticated weapons money can buy, are marked as the aggressors.  Further, as implied within the definition, they are fanatics, irrational and bent on destruction—the victim in this case being poor, nuclear-armed and US-protected Israel.

Iran War Game Predicts Dire Consequences for U.S. Forces After Israeli Attack ,Richard Silverstein

The NY Times reports that a U.S. military war game simulation found that an Israeli attack on Iran drew a massive U.S. response after a U.S. warship was attacked and sunk by Iranian forces.


Bahrain security forces clash with youths: witnesses

Bahraini security forces clashed with youths on Sunday after the funeral of a protester who allegedly died after inhaling tear gas fired by riot police, witnesses said.

Bahrainis attend protester funeral

Thousands of Bahrainis have attended the funeral procession of an anti-government protester killed by Saudi-backed regime forces near the capital, Manama.

Two Bahrainis Die from Regime’s Excessive Use of Toxic Gases
Two people died in Bahrain Sunday as a result of the oppressive policy that the Bahraini regime adopts in dealing with civilians.

Bahraini protester killed near Manama

Another Bahraini protester has died due to inhalation of tear gas fired by regime forces in an area north of the capital Manama, Press TV reports.

Bahrain Molotov cocktail policeman “to be investigated”

A Bahraini policeman who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at pro-democracy activists is to be investigated, the country’s Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday. Video emerged on YouTube last week showing a Bahraini policeman throwing tear gas at protesters, who were not shown. Toward the end of the video one of the police appears to lighting a Molotov cocktail and hurls it at protesters without provocation. The Ministry of Interior said it would investigate the report immediately and the officer could face disciplinary action, though it was not clear what sanctions could be considered.

Lebanese slam UN stance on Bahrain

Lebanese people have gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in the capital to protest against what they called the international body’s muted response to the suppression of protests in Bahrain.

Bahrain opposition ready for dialogue with monarchy

Bahrain’s opposition political leaders said they were ready for dialogue with authorities on Monday in a bid to end the political deadlock in the Gulf kingdom, but demanded a referendum on the outcome. The five main opposition associations, led by the Al-Wefaq party, said in a statement that the two sides of the dialogue should agree beforehand on its “agenda, mechanism, and time frame, in order to help create initial confidence.”


Attacks in 8 Iraq cities kill 46 ahead of summit

A torrent of bombings and shootings ripped across eight Iraqi cities on Tuesday, targeting police and Shiite pilgrims and killing 46 people. The deadly wave undermined the government’s hopes for stability ahead of next week’s meeting of the Arab world’s top leaders.

Iraq bombs kill dozens ahead of Arab League summit

Car and roadside bombs explode in cities and towns across Iraq, killing at least 39 people. Car and roadside bombs have exploded in cities and towns across Iraq, killing dozens of people, extending a spate of violence before next week’s Arab League summit in Baghdad. The meeting is seen as the country’s debut on the regional stage following the withdrawal of US troops in December and Iraq’s government is anxious to show it can reinforce security to host its neighbours. Police and hospital sources said at least 39 people had been killed and 188 wounded in the bombings. The deadliest attack occurred in the Shia holy city of Kerbala, where twin explosions killed 13 people and wounded 48, according to the health department spokesman Jamal Mahdi.

Spate of bombs hits Iraq province north of Baghdad

BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) – Bombers struck five times in a province north of Baghdad on Monday evening, killing at least three people and wounding more than 30, police said. Diyala province, a fertile agricultural region criss-crossed by canals where Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds live side by side, has long been one of the most volatile areas in Iraq.

Thousands rally against poor services in Iraq

Tens of thousands of loyalists of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rallied in south Iraq Monday decrying poor services and rampant graft on the ninth anniversary of the US-led invasion against Saddam Hussein. Protesters flooded the center of the southern port city of Basra for the rally, with demonstrators waving Iraqi flags and portraits of the anti-US Shiite cleric and his father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, killed in 1999 by assailants thought to have been sent by Saddam.


Syria opposition accused of abuse

US campaign group says elements of Syria’s opposition have carried out serious human rights abuses, including kidnapping, torture and execution.

Syria car bomb kills 2, injures 30 in Aleppo

The blast comes the day after two other explosions killed 27. The rebellion against President Bashar Assad is entering its second year. A car bomb explosion killed at least two people and injured 30 in the northern city of Aleppo, Syrian authorities said Sunday, raising fears of a new wave of deadly attacks as the rebellion against President Bashar Assad enters its second year.,0,6499320.story

‘Heavy fighting’ shakes Syrian capital

Gunfire and explosions rock Damascus neighbourhood, a day after a deadly car bomb killed three in city of Aleppo.

Clashes in Damascus as Syrian opposition figures arrested

Government forces battled armed rebels in Damascus on Monday in one of the most violent gun battles the Syrian capital has seen since the start of the year-long uprising against President Bashar Assad, media and opposition activists said. The pro-government Ikhbariyah TV station said the clash in the al-Mezze district left three “terrorists” and a member of the security forces dead. It said one of the attackers was captured and three security troops were wounded.

UN technical experts enter Syria

Technical experts from the UN and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are in Syria on a mission to assess the humanitarian impact of its year-long bloodshed, a senior OIC official said on Sunday. “The joint OIC-UN mission entered Syria on Friday to carry out an evaluation of humanitarian aid,” on a mission led by the Syrian government, its assistant secretary general, Atta al-Mannan Bakhit, told AFP.

Russia will back Syria resolution based on Annan mission

Russia said Tuesday it was willing to support either a UN Security Council statement or a resolution on peace envoy Kofi Annan’s mission to Syria as long as it contained no ultimatums. “We are ready to back the mission of UN and Arab League representative Kofi Annan and the proposals to the government and opposition to Syria,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.  “We are ready to support his proposals to the UN Security Council, and not only in the form of a statement but also a resolution,” he said.

The Lede Blog: Al Jazeera Reporter’s iPhone Documentary on the Syrian Uprising

Al Jazeera aired a 25-minute, first-person video piece on the Syrian uprising, captured by an undercover correspondent. Despite the continuing violence, the reporter describes a hopeful defiance among Syrian protesters.

PFLP condemns Syria bombings

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Sunday condemned the recent bombings in Damascus and Aleppo. The group said in a statement that such acts only serve the enemies of the Syrian nation and people. Twin blasts killed 27 in Damascus on Saturday and a car bomb ripped through a residential area of Syria’s second city Aleppo on Sunday.

Lebanese Islamists support Syria uprising

Islamist groups in Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli have demonstrated to show support for the uprising in neighbouring Syria.

Can the Syrian Opposition Regain Its Independence?, Ibrahim al-Amin

Most people concerned with developments in Syria have strong feelings about recent events there. This need not prevent them from using their minds. Reason does not diminish the feelings or humanity of those who discuss what is happening Syria. And reason is required in large doses by those who behave as if they are in control of the street, of the daily actions of the opposition, or the decisions of the foreign governments, and others who have the resources – whether media, arms, diplomatic, security, or financial – to exert enormous influence on the public.

Other Mideast & World News

Widespread torture of prisoners in Afghan jails: report

Torture in Afghan prisons is widespread with detainees arrested by US troops regularly tortured after being transferred to Afghan custody, a new report has said. Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission raised “serious concerns” about US policies on detainee transfers and safeguards to make sure that the United States is not complicit in torture. It said detainees were tortured at nine National Directorate of Security (NDS) prisons and at several police centers, based on monitoring and interviews with more than 100 detainees between February 2011 and January 2012.

Many seem willing to cut Afghan shooting suspect some slack; ‘good guy in the wrong place’

He is accused of the kind of crime that makes people shiver, the killing of families in their own homes under cover of night, the butchery of defenceless children. Under normal circumstances, Americans would dismiss such an act as worthy of only one response: swift and merciless punishment.

Blackwater Veteran “Took Part” in Gaddafi Killing; Asked by US to “Help” Syrian Opposition

US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar.


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