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holy land five

Why the ‘Holy Land Five’ must be exonerated and released from prison

Jerry Merriman on

Jerry Merriman reviews the case of the Holy Land Five – five Palestinian-American men convicted in November 2008 of giving humanitarian aid to Palestinians that indirectly benefited Hamas – and writes, “Not one of the five humanitarians should have spent a single day in prison.  Their good names must be cleared, and they must be released from prison.  It cannot happen too soon.”

Whether legal or political, the Holy Land Five struggle will continue

Joe Catron on

On Thursday, Holy Land Five supporters rallied outside Barack Obama’s presidential campaign headquarters in Chicago. (Photo: Roger Beltrami) “Ultimately the only recourse is likely a political one,” attorney Stanley Cohen tweeted about the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case yesterday. He may be right. Of course I (and Stanley, I am sure) […]

Holy Land Five appeal could set precedent on using ‘secret evidence’ in U.S. courts

Allison Deger on

Holy Land Foundation Press Conference from Sparrow Media on Vimeo. On Monday the Supreme Court is expected to decide if it will hear an appeal that could overturn the conviction of the co-founders and chief staff of the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based humanitarian organization and once was the largest Muslim charity in the United […]

Emotions on graduation day for a daughter of the Holy Land Five

Nida Abubaker on

Its been 4 years since he has been in prison. 2 years since I last hugged him. I hate it when I think too much. I was thinking about what could have been. How it could have been. At my graduation, I could have been able to hug him, like all my other colleagues. My […]

As the Holy Land Five return to court, US policy goes on trial

Adam Horowitz on

My friend Noor Elashi, the daughter of imprisoned Holy Land Foundation for Human Relief and Development (HLF) chairman Ghassan Elashi (also my friend), just arrived in New Orleans. She’s there to watch the long-awaited appeals of her father and the rest of the Holy Land Five, Palestinian-American men convicted of providing charity to Palestinians. Federal prosecutors […]

Sentenced to 65 years for helping Palestinians: Read an excerpt from Miko Peled’s ‘Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five’

Miko Peled on

In July 2004, federal agents raided the homes of five Palestinian-American families, arresting the fathers, who had been leaders of a Texas-based charity called the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Until 9/11, the HLF was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, but their trials resulted in very lengthy sentences for the men—for “supporting terrorism” by donating to charities in Palestine that the U.S. government itself had long worked with. The men remain in prison. Miko Peled’s new book “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five” tells the story of the landmark case and the families it impacted. In this excerpt he tells the story of Shukri Abu-Baker.

Appeals judge upholds sentencing for Holy Land Foundation Five

Allison Deger on

HLF co-founder Ghassan Elashi: “We at the Holy Land Foundation were giving hope and providing the basic essentials of life to the Palestinians, basic essentials—oil, rice, flour. And what was the occupation giving them? The occupation was providing them with death and destruction. And then we are turned criminals. That is irony.” On Wednesday, December […]

The way to the ‘occupied lands’

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh writes, “For many of us who are Palestinians, we fight and sacrifice for those things we have yet to touch, experience, or see. In the 27 years of my life I have never smelled or gazed upon land that was once Palestinian and now part of Israel. Therefore it is through the eyes of others that I tell this story. Recently some friends managed to obtain much coveted permits to visit Israel, which in Gaza is commonly referred to as ‘our occupied lands.'”

In a first, Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes to protest Israeli bill targeting Christian lands

Kate on

Christian leaders in Jerusalem announced Sunday they will close one of Christianity’s most sacred sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in protest of an Israeli bill targeting church-owned lands, and the repeal of the church’s tax-exempt status. “This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe,” Christian leaders said in a statement.

BDS ban: Five Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders denied entry to Israel for supporting Palestinian human rights

Jewish Voice for Peace on

Five leaders on an interfaith delegation to Israel/Palestine were refused permission to board their plane in the United States, in what appears to be an implementation of Israel’s travel ban on supporters of Palestinian rights and Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS). Rabbi Alissa Wise: “We were told at check-in that the airline has a letter from the Israeli government saying we are not allowed to fly to Israel. I wasn’t even able to get as far as checking my bag.”

Fear and loathing, in the land of milk and honey

David Kattenburg on

“[Palestinians] have been living here for ages. Like, forty, fifty, some of them one hundred years here,” says activist Guy Hircefeld in the Jordan Valley. “And suddenly, fucking Jewish settlers are coming and saying ‘That’s mine, you don’t allowed to come here anymore. And the army protects them.”

Five-year-old Palestinian boy banned from visiting father in Israeli prison

Kate on

Ma‘an reports: “Israeli authorities have banned 5-year-old Ibrahim from visiting his father, Palestinian Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Fatah Abu Fanunah, in prison, Abu Fanunah’s wife said to Voice of Prisoners (Sawt al-Asra) radio on Sunday. Umm Mahmoud told the radio station that she has also been banned from visiting her husband ever since he was detained on Oct. 22, 2015, calling the Israeli policy of preventing family visits a means to pressure Palestinian prisoners.”

Israeli forces shoot five Palestinians during raid of Sa’ir as siege of southern West Bank continues

Kate on

Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”

Israeli soldiers kill 2 Palestinians in Qalandia refugee camp raid

Kate on

IMEMC reports: Monday at dawn, dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and killed two Palestinians, identified as Laith Ashraf Manasra, 25, and Ahmad Abu al-‘Aish, 30. Army sharpshooters also occupied the rooftops of several homes in the refugee camp and shot and injured 34 Palestinians with live rounds. 88 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October 1st.

Why do Palestinians burn Jewish holy sites?: The fraught history of Joseph’s Tomb

Alex Shams on

On October 16th, a large crowd of Palestinians near the northern West Bank city of Nablus surrounded the religious site of Joseph’s Tomb and proceeded to light the shrine on fire. The attack elicited widespread outrage and for Israelis it seemed to indicate yet again that Palestinian violence is motivated by anti-Jewish hatred. The reality, however, is far different than the Israeli narrative would seem to suggest. The attack had almost nothing to do with religion, but instead how the Israeli military and settlement movement have used religion to expand their control over Palestinian land and holy places.