palestinian prisoners in israel
More Than 1,000 Palestinians In Israeli Prisons Go On Hunger Strike
Imprisoned Palestinians are staging a mass open-ended hunger strike to protest their conditions. It's being led by prominent Palestinian political figure Marwan Barghouti.

Palestinian prisoners and detainees are staging a mass open-ended hunger strike to protest their conditions in Israeli prisons.

Israeli authorities say approximately 1,100 of them are participating in the strike in eight prisons, NPR’s Daniel Estrin in Tel Aviv reports, of the approximately 6,200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

“It’s being led by Marwan Barghouti, a key Palestinian political figure found guilty of directing deadly attacks on Israelis,” Daniel adds. “The prisoners are demanding improved conditions like regular family visits, improved medical care, and an end to the practice of holding hundreds of detainees without charge.”

Palestinian prisoners in Israel suspend hunger strike

A mass hunger strike staged by Palestinian prisoners over conditions in Israeli jails was suspended on Saturday after a deal with Israel, officials said.

About 1,500 inmates launched the actionon April 17, in one of the largest such strikes.

The 40-day hunger strike raised tensions with Israel as protests in support of the strikers spilled over into clashes in the occupied West Bank and along the Israel-Gaza border.

More than 800 prisoners, who had stuck with the hunger strike until Saturday, ended it after talks held with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Authority concluded in an agreement with Israel, allowing prisoners to receive two visitors per month.

Issa Karaka, Chairman of Prisoners’ Affairs at the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), confirmed the inmates had agreed to stop the strike.

WATCH: What’s behind Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike?

On Wednesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein urged Israel to improve conditions for Palestinians in its custody.

Both Karaka and the Israeli Prisons Service did not initially divulge the full details of the agreement. However, the Prison Service did say that a second monthly family visit would be reinstated after it had been cut in the past.

“After intense negotiations, a compromise was reached on the just demands of the prisoners and based on the agreement, the details of which will be disclosed later, the strike has ended,” Jamal Mheysen, a member of the central committee of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, said in Ramallah.

“Today, we declare the victory of the prisoners and the Palestinian people. We declare the triumph of the prisoners in their epic struggle and fight for freedom and dignity,” he added.

The strike was called by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, the most high-profile Palestinian jailed in Israel, to protest against solitary confinement and an Israeli practice of detention without trial that has been applied to thousands of prisoners since the 1980s.

Other demands included longer and more regular family visits, landlines installed in prisons and better healthcare.

There are currently 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including more than 500 administrative detainees, according to Jerusalem-based prisoner rights group Addameer.

READ MORE: How my father survived a hunger strike in Israel

Palestinian activists hailed the deal as a victory for the hunger strikers.

“The Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have prevailed,” the Free Marwan Barghouti campaign said in statement.

“This is an important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners under international law. It is also an indication of the reality of the Israeli occupation, which has left no option to Palestinian prisoners but to starve themselves to achieve basic rights they are entitled to under international law,” the statement added.

Barghouti was convicted for his involvement in the second Palestinian intifada, and sentenced in 2004 to five life terms.

Surveys show many Palestinians want him to be their next president.

UN alarm over conditions for Palestinian prisoners

The United Nations has called Israel to improve conditions for Palestinians in custody, expressing alarm over reports of “punitive measures by Israeli authorities” against hundreds of prisoners who are on hunger strike for nearly 40 days. More than 1,500 prisoners launched the action on April 17 to press for an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement, as well as longer and more regular family visits, landlines installed in prisons and better healthcare. The protest has continued without resolution and the health of hundreds of participating prisoners has began to "deteriorate significantly,“ Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement on Wednesday. "I am especially alarmed by reports of punitive measures by the Israeli authorities against the hunger strikers, including restricted access to lawyers and the denial of family visits,” Zeid said. READ MORE: How my father survived the hunger strike in Israel There are currently 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including more than 500 administrative detainees, according to Jerusalem-based prisoner rights group Addameer. Administrative detainees are arrested on “secret evidence”, unaware of the accusations against them, and are not allowed to defend themselves in court. Their detention periods can be indefinitely renewed.  Zeid said the right of detainees to access a lawyer is a fundamental protection in international human rights law “that should never be curtailed”. “Various international bodies have repeatedly called on Israel to end its practice of administrative detention. Such detainees should either be charged with an offence and tried according to international standards, or released immediately,” he said.  The open-ended hunger strike is one of the largest in recent years led by the jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.  The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which visits Palestinian detainees, urged Israel early this month to allow family visits. Under international law, these “can only be limited for security reasons, on a case by case basis, but never for strictly punitive or disciplinary purposes”, it said. It added that “Israel detains Palestinians within its territory - but not within the occupied territory as required by the law of occupation”. READ MORE: What it means to be a Palestinian prisoner in Israel The situation in the occupied territories has been particularly tense over the past month as Palestinians engage in marches and protests in solidarity with the prisoners. Israeli police released three Palestinian guards of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday and banned them from entering the premises until June 4.  Tensions flared a day earlier when more than 600 Israeli settlers visited the compound on Israel’s “Jerusalem Day”, an annual celebration on the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Israeli police had arrested the three guards after assaulting them near the Chain Gate. Khalil Tarhoni, one of the guards, is currently hospitalised after he was severely beaten by Israeli police in an incident caught on video.  Eyewitnesses told Al Jazeera, “Jewish extremists were admitted inside the compound in unusually large numbers,” during the visitation hours designated for non-Muslims. An official from the Islamic Waqf, which runs al-Aqsa, told Al Jazeera that when visitation hours ended later that afternoon, Israeli police allowed an additional 200 settlers inside the compound. “Jewish extremists began praying near the Chain Gate and the guards protested. Some Muslim worshippers began chanting Allahu Akbar,” eyewitnesses recalled. Non-Muslim prayer has been banned at the compound for centuries. Since the 1967 occupation, Jews have been allowed to enter the compound under the protection of Israeli forces, but not to pray in the premises. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Islamic Waqf, told Al Jazeera: “Israeli police assaulted the guards for no reason. Palestinian guards are doing their work. The presence of the Israeli police in itself constitutes an aggression on the Noble Sanctuary.”
READ MORE: Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel
Palestinians have long expressed concern that right wing Jewish groups want to demolish the mosque and build a Jewish temple in its place. Jews, who refer to the site as Temple Mount, believe it is the area where two Biblical temples once stood. In 1984, members of a Jewish organisation attempted to bomb the site with the hope that the Third Temple would be built on its ruins. Also, in 1990, Israeli border police killed 22 Palestinians during a demonstration triggered by an attempt led by an Orthodox Jewish group to lay the cornerstone for a new temple in the compound. Israel - which captured the western half of Jerusalem in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war - frames Jerusalem Day as the “reunification” of the east and west of its capital. The annual celebration is a day when right-wing, mostly young Israelis rampage around East Jerusalem’s Old City, carrying Israeli flags and shouting anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racist slogans. Large groups often parade through the Muslim Quarter of the old city and provoke residents by banging on Palestinian stores and homes. Additional reporting by Ibrahim Husseini. 

Israel’s hateful, misguided policy against the weakest of the weak
What connects jailed asylum seekers and displaced Palestinian shepherds? The government’s shameful, bullying treatment of them both.
By Gideon Levy
About 250 kilometers separate the Holot prison in the Negev and Ain al-Hilweh in the northern Jordan Valley, but a direct line of evil connects them. The two places are seemingly as different as the distance between the desert and the valley. The first is a “detention center” – an open prison for refugees fleeing violence, and asylum seekers from Africa. The other is a tiny village with Palestinian shepherds.

The Israel Prison Service controls the first, the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration the other – again, two organizations with no seeming connection.

And yet, see what a nightmare it is. The policy is exactly the same, the means the very same means, and the goals identical: to pamper, coddle, indulge.

Evil holds sway in both, with abuse of the helpless and their dehumanization. In both cases, this abuse is aimed at making the victims miserable, until they break and want to leave it all behind – the Africans to leave Israel, the Palestinians to leave the Jordan Valley.

Israel is freezing the detainees in the cold. It incarcerated some 2,300 people at Holot, without providing any heating devices for their rooms. Freezing cold.

The shepherds dwellings at Ain al-Hilweh (and other shepherds’ dwellings) are demolished, leaving its residents – including babies and children, pregnant women and disabled elderly – exposed to the heavens, without anything, in the freezing cold of the Jordan Valley.

In recent weeks I visited both sites, which have everything except for a scrap of humanity or fragment of compassion. In Holot, I saw detainees rush out of their cells on a day in which the sun peeked through for a moment, wearing the entire contents of their closets on their bodies – layers of clothes to preserve their body heat. They have no other way.

In Ain al-Hilweh, I saw the residents spread out on the ground, under the open skies, living between the mounds of ruined tents and shacks that were once their homes. They didn’t even have clothes left; almost everything was trampled.

Israel’s attitude toward these two marginal groups is identical. That is, of course, not coincidental but the result of a systematic and intentional policy, dictated from above.

Israel is convinced that if it makes life miserable enough for the Africans, if it piles on their suffering, they will leave the country “voluntarily” – its fantasy.

It has the exact same goal in the Jordan Valley. Since Israel decided that it will remain in its hands, it has set its goal to purify it of Palestinian residents. Shepherds are, of course, the weak link, and this quiet policy of transfer is directed against them. More and more demolition, everything in the name of the law – the apartheid law that discriminates between settlements and a community of shepherds.

The shepherds will pitch their tents anew, Israel will once again demolish them – until they are fed up and leave on their own, like the Africans.

But here is what the government needs to know: Neither of them will leave. Why? They have nowhere to go. “They don’t like us here, and we have nowhere to go,” Fathi Zaidan, from Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, told me last week at the entrance to Holot. Zaidan’s first wife was murdered in Sudan, while his second wife and their young daughter are hiding in Egypt. He has been jailed here for nearly a year.

To achieve these victories over the weakest of the weak, Israel does not rule out any methods. To prevent superfluous moral misgivings, the victims are declared to be nonpersons: The Africans do not need heat; the shepherds do not need shelter.

After that, the regular brainwashing and justifications are enlisted. The Africans entered Israel illegally (as if African refugees can enter Israel legally), and the shepherds planted their tents without permits (as if Israel allows legal construction). Both of these groups “endanger” the existence of Israel and “undermine” its rule of law.

Then the work is amazingly easy: The jailers freeze, the Civil Administration employees destroy, the media ignores, the public yawns, no one appeals – and may peace be on Israel.

At the margins, at the very ends of the country, these actions are being carried out as a matter of routine. They are far out of sight and far from the heart. But they are determining the true face of the country.


You know you’re in Palestine when there are books/magazines like this in waiting rooms while at the dentist.

The photos above were taken from a book that discussed women in the Palestinian struggle. The text above illustrates a few of the torture experiences endured by Palestinian female prisoners while being detained by Israeli forces.  

anonymous asked:

Okay. Short of the Israelis leaving an the land all being returned, how do you think peace can be achieved? I'm not trying to be belligerent I just wanted to know what you think

No I understand, I didn’t think you were being belligerent, and this is an important question. I’ve actually been wondering when someone would ask this–partially because it’s not an easy one to answer. Like I answered earlier, I believe the “fairness” of the coexistance of Israel/Palestine is not possible because the establishment of a nation where one already existed could never be ‘fair’, and the existence of Israel currently relies on the occupation of Palestine–even if peace were to be achieved at the highest degree possible, it would never be 100% fair to the Palestinian people. 

The very first step to “peace” in any occupied zone is to cease the occupation. Until that happens it is not possible for any semblance of “peace” in the OPT–this includes Gaza. People argue often that occupation of Gaza ended 10 years ago, but forget that the current restrictions placed on Gaza, the way Gazans are treated constitutes the qualities of an occupation, and for this reason the international community treats Gaza as an occupied member of the OPT [x]

1. This would include the dismantling of ALL illegal settlements on Palestinian land and the rightful return of land to the Palestinians that were stolen from.

2. The removal of any and all Israeli military presence from the OPT. 

3. Restoration of EXACT 48′ borders. 

4. Removal of all Israeli influence in any of the OPT at the governmental, judicial level. Removal of all restrictions on international trade. Removal of restrictions on fishermen in international waters. 

5. Removal of any and all restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians. Palestinians should be allowed to travel WHEREVER they want within Palestinian territories, access to holy sites for Muslim and Christian Palestinians must be restored. 

6. The IMMEDIATE restoration of the right of return for ALL Palestinians of the international diaspora/refugees. 

7. The IMMEDIATE release of ALL PALESTINIAN PRISONERS held without charge. The immediate access to lawyers for detainees under the age of 18. 

8. The immediate release of all Palestinian diplomats and administrative prisoners held without charge. 

9. The expedited trial and sentencing of Palestinian prisoners in Israel through judicial hearings INDEPENDENT of an Israeli court. 

10. The immediate indictment of all IDF personnel responsible for hurting, killing, abusing Palestinians at checkpoints, during protests and 100% willful cooperation of the Israeli government with the ICC in the investigation of warcrimes. 

11. Lastly, the immediate recognition of the sovereignty of Palestine. Recognizing that Palestine exists independently of Israel, that its government bodies will always remain independent of Israel, and that the Israeli government holds no rights over Palestinians or the land on which they live.

Without these fundamental changes, ‘peace’ is not possible. This is the BARE MINIMUM required to ensure that Palestinians could have their freedoms returned to them. 

[For more information, and for some of the sources used to compile this post, click HERE]

anonymous asked:

How do you even know that any of that is true?

When Hitler rose to power, it led to more Jewish immigration to Palestine and the conflict grew between Palestinians and the Jewish immigrants. In 1947, the UN decided to intervene and under Zionist pressure, the UN recommended giving away 55% of Palestine to the Jewish state and the state of Israel was established in 1948. In the 1947-1949 War, Zionist forces outnumbered all Arab forces combined. Arab armies did not invade Israel and technically all battles were fought on land that was to have been the Palestinian state and only entered the conflict after forces had committed 16 massacres. By the end of the war, Israel had conquered 78% of Palestine, ¾ of a million Palestinians were made refugees, over 500 towns and villages were destroyed, and a new map was drawn up and in which every city received a new Hebrew name.
“There were no such thing as Palestinians.” -Golda Meir

The U.S. provides Israel $8.5 million aid each day, while it gives Palestinians absolutely nothing.

Statistics Since 2000 (
1. 132 Israeli children and 2,053 Palestinian children have been killed.
2. At least 1,185 Israelis and 9,100 Palestinians have been killed.
3. At least 10,903 and 70,157 Palestinians have been injured.
4. 0 Israelis are being held prisoners by Palestinians and 5,271 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

So, anon, do not ask why I think Israeli’s do not deserve to live.

  • Israel: *kidnaps ten Palestinians per week*
  • Israel: *kills Palestinian children on a daily basis*
  • Israel: *Imprisons Palestinian adults AND children*
  • Israel: *Tortures prisoners*
  • Israel: *Rains missiles over Gaza*
  • Israel: *Protects settler terror*
  • Israel: *Doesn’t do anything about IDF terror*
  • **three Israeli settler teens get kidnapped**
  • Israel: TERRORISTS!

GAZA CITY : A doctor holds the new born baby boy of Palestinian mother Hanaa al-Zanen, 26, who had her baby conceived with sperm from her husband smuggled out of an Israeli prison, at a hospital in Gaza City on January 11, 2013. The boy is the son of Palestinian prisoner Tamer al-Zanen (portrait), who has been incarcerated in an Israeli jail for the past seven years. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS