Hundreds of Palestinians abducted from Gaza by occupation forces, many remain missing

August 5, 2014

Over 200 Palestinians have been abducted by occupation soldiers on the borders of Gaza during the ground invasion of Gaza, transferred to undisclosed locations, interrogated, and abused, while those same occupation forces killed over 1850 Palestinians, wounded nearly 10,000 and destroyed thousands of homes.

These civilians, who refused or who were unable to leave their homes due to massive aerial bombing and shelling, were transferred to special camps set up inside occupied Palestine ’48, and interrogated for hours or days by military forces and the Shin Bet. Over 75 of them were released and left outside Beit Hanoun, and the remaining Palestinian civilians from Gaza remain unaccounted-for and under arrest, as well as wounded people, some of whom were released without treatment after two days of interrogation. Paramedics and wounded people were arrested on July 24 as they left Khuza’a.

Issa Qaraqe, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, cautioned on August 4 that some Palestinians who were captured by the occupation army may have been shot immediately after their arrest, as were civilians attempting to leave Khuza’a. Some of those detained were taken to occupation hospitals and another portion are still under interrogation. He warned that some of the missing may have been murdered by occupation forces or allowed to bleed to death without medical treatment, and called upon the International Committee of the Red Cross to act urgently to determine the fate of the Palestinians arrested in Gaza by the occupation forces and the circumstances of their detention.

Addameer issued the following statement on the urgent situation of Palestinians arrested from Gaza:

24 July 2014, occupied Ramallah – As the brutal assault in Gaza continues onto its seventeenth day, Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association expresses deep concern regarding the newly launched mass arrest campaign launched by the Israeli forces.

At least 150 Palestinians were arrested overnight in Gaza and forcibly transferred to an undisclosed detention center where they are now undergoing interrogation by Special Unit 504 in coordination with the intelligence services. The detainees are expected to undergo interrogation by the Shin Bet as well.

Also among those who have been arrested in recent days are ‘Ammar Shami, who was injured during the shelling and is now hospitalized during his detention. Addameer’s colleagues from Al-Mezan in Gaza are representing Shami as well as nine other detainees: Mahmoud Abu Saeed, Afif Al-Jarah, Imad Al-Jarah, Abd Al Rahman Balousha, Hassan Al-Astal, Mohammad Al-Agha, Ahmad Abu Lahiya, Ibrahim Abu and Mohammad Al-Qudra. The ten detainees have lawyers bans for a period of ten days, making the circumstances of their interrogation and detention unknown.

Considering the arbitrary nature of these arrests, Addameer raises concerns that the detainees will be subject to Israel’s “Unlawful Combatants Law.” This law allows for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to be detained for an unlimited amount of time without being charged or brought to trial. Under this law, detainees are issued a permanent detention order and are then brought before an Israeli District Court only once every six months for judicial review of their order. In practice, the Unlawful Combatants Law contains fewer protections for detainees than even the few that are granted under administrative detention orders in the West Bank.

In addition to the egregious war crimes committed by Israel in this latest round of aggression on Gaza, in which over 703 Palestinians have been killed, the majority of them civilians, and thousands injured, Addameer is concerned about the continued violation of international humanitarian law in regards to the prisoners. The forcible transfer of prisoners by the Occupying Power is in gross violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Furthermore, although the circumstances of the detainees interrogation are currently unknown, photos of the detainees indicate that they have been stripped of their clothing, detained in crowded areas and in some cases, blindfolded. This degrading and humiliating treatment is also in violation of IHL and IHRL, as well as the dignity of the prisoners and the Palestinian people. Israel’s well-known systematic and widespread use of physical and psychological torture against Palestinian prisoners also raises concerns for the treatment of the detainees as well.

Addameer calls on all international bodies to intervene immediately to implement international human rights and humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip, call for a ceasefire and hold accountable the perpetrators of the war crimes committed against the Palestinian people in the International Criminal Court.


Palestinians search for survivors amid rubble after Yarmouk, Syria’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, was again attacked with barrel bombs by Bashar al-Assad’s forces, Tuesday May 26, 2015.

According to a resident, “three barrel bombs fell near the electricity Foundation, while the others landed in the vicinity of Palestine Mosque in the area.” 

Accurate information about the number of casualties is not yet available due to the number of people still trapped under the ruins of residential buildings. 

(Photos: Moayad Zaghmout / Reuters)

Edmonton man says he was held in Ottawa prison for six week, denied showers

An Edmonton man claims he was held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison in Ottawa for six weeks and was denied access to his lawyer, medication and basic hygiene.

John Calvin - who uses a pseudonym because he fears for his life - says deportation to the West Bank in Palestine would mean he would be killed for converting to Christianity and for being gay. Hamas, of which is family are members, has threatened the former Muslim with death if he returns. Calvin returned to Edmonton Wednesday evening, a day after being released from the prison.

He was in Ottawa in June for an interview with a magazine and was visiting a First Nations reserve when he got too close to a Canadian Border Services Agency point of entry and was arrested.

Calvin claims he was not allowed to shave or shower for days, nor was he allowed to brush his teeth. Friends could not reach Calvin on June 14, and he says he was arrested on June 15. According to Calvin, the CBSA said he was a danger to the public and a flight risk. While at the maximum security facility, he claims he was denied his seizure medication.

He also said he was not allowed to speak to his lawyer for 10 days.

“It was a disgrace,” he said.

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An entirely reasonable set of conditions

Hamas has offered Israel a 10-year truce if it accepts 10 conditions. The Jerusalem Post reported this, based on an Israeli Channel 2 newscast. According to Ma’ariv (Hebrew) these are the conditions:

  1. Withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border.
  2. Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three West Bank settler teens.
  3. Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people.
  4. Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.
  5. Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometers.
  6. Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations.
  7. International forces on the borders.
  8.  Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.
  9. Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
  10. Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.
Are these demands unreasonable or extreme? Why not accept them? What does Israel actually want?

Gaza teen’s war tweets make her a social media sensation

As bombs explode in Gaza, Palestinian teenager Farah Baker grabs her smartphone or laptop before ducking for cover to tap out tweets that capture the drama of the tumult and fear around her.

The 16-year-old’s prolific posts on Twitter have made her a social media sensation through the month-old conflict. Once a little known high school athlete, Baker’s following on the Web site has jumped from a mere 800 to a whopping 166,000.

Living near Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, where her father is a surgeon, provides Baker with a live feed of blaring ambulance sirens in addition to blasts from Israeli air strikes and shelling attacks.

Reuters photo and story
Gay Palestinian seeking asylum in Canada set to be deported despite death threats
“So you have these two completely contradictory and inconsistent decisions and unfortunately John doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt, he gets the worse decision imposed against him,” said Calvin’s lawyer Nate Whitling, who is also one of Omar Khadr’s lawyers, adding that an appeal to that decision was flatly denied without explanation.
By adammiller2015

If the Canadian government decides to deport John Calvin back to Palestine on Nov. 4, he believes he will be killed.

“It’s a known thing that it will be a death sentence, so there would be no way around it,” he said from his home in Edmonton.

“Scared, terrified, disappointed, there’s a bunch of different things that one in my situation would feel.”

The Canadian government believes the 24-year-old is, or was, a member of the Palestinian militant organization Hamas and therefore is ineligible to seek asylum in Canada as a refugee.

But Calvin fled his chaotic upbringing under one of the most notorious pro-Hamas families in Palestine at the age of 19, which is why he says he has taken on a new name, and a new life, in Canada.

Calvin’s refugee claim was based on his assertion that he had abandoned Hamas and that members of his family had tried to kill him for doing so and that his life would be in immediate danger upon returning to Palestine.

Initially, his case looked favourable after his lawyer says an immigration hearing determined his young age and minimal interactions with Hamas proved he was not a member of the group that the Canadian government designates as a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization.

But a second hearing with the Immigration Appeal Division reached the opposite conclusion and Calvin is set to be deported on Nov. 4.

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GAZA CITY : Flyers are dropped over Gaza City by the Israeli army urging residents to evacuate their homes on July 30, 2014. Israeli bombardments early on July 30 killed “dozens” of Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 16 at a UN school, medics said, on day 23 of the Israel-Hamas conflict. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED

It refuses to acknowledge that Palestinian queers are among those who are harassed, brutalised, displaced, bombed, and incarcerated. Whatever liberties might be extended to Jewish queers in Israel, being queer does not save Palestinians from the constant and brutal assault that forms the conditions of their lives. The Israeli army does not give a “free pass” to queer Palestinians; in fact, its soldiers target LGBTQ Palestinians.