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Sfard on Israeli Supreme Court ruling on Migron outpost: ‘It’s Our Brown v. Board’

Mar 27, 2012

Annie Robbins

MichLawyer web 1
Huma Rights Lawyer Michael Sfard

The ongoing battle to prevent the dismantlement of the illegal outpost of Migron took a nosedive on Sunday as Netanyahu’s ‘solution’ of extending the delay for years into the future was rejected by the Israeli Supreme Court, giving the settlers only thru August 1st 2012 to move out.

Legendary human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, representing six Palestinian petitioners who are registered owners of the land Migron occupies, was celebrating on Sunday.

AP:

JERUSALEM—The Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday rejected the state’s request to postpone dismantling a large, unsanctioned West Bank settler enclave until late 2015, dealing a serious blow to settler hopes to keep dozens of rogue outposts standing.

The ruling could ignite a violent showdown with settlers, who have vowed in the past not to abandon their hilltop stronghold, Migron. Settler leader Shimon Riklin, one of the enclave’s founders, told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that the evacuation of Migron “would not pass quietly.”

“The residents of Migron received today the harsh court ruling, which is based on the false claim of privately held land, and whose objective is the expulsion of peace-loving people,” said Migron spokesman Itai Chemo.

Attorney Michael Sfard, who represented the Palestinian landowners in court, welcomed the ruling and said he had no problem with the court’s agreement to extend the evacuation deadline to Aug. 1.

Marc Tracy interviews Michael Sfard at Tablet ‘It’s Our Brown v. Board

Congratulations.

I’m very … happy’s not the right word, but content. I think the ruling is important. The danger of an opposite ruling was really a big threat, because in some way Migron became Israel’s 21st-century test of whether we really uphold the rule of law and whether any communities amongst Israeli society is above the law. And I did feel, while litigating the case, that there was a huge clash between the executive and the judiciary here, and the question of who will prevail is extremely important here, not just for Migron.

Do you trust the government to abide by and implement the decision? Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would.

I don’t want to sound naive, but I truly believe that there are enough forces among Israeli society that would not allow the government to disobey a clear, final, and binding ruling of the highest court in our land. If I’m wrong, then on Aug. 2 Israel would not be the same country. It’s our Brown v. Board of Education. That case was about equality and integration, but I don’t mean that: I’m referring to the question of the importance of implementing final court decisions, and the analogy is that I hope our government will send the National Guard, or the equivalent, to make sure.

Why is Migron especially important?
It’s the biggest outpost in the West Bank. It houses the sons and daughters of the leadership of the settler movement. Migron is a flagship outpost in size and in coming from the aristocracy of the settlers.

…………

Some have said the Knesset can step in and prevent Migron’s evacuation. How does that work?

It’s difficult for me to explain it to myself. It’s a bit like children, when they are not happy with something, saying, “I’ll call my big brother, and he will show you.” When the court decided, the right wing said we will legislate in a way that will free us from this decision. The problem is that to circumvent the court decision by legislation, it must apply to the West Bank. Israeli legislation does not apply to the West Bank! Israel has never annexed or applied Israeli law to the West Bank. The Knesset doesn’t exercise jurisdiction over the West Bank. Even if it did, the kind of legislation needed would nationalize land, private property. That is not something that is constitutional. In the small number of exceptions that it is legal, it’s for very important public interests. There’s no public interest here, there’s only private interest. This is a bundle of nonsense.

Perhaps Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his settler cohorts were in cranky moods when they severed ties with UN Human Rights Council yesterday after Sunday’s Israeli Supreme Court decision. And whether the proposed establishment of an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements added an air of pressure we will never know. But in the ongoing saga of events surrounding the Migron affair, this is indeed a positive turn of events.

I recommend the remainder of Tabet’s interview with Sfard.

Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike for 40 days– A call to action

Mar 27, 2012

Ahmed Moor

Hana+Shalabi
Hana Shalabi

It has been more than forty days since Hana Shalabi began her courageous fast – and her protest is still being ignored. A group of students from universities across the US and Europe have banded together to highlight her struggle and that of the Palestinians more broadly.

Those students issued the following call to action today:

HANA SHALABI: UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES STAND WITH YOU

As students from American and European universities, we stand in solidarity with Hana Shalabi and her pursuit of justice and human rights as her voice is silenced by arbitrary administrative detention. We call on you to stand this Thursday March 29, 2012 with Hana Shalabi on her hunger strike. On March 25th, 2012 Hana al-Shalabi’s appeal in Israeli Military courts against her re-arrest and placement under illegal administrative detention was rejected after 40 days in custody without charge or trial. Her re-arrest comes only four months after her release from over two years of administrative detention and was released in a prisoner exchange negotiated for the release of Gilad Shalit. Since her detention beginning February 16, 2012, Hana has been on an open-ended hunger strike in protest of Israel’s disregard to international law and basic human rights.

This Thursday March 29th, at least one student from each of our participating campuses across the Americas and Europe will go on a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Hana Shalabi, her family, and other Palestinian detainees held in Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial. Students are encouraged to hold a small solidarity action with Hana and other prisoners on their campuses, even one as short as 15 minutes, and send pictures or videos of their action to solidarity.actions@gmail.com. Students participating in the hunger-strike please send us a picture of yourself holding a sign saying:
#HanaShalabi #HanaShalabi

#Dying2Live OR #PrisonerOfConscience

Student groups who stand in solidarity with the action will wear orange ribbons around their arms to encourage others to ask questions and discuss administrative detention, Hana Shalabi’s case, and other ways to get involved such as putting pressure on those complicit in human rights violations

To further defy Israeli unjust security practices, hold those companies accountable for facilitating the violation of political prisoners’ rights. The security company contracted by Israeli prisons to conduct surveillance and imprison Palestinians on a daily basis is the same security company many of our campuses use to keep us safe at our universities – G4S. G4S is a UK and Denmark-based security company that systematically supports the Israeli occupation by providing security equipment and services to Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and prisons including where Hana is being held. By providing services to Israeli prisons, G4S contributes to the facilitation of Israel’s violations of rights of the Palestinian political prisoners. If your university uses G4S security services, ask them to immediately end their relationships with G4S and boycott their services. Draft letters to send to your university asking them to end contractual agreements with G4S can be found here. To send a letter to G4S to ask them to stop facilitating political prisoner rights, please send us an email and we will provide you with all necessary information.

All pictures and videos will be compiled into a montage and sent to Hana’s family and shared with the families of other detainees so they know they are not alone and their efforts are not in vain. Please let us know if your campus would like to get involved. Email: Solidarity.actions@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreeHana

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”  –Desmond Tutu

 

Jewish establishment-backed mayoral candidates rush to denounce Park Slope BDS effort

Mar 27, 2012

Alex Kane

de Blasio
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (Photo: Maxine Dovere/The Algemeiner)

The campaign to boycott Israeli products at Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Co-op takes a big step tonight, with members set to vote on whether to hold a referendum on the boycott question. And as Matthew Taylor notes here, the city’s leading officials have raced to see who can make the most hyperbolic claim about what the boycott movement represents (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man who flew into Israel just as the brutal assault on Gaza was getting underway, wins with his “massacre” line).

An important backdrop to the story is the upcoming mayoral race in 2013. As the New York Times notes, the top officials who have come out against the boycott–Christine Quinn, Scott Stringer and Bill de Blasio–are all likely candidates for mayor.

De Blasio is known as a progressive in city politics–but he hits the same note on the boycott that his establishment-backed mayoral rival Quinn does. This is because the continued backing of the Jewish establishment is important for all these candidates’ campaigns, and coming out strongly against the boycott efforts is one way to show off your Israel advocate credentials. You can’t be mayor of New York without those credentials, it seems.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC), a coordinating body for major Jewish organizations in New York, must be happy. It spends time, and a lot of money, bringing elected officials to Israel to tour the country, as Quinn recently did. De Blasio and Stringer frequently show up to JCRC-organized events. And the JCRC has been actively fighting against the Park Slope BDS effort by advising the “More Hummus, Please” anti-BDS group that has formed within the Co-Op on how to get their message out. The JCRC is also part of the Israel Action Network, the $6 million initiative created at the urging of the Israeli government that aims to combat BDS efforts.

No wonder the boycott efforts have run into heavy opposition. But at least Jodi Rudoren, the incoming New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, gets the absurdity of the situation. She tweeted a link to the Times article detailing city officials’ opposition to the boycott, and quipped, “mayor, would be mayors pledge allegiance to Israel.”

We’ll see tonight if the powerful opposition works.

JNF launches new ‘bluewashing’ website – PositivelyIsrael

Mar 27, 2012

Allison Deger

Screen shot 2012 03 27 at 1 31 19 PM
Screen shot of PositivelyIsrael.org

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) recently launched a blueshwashing website,PositivelyIsrael.org,  to inform how “Israel is changing the world – for the better.” The site includes a list of articles conveying: from the arts to green technology, Israel is globally improving the quality of human life.

Under the tag line, “Israel: making the world a better place,” the JNF’s new online resource describes how Israelis saved an endangered fish species, sent films to Sundance, and “vanquished” chemo induced nausea. Though this type of bluewashing, and the JNF’s specialty of greenwashing, is not new, Positively Israel takes hasbara to a relatively uncharted international focus; Israel is not just great for Israelis, Israel is great for the world. For example, one of the highlighted pieces of information on the site covers “Out of Israel to Africa” where an Israeli scientist offers “expertise to poverty-stricken Africa” on irrigation and agriculture. In another article, Israel is credited for teaching clean water technologies to India, the Ukraine, Thailand and Mexico.

Screen shot 2012 03 27 at 1 31 58 PM
Screen shot of PositivelyIsrael.

The new JNF website also includes the obligatory hasbara tools: pamphlets and films, access to the JNF speakers bureau and a pre-drafted letter to congress.

BDS victory: Norwegian retailer de-shelves Ahava
Mar 27, 2012

Allison Deger

norway
(Photo: Boikott Israel-kampanjen i Bergen)

The Norwegian retailer VITA announced on Friday they will no longer carry products made by Ahava, citing a decision to stop selling all settlement products produced in occupied Palestine. VITA’s decision to boycott the settlement company comes one month after a major Japanese retailer cut ties with the cosmetic company. Since 2007 Codepink’s Stolen Beauty campaignhas targeted Ahava for their role in profiting from the Israeli occupation.

Today the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees posted the victory:

Norwegian retail chain VITA made public on Friday their decision to stop all sales of products originating from settlements in occupied Palestine. VITA will therefore stop selling products from the cosmetics brand Ahava. VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, and this decision will be a serious blow to the sales of Ahava products in Norway.

The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law. This is also the position of Norgesgruppen, a company holding 49% of the shares in VITA. BAMA, another Norgesgruppen company has implemented the same policy regarding Israeli fruit and vegetables for several years already.

The VITA decision comes after a period of active lobbying from Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet), providing VITA and VITA’s owners with information about Ahava and their production in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement. Activists in Norway have also focused on Ahava and will now launch a new campaign to have other stores follow VITA’s example.

CCR: Israeli excavations continue in Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery despite Wiesenthal Center claims

Mar 27, 2012

Adam Horowitz

Yesterday the Center for Constitutional Rights sent out the following update:

March 26, 2012, Jerusalem, New York – New photographic and video evidence made public today for the first time by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) indicates that controversial archeological excavations by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) have continued this month on the ancient Mamilla cemetery in Jerusalem. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) seeks to erect a “Museum of Tolerance – Center for Human Dignity” on the site. The new evidence strongly suggests that the site still contains archaeological artifacts and human remains, contrary to SWC claims that bedrock has been reached on all portions of the site.

“Incredibly, the SWC and Israeli authorities continue to desecrate this ancient cemetery, ostensibly in the name of tolerance. Not only does this dishonor the descendants of those buried in Mamilla, it also reinforces the second-class citizenship of all Palestinians. It is time that Israel and the SWC heed the calls of prominent religious figures, human rights advocates, eminent archeologists and people all over the world to end this sacrilege,” said CCR President Emeritus Michael Ratner, who co-signed a recent letter to the SWC opposing the construction.

In 2010, CCR filed petitions with several United Nations officials on behalf of descendants of individuals buried in the cemetery. The petition argues that the IAA and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s highly secretive removal of thousands of human remains during excavations and infrastructure work on the site demonstrates a lack of respect for Palestinian cultural heritage and human rights and for the dignity of the deceased and their living ancestors.

The current excavations are being conducted under cover of a plastic tarp, in a pit which has been dug several meters below the floor of the construction site bordering the remaining part of the undisturbed cemetery. The IAA excavation pit is within a fenced enclosure in the south-west perimeter of the larger SWC construction site. The inner enclosure also features high voltage electricity supply for excavation equipment in the pit and portable toilet facilities for on-site workers, as evident in the photos and video.

On March 1, 2012, prior to these revelations, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery sent a personal letter to Rabbi Hier of the SWC urging him to stop construction of the Museum in a section of the ancient Mamilla cemetery. The letter suggested that alternative options be considered and requested a meeting with Rabbi Hier to discuss the issue. It was copied to the Board of the SWC and foundations that support its work and to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, urging him to intervene to stop the controversial project. Neither Rabbi Hier nor Mayor Barkat have responded to the letter.

“This important historical, cultural and religious site has witnessed a terrible offense, which appears to be continuing as Israeli Antiquities Authority excavations persist. Rabbi Hier must realize the grave precedent he is setting by building in a historic Muslim cemetery, and agree to a different location in the interest of mutual respect and tolerance in the Holy Land,” said Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and signatory to the letter to Hier.

For more see mamillacampaign.org.

‘Peter Beinart’s offense against liberalism’ and the spiritual crisis Zionism has wrought

Mar 27, 2012

Jack Ross

 

One could not ask for a more perfect museum quality specimen of the spiritual crisis and degradation that Zionism has wrought.  It is one thing for the Michael Walzer-Paul Berman-Alan Dershowitz school of masturbatory meditation on the “ethics” of war and occupation in the name of “liberalism” to be the basis of one’s politics. But for such political discourses to be the basis of a religious discourse is the moral monstrosity that has characterized most non-Orthodox Judaism for the last 70 years.

It is worth noting that this particular rabbi has been one of the chief ideologues of Reform Zionism in the last generation and, in saying he is “worried about Reform rabbis and rabbinical students” makes a point of identifying himself with the protestations of Daniel Gordis. “What does it say about the future of liberalism,” the good rabbi asks “if in less than a decade Peter Beinart has gone from hawkish liberalism to calling for a boycott of Israelis?” What indeed.

The avalanche of neocon hysteria that has rained down against Beinart even before the official release date of his book is frightening and unprecedented. It is the living confirmation of what I was always told by my elders that the people Norman Podhoretz most wanted to see shackled in a gulag were his progressive Zionist former friends.  What was once said of the expelled American Communist leader Earl Browder can thus now be said of Peter Beinart – there, but for an accident of geography, stands a corpse!

US Supreme Court: Courts to decide whether Congress can recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem

Mar 27, 2012

Annie Robbins and Adam Horowitz

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The Supreme Court (Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

LATimes

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court weighed into one of the thorniest issues in the Middle East conflict — who has sovereignty over Jerusalem — ruling that courts have the power to decide whether Congress can order that passports for U.S. citizens born there list “Israel” as their birthplace.

The justices, ruling 8 to 1 on Monday, passed the decision back to a lower court. So Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, now 9, will have to wait to find out what his passport will look like.

The U.S. has long taken the position that sovereignty over Jerusalem, which Israelis and Palestinians both claim as their capital, must be resolved in negotiations, so the government does not recognize Israeli sovereignty there. But in 2002, Congress passed a bill urging that the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv be relocated to Jerusalem and ordering that “Israel” should be listed as the birthplace for those born in the city who request it.

The George W. Bush and Obama administrations argued that the law was unconstitutional because it impinged on the president’s right to conduct foreign policy.

………

Ultimately, the case probably will return to the high court. “I hope this gets resolved favorably so this boy can put Israel on his passport before his bar mitzvah four years from now,” said Nathan Lewin, his lawyer.

Fess up, we all know this is about much more than what Menachem wants for his bar mitzvah. This case is scary. Not only would it set a precedent of sorts regarding Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, but it also would play directly into the lobby’s hands if Congress is granted the power to conduct foreign policy. Coming soon – Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as secretary of state.

Vigilante settler seeks ‘strong men’ to evict Palestinians from East Jerusalem home

Mar 27, 2012

Allison Deger

Ras el amud 27052011 activestills OZ 5
Activists with Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity protesting the settlement where Aryeh King lives, East Jerusalem, 2011. (Photo: Activestills)

Following an extremist settler’s announcement to take over Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the right-wing leader, Aryeh King published an ad in a newspaper seeking “strong men [who] are wanted to legally evacuate Arab squatters.” Adding, if the state will not remove the family,  “the Jews will do it without the police’s aid.” The settler leader, speaking toHaaretz, estimated his call will attract, “dozens of unmarried army veterans [will] arrive this week and clear out the [Palestinian] tenets.”

suleiman
Suleiman family. (Photo: Emil Salman)

King’s vigilante crew is poised to forcibly remove a Palestinian family, the Suleimans, from their East Jerusalem home. The family was recently cleared of an impending eviction notice from the government and King is hoping to re-instate the order, carrying it out himself.

Palestinians with eviction orders rarely receive injunctions. Typically, once a Palestinian house receives an eviction notice, the residents have about 30 days before they must vacate, which makes the Suleiman’s case extremely rare. But for Jewish Israelis, evictions stays are common and often applied to illegal outposts. For example, a few years ago when Hagit Ofran was describing her work with Peace Now’s settlement watch to me, she said most of the illegal outposts she had visited have multiple eviction (or demolition) orders, which were never implemented.  Ofran also said some outposts have as many as eight written notices. A recent manifestation of this no-eviction-for-Israelis policy is found in the controversial settlement ofMigron, home to some of the “price tag” hilltop youth.  For nearly a decade, the outpost has been marked for eviction. Finally in 2011 Migron was temporarily evicted and demolition. But after the bulldozers left, settlers returned and re-built the camp. They now have a two year stays on the eviction order and support from a Knesset working group.

King thinks the Suleiman’s eviction was held off due to Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S.; the Suleimans were spared as a way to keep the prime minister’s visit scandal-free. And, he might be right.

But King is determined to remove the 18-person Palestinian family, including one pregnant woman, from their house. “I’ve got no problem. You want us to wait until she gives birth?” King said to Haaretz, continuing, “we’ll do it, but in the presence of a lawyer and a left-wing public figure as a witness. They keep wasting time and don’t give us answers.” And as one would imagine, the Suleimans are not cowering to King. “I told Aryeh King I wasn’t going to get out, they can kill us, but we won’t get out,” said Khaled Natcha. He continued, “we’ll die on this land and won’t get out. It’s our land, our father’s – so why should we leave?”

The Suleimans say their family has owned the East Jerusalem house since 1935, however, King claims the Palestinians are squatters.  King also claims the Suleimans moved into the property in 2002 and insists a Jewish Israeli owns the house.

King’s group, the Israel Land Fund (ILA), has a history of vigilante Palestinian home evictions in East Jerusalem. The ILA believes these Palestinians are squatters and strives to remove them in order to construct an “eternal homeland” for “Jewish pioneers.”

King’s Israel Land Fund delivering eviction notices claiming the Palestinians are “illegally squatting on Jewish owned land in Anata, East Jerusalem,” 2007.

The ILA’s website states, “house by house, lot by lot, the Israel Land Fund is ensuring the land of Israel stays in the hands of the Jewish people forever.” The minimum amount to purchase a Jewish only lot with the ILA is $6,000.

US ‘understands’ Israel’s decision to cut ties with UN Human Rights Council

Mar 27, 2012

Today in Palestine

US ambassador to Israel says Human Rights Council obsessively focuses on Israel instead of other critical issues in Syria, Iran.
Meetings with Austrian, Belgian ambassadors come hours after Foreign Ministry severs ties all contact with the UN human rights council over establishment of an investigative committee on West Bank settlements.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, stated Sunday that Israel will not cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council and its investigation committee, and will not allow committee members to enter the country, the Arabs48 News Website reported.

link to www.imemc.org

Israel escalates UN rights spat
Israel has cut working relations with the UN Human Rights Council, officials say, after it decided to investigate settlements in the West Bank.
link to www.bbc.co.uk

Gaza
Fayyad says Hamas officials no show at Cairo fuel talks
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Sunday an expected Hamas delegation had not arrived in Cairo to join talks on ending the Gaza Strip’s fuel crisis. Palestinian officials headed to Egypt on Saturday to discuss the mechanism for ongoing fuel pumping into Gaza after Egypt cut off supplies through an underground tunnel network.  While an Egyptian security official said Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar crossed from Gaza to Egypt on Egypt, Fayyad said a Hamas delegation did not join talks.
link to www.maannews.net

 

Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid / Refugees
B’Tselem center for human rights revealed an Israeli plan to expel the Palestinian Bedouin communities from Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israel’s control, to other areas.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Eight children from Beit Ummar facing suspension from their village of residence
Eight children between the ages of 14 to 17 years old were arrested in Beit Ummar during night raids from 6th to 11th of March conducted by the Israeli occupation forces following a nonviolent solidarity demonstration for the hungerstriker Khader Adnan on the 21st of February. On Tuesday 20th of March the youth went to court at the Israeli military court at Ofer and faced a sentence of being banned from Beit Ummar, where they live with their families, for a period of 6 months. The youth are being accused of throwing stones at Israeli military installations. The detainees are Ayesh Khalid Sabri Awad (17 years), Basil Khalid Hassan Abu Hashim (15 years), Zain Hisham Khalil Abu Maria (15 years) Sami Amer Ahmed Abo Joudeh (16 years), Emad Mohammed Saed Solaiby (16 years), Mohab Jawdat Adi (14 years), Bilal Mahmud Awad Ayyad (16 years), and Ahmed Ali Mahmoud Solaiby (16 years)
link to palsolidarity.org

The Judaisation of Jerusalem
The Judaisation of Jerusalem has occupied a prominent place in the Arab and Muslim media recently, and is the focus of many statements made by officials and heads of state on the grounds that the city’s future concerns those who care about Islamic and Christian holy sites there. Recent conferences in Doha and Beirut released statements confirming Jerusalem’s Arab identity and the need to protect the holy places as well as cultural and historical monuments which characterise the city.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Violence Against Palestinians

Settlers Attacks Leave One Injured; Troops Arrest Nine Civilians in Dawn Invasions
A Palestinian farmer was injured when Israeli armed settlers attacked a group of farmers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Monday.
link to www.imemc.org

Hana Shalabi

Hospital ‘may consider force-feeding’ Shalabi, Published yesterday
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The ethics committee of Meir Hospital may consider force-feeding hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi, human rights organizations said Monday., The committee will meet Tuesday to discuss Shalabi’s case and could discuss force-feeding her, Addameer prisoner rights group and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said in a joint statement., Amnesty International warned forcible feeding “could constitute cruel and inhuman treatment,” a release from the group said.

Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike has put her life in danger but she charges on in her battle against Israel’s practice of imprisonment without charge. Ramallah – Islamic Jihad spokesperson and former detainee Khader Adnan won the battle of “empty stomachs” and handed the torch to Hana Shalabi, another fierce warrior who refuses to give up on her rights. On Sunday, Shalabi completed 40 days of an open hunger strike for “victory or martyrdom.” She is protesting against being held by Israeli occupation forces without charge, a procedure known as administrative detention. Her body is frail but she is defiant and intent on continuing her protest.

Hana Shalabi Enters Day 40 of Hunger Strike
Israeli Military Court refuses to shorten administrative detention order of Hana Shalabi, who is in critical condition on this 40th day of her hunger strike.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Six citizens from Nablus on hunger strike in solidarity with Shalabi
Six Palestinian citizens from Nablus, held in Israeli administrative custody, have gone on hunger strike in solidarity with hunger striker Hana’a Shalabi topped by 72-year-old MP Ahmed Al-Haj Ali.

Other Hunger Striking Detainees 

Megiddo prison administration blocks visits to hunger strikers
The administration of the Israeli Megiddo prison has blocked visits by lawyers to their clients in the jail as a punishment for going on hunger strike.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Palestinian detainees take on Israel with hunger
Inspired by Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who pressured Israel with a 66-day hunger strike, a growing number of his fellow detainees are launching similar protests.
link to news.yahoo.com

Political Prisoners & Detainees

Israeli court extends detention of 7 Palestinian children for 100 days
An Israeli military court has extended the detention of seven Palestinian children from Al-Khalil for 101 days for further interrogation.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

IOF soldiers arrest 9 Palestinians, field interrogate others
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up nine Palestinian citizens in the provinces of Al-Khalil and Bethlehem at dawn Monday.

IOF soldiers arrest six Palestinians, summon liberated prisoner
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a search campaign in various West Bank areas at dawn Sunday that ended with the arrest of six Palestinians.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

ISRAEL-OPT: Helping ex-detainee children cope with trauma
RAMALLAH, 26 March 2012 (IRIN) – A year after his arrest and detention by the Israeli military in Bethlehem, Hamza, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank, is seeing a social worker to try and overcome the trauma he suffered in a small cell with 10 other people.  “They blindfolded me, tied my arms together and took me away to prison in an army jeep. We were 10 people in a small cell, and they kept asking me why I threw stones a few times every day,” he told IRIN, as he waited for the social worker at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) office in Beit Sahour. When Hamza was detained about a year ago, he was 16. “There were settlers outside our school and then clashes broke out. I threw stones and got caught,” he said. “During four and a half months in detention, I was not allowed to see my family once. When I got out of prison, I just didn’t know where to begin,” he added.

RAMALLAH (Reuters) — From his cell in an Israeli prison, one of the most revered figures in Palestinian politics called on Monday for a new wave of civil resistance in the decades-long quest for statehood, and for severing all ties with Israel. Marwan Barghouti is a leading figure in the Fatah movement. His leadership and charisma were seen as a driving force behind the last intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation launched in late 2000.

link to www.maannews.net

Detained commander: We are entitled to resist occupation
Detained Qassam Brigades commander Abdullah Al-Barghouthi has said that the Palestinian people are entitled to resist occupiers of their country.

link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Solidarity / Actvism / Popular Protests / BDS

Israeli diplomat chased out of Morocco after mass protest

Yesterday, Israeli diplomat David Saranga was chased out of Morocco after a mass demonstration for Palestinian rights spread across the capital. Saranga told the Jerusalem Post that he did not feel in danger, but he chose to leave Morocco at the behest of a security officer. The protests began in Morocco last Thursday, when the diplomat first arrived and continued to grow through the weekend, until Saranga left the country. “As early as Saturday, when

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