PCHR Calls upon the International Community to Save the Life of the Detainee Khader Adnan

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 by lamalucy

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned for the life of Khader Adnan, a detainee in Israeli jails, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressurize Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to release Adnan, who has been placed under administrative detention without trial.

Khader Adnan has been on a hunger strike since 18 December 2011, one day after his arrest by IOF, in protest to the inhuman detention conditions under which he is held. Adnan had been placed under administrative detention more than once in the past. Since he started the hunger strike, the Israeli Prison Service refused his demands and rejected his release.

He appeared before Israeli courts more than once, and the order of administrative detention issued against him was upheld. On 13 February 2012, the Israeli military court rejected an appeal filed by the Palestinian Prisoner Club Society, upholding the order of administrative detention.

Adnan is currently receiving medical treatment at Rebecca Seiff Hospital in Safed in the north of Israel. According to a physician from the Israeli Physicians for Human Rights, as of 15 February 2012, Adnan’s life is endangered because of his continued hunger strike, which has caused erosion of his muscles, including the muscles of heart and stomach.

The internal medicine physician, who checked him five times last week, stressed that Adnan’s body started to release poisons, which in light of the severe weakness of his immunity system makes more likely that he may be subjected to a sudden heart attack. The same physician noted that abstention from having food for more than 70 days inevitably leads to death.

Khader Adnan Mohammed Mousa, 33, from ‘Arraba village near Jenin, who is married and a father of two children, was arrested by IOF on 17 December 2011. The following day, he declared an open hunger strike. On 31 December 2011, he was transferred from al-Jalama interrogation center to al-Ramla Prison. An order was issued placing him under administrative detention for 4 months on 08 January 2012.

A month later, on 06 February 2012, an Israeli judge approved the administrative detention order issued by the military commander, claiming that confidential information indicated that Khader Adnan is extremely dangerous. Ultimately, on 13 February 2012, the appeal judge of Oufar Military Court refused to order Adnan’s release and upheld the administrative detention order.

During this period, Adnan and his attorney have not been informed of the charges directed against him. The Israeli prosecution provided the court with the charges against Adnan under the item of confidential information, which constitutes evidence of the arbitrariness of the administrative detention policy practiced by IOF against Palestinian detainees.

Adnan’s case highlights the conditions of more than 300 Palestinians who are currently placed under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, including the Speaker and 19 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

These actions are in violation of the right of a detainee to fair trial, including the right to receive appropriate defense and to be informed of charges against him. Administrative detention is applied by an administrative order only without referring to a court, thus violating the standards of impartial judicial procedures, including fair trial.

PCHR is concerned for the life of Khader Adnan, who has been detained in Israeli jails, and:

1. Calls upon the international community to pressurize IOF to release him to avoid risking his life;
2. Reiterates its call for the international community to stop systematic serious abuses against Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention facilities;
3. Emphasizes that administrative detention is illegal and falls under the category of political arrests, constituting a violation of the detainee’s right to a fair trial, including his right to receive an adequate defense and to be informed of the charges against him.

 

Source:   International Middle East Media Center    http://www.imemc.org/

 

Artwork Drawn by Children from Gaza to be Exhibited in Boise

Posted in Events, Gaza on November 27, 2011 by lamalucy

“A Child’s View from Gaza”

Drawings created by children in Gaza depicting the horrors, experiences and emotions generated by Operation Cast Lead

For the month of January 2012, Voices for Palestine will be sponsoring the exhibition of “A Child’s View from Gaza” in downtown Boise. This is an incredible opportunity for our community to view the experiences of children in the Gaza Strip. It is a glimpse into the mind of a child living under a violent occupation.

“A Child’s View from Gaza” is an exhibit featuring drawings created by children living in the Gaza Strip. All experienced the trauma of “Operation Cast Lead;” Israel’s 23 days of bombardment and invasion of Gaza during December 2008 and January 2009.

The drawings in this exhibit were created by children ages seven to fourteen. The exhibit expresses the children’s experiences and hopes for the future. Viewing their drawings is a heart wrenching experience. The drawings are a call for a world of peace, justice and equality for the children of Gaza and the world.

Below is a video showcasing images from the exhibit. Please go to our Local Events page for exhibition location and dates as well as special coinciding activities.

Rafeef Ziadah – ‘We teach life, sir

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 by lamalucy

Oakland Museum Shuts Down Palestinian Children’s Art Exhibit

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2011 by lamalucy
BERKELEY, CA – September 9 – The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland (MOCHA) has decided to cancel an exhibit of art by Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip. The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), which was partnering with MOCHA to present the exhibit, was informed of the decision by the Museum’s board president on Thursday, September 8, 2011. For several months, MECA and the museum had been working together on the exhibit, which is titled “A Child’s View of Gaza.”

MECA has learned that there was a concerted effort by pro-Israel organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area to pressure the museum to reverse its decision to display Palestinian children’s art.

Barbara Lubin, the Executive Director of MECA, expressed her dismay that the museum decided to censor this exhibit in contradiction of its mission “to ensure that the arts are a fundamental part of the lives of all children.”

“We understand all too well the enormous pressure that the museum came under. But who wins? The museum doesn’t win. MECA doesn’t win. The people of the Bay Area don’t win. Our basic constitutional freedom of speech loses. The children in Gaza lose,” she said.

“The only winners here are those who spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel and silencing the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.”

Unfortunately, this disturbing incident is just one example of many across the nation in which certain groups have successfully silenced the Palestinian perspective, which includes artistic expression. In fact, some organizations have even earmarked funds for precisely these efforts. Last year, regrettably the Jew ish Federation of North America and the Jew ish Council for Public Affairs launched a $6 million initiative to effectively silence Palestinian voices even in “cultural institutions.”

The free exhibit, co-sponsored by nearly twenty local organizations, was scheduled to open on September 24, and featured special activities for children and families, including a cartooning workshop and poetry readings.

The Gaza Strip, which has a population of 1.6 million, has been under siege since Israel imposed a blockade against it in 2006. The United Nations and many human rights organizations across the world have condemned the blockade as an inhumane and cruel form of collective punishment.

“Even while the children in Gaza are living under Israeli policies that deprive them of every basic necessity, they managed through art, to express their realities and hopes. It’s really very sad that there are people in the U.S. silencing them and shredding their dreams,” said Ziad Abbas, MECA’s Associate Director.

MECA is disappointed in the museum’s decision to deny Bay Area residents the opportunity to view Palestinian children’s art, and is committed to seeking an alternative venue.

“We made a promise to the children that their art will be shown and we are going to keep  that promise,” said Lubin. 

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Founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine, the Middle East Children’s Alliance is a Berkeley-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that has delivered more than $10 million in food, medicine and medical supplies to children in the West Bank and Gaza , Iraq and Lebanon .  MECA also provides financial assistance to community groups working with children in the Palestine/Israel.

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2011 by lamalucy

Despite the relative silence in the media regarding the ongoing human rights crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, the situation remains unbearable to Palestinians. The Palestinain Center for Human Rights releases a weekly report on Israeli Human Rights Violations. Below are a few excerpts from their most recent report. Much of this information is not reported on by corporate media and most Americans are not aware that these situations of abuse are occurring on a daily basis. I believe it will be heplful to our readers in forming a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict.

None the less, it brings me great joy that despite their impoverishment the children of Gaza continue to embrace life, thus resisting the occupation. Last week more than 5,000 kids in Gaza participated in creating the world’s largest ever hand painting! Before this the kids set a record for flying parachutes from the ground. Here is what one child had to say: “We had fun today. We played so much today! We need to live. I drew my hand in the fabric and when I put my hand there, I felt like I reached the world.” – six-year-old Heba Abu Amra from Rafah

-Lama

PCHR Weekly Report July 21-27 2011

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)   Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

IOF continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

A Palestinian civilian was wounded.

IOF arrested 8 Palestinian demonstrators.

IOF conducted 24 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Gaza Strip.  

IOF arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including two children.

Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

IOF arrested 3 Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF harassed 5 Palestinian children in Hebron.

IOF resumed the construction of the annexation wall inside the West Bank territory.

IOF razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Bethlehem and uprooted at least 22 pine and olive trees.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

 Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (21 – 27 July 2011):

Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank. As a result, a Palestinian civilian was wounded and dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders suffered from tear gas inhalation.  IOF also arrested 8 Palestinian civilians.  

 

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 24 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 9 Palestinian civilians, including two children. 

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion into the southern Gaza Strip, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land. 

Restrictions on Movement: Israel had continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

The total closure of al-Mentar “Karni” crossing on 02 March 2011 has created a bitter situation that has seriously affected the Gaza Strip. Following this closure, all the economic and commercial establishments in Gaza Commercial Zone were shut off. It should be noted that al-Mentar crossing is the biggest crossing in the Gaza Strip in terms of its operational capacity to absorb the flow of imports and exports. The decision of al-Mentar crossing was the culmination of a series of decisions to totally close Soafa crossing, east of the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2009, and Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, which was dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas to the Gaza Strip, in the beginning of 2010.

For approximately 47 months, IOF have continued to deny approximately 710 Palestinian prisoners from Gaza detained in Israeli jails their visitation rights without providing any justification to this measure, which violates the rules of the international humanitarian law.

There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.

When complete, the illegal annexation wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the wall have already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, confiscating more Palestinian land.

At least 65% of the main roads that lead to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF.


Full Report

France presents plan to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Posted in Uncategorized on June 2, 2011 by lamalucy

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe presented a peace plan to the Palestinian Authority Thursday during a visit to Ramallah, meant to revive stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The peace plan, Juppe said, is largely based on U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech last month, which called for a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps.

However, while Obama focused on guaranteeing Israel’s security, the French initiative is concerned with “security for the two states (Israel and Palestine),” Juppe told a news conference with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the central West Bank city.

The plan had already been shown to President Mahmoud Abbas in Rome Wednesday.

The French initiative sets a one-year deadline for resolving the issues of Jerusalem and refugees, which Obama referred to without time-lines.

Juppe said he did not expect the Palestinians to respond to his proposal immediately, adding that he was scheduled to meet later Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to present the French plan to the prime minister as well.

“The situation here cannot continue,” he said. “We are convinced that if nothing happens between now and September, the situation will be difficult for everyone,” he said.

Juppe was referring to Palestinian plans to address the United Nations in September, asking for full membership in the UN as a state with recognized borders.

He did not specify whether France would support the proposed UN resolution, reiterating the French position, as stated by President Nicolas Sarkozy, that “if nothing happens between now and September, France would act according to its responsibilities, adding “all options are open.”

Juppe said he hopes the French plan, which he claims has European Union and U.S. backing, will receive further credibility during a proposed international peace conference France wants to host in late June or early July.

The conference would be an expansion of a planned economic conference, also referred to as Paris II. France wants to host the economic conference in June in order to enlist aid for the Palestinian Authority for the next three years, according to Fayyad.

The Paris II conference “is primarily a Palestinian interest,” said Fayyad in response to a question if the PA would accept an invitation to the proposed international peace conference. 

“We also want it to have very clear political dimensions that would lead to the one thing we all want, and that is an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” the Palestinian prime minister said.
Juppe said he expected Palestinians and Israelis to take time to discuss the French peace plan before responding to it. Official Palestinian sources told the German Press-Agency DPA that Abbas told Juppe after the Rome meeting he will convene with the Palestinian leadership to discuss the plan before he gives his final answer.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/

Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Posted in Gaza on May 28, 2011 by lamalucy

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egypt reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza permanently on Saturday morning, easing Israel’s four-year blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian officials said the terminal would operate daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. except Fridays and public holidays, giving Gazans a gateway to the world as Rafah is the only crossing which does not pass through Israel.

Residents of Gaza will be able to enter Egypt without visas with the exception of men aged between 18 and 40.

Hundreds of Palestinians arrived at the crossing, but Gaza official Salamah Baraka said Palestinians who had already registered to cross the border would be given priority.

Baraka said police would announce new travel arrangements soon, but that online registration via the interior ministry website would continue.

Among the first to cross the reopened border post were two ambulances ferrying patients from the hitherto-blockaded Gaza Strip for treatment in Egypt as well as a minibus carrying a dozen visitors, an AFP correspondent reported.

Egyptian medical staff were deployed to the crossing to make sure travelers did not have infectious diseases, but state security was not present at the terminal.

In the past, Egyptian state security were a major part of the staff manning the crossing.

People entering from Gaza were supposed to be inspected by the newly formed Egyptian national security service, but the officers were not at the terminal on Saturday due to problems with police deployment in the Sinai peninsula, a Ma’an correspondent reported.

Commercial traffic will continue to have to pass through border points with Israel to enter the impoverished enclave.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Al-Arabi announced in April that the crossing would reopen permanently, stressing this would help ease the blockade imposed by Israel.

The border has remained largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a tight blockade on Gaza after militants snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held.

The blockade was tightened a year later when Hamas seized control of the territory, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

The United Nations has called the blockade illegal and repeatedly demanded it be lifted.

The decision to permanently reopen the Rafah crossing came more than three months after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned under pressure following 18 days of massive street protests against his rule.

It was hailed by Gaza’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, and the European Union, but Israel has greeted the news with trepidation.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Thursday the move was “a courageous and responsible decision which falls in line with Palestinian and Egyptian public opinion.”

“We hope that it is a step towards the complete lifting of the siege on Gaza,” he said, a day after Egypt announced it would open the crossing on a permanent basis to ease the blockade which has been in place since 2006.

The European Union also praised the move and said it was in consultations with Egypt, the Palestinians and Israel about returning its team of advisers to monitor activity along the frontier.

But Israel expressed concern, with Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai telling public radio it would create “a very problematic situation.”

The move was hailed by Israeli NGO Gisha, which campaigns for freedom of movement for Palestinians.

“Gisha welcomes the announcement that Egypt will expand the ability of Gaza residents to travel abroad via Rafah crossing, which has become Gaza’s gateway to the world,” the group said.

The move follows an April 27 unity accord between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas that was signed in the Egyptian capital.

“This new Cairo spring is bearing fruit such as the Rafah opening and efforts to end the blockade,” said Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah official on a visit to the Gaza Strip.

Figures provided by the NGO show that over the past year, an average of 19,000 people a month have used the crossing — just 47 percent of the number who used it in the first half of 2006.

http://maannews.net/eng/