Unlike Prisoner X, there is no public outrage in Israel over the way the legal system is preventing Samer Issawi from receiving a fair trial. But then again, Issawi is Palestinian. Samer Issawi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on an intermittent hunger strike for over 200 days, had his day in court on Thursday. According to the sentence handed down by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, one might ostensibly believe that Issawi would be released on March 6, when his prison term is completed. But Samer Issawi is Palestinian, and therefore subject to a multi-layered legal system in which his…Read More... | 9 Comments
New report by Israeli and Palestinian human rights NGOs shows that Israel is not meeting the conditions to which it agreed in a deal to end a massive hunger strike almost two months ago. Three Palestinians are still on strike, one in mortal danger. Fed with lies? Almost eight weeks have passed since some 1,550 Palestinian prisoners ended their collective hunger strike in exchange for a series of steps to better their conditions, promised by Israel. Yet a new report recently published by Physicians for Human Rights, Al-Haq, Adalah, Addameer and other NGOs shows that the state has neglected to…Read More... | 11 Comments
The assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi, which sparked the escalation in the south, points to Israel's weak Supreme Court, a lack of transparency and accountability, and the state's flip attitude towards its judicial branch--as do some street signs in Tel Aviv The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was "the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit", the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011…Read More... | 51 Comments
It's not enough that for years, Israeli society dropped everything it was doing and ultimately risked people's lives to bring Noam Schalit's son home. Now he wants Israeli voters to send him to the Knesset. The whole Gilad Schalit saga was so weird, so unnatural, so out of proportion - why didn't we all just commit mass suicide to show how much we cared about him? - and now it's gotten plain disgusting. Noam Schalit is running for Knesset, on the Labor Party ticket. It's not enough that an entire country basically dropped everything for this guy's son, for this guy himself - it's not enough that countless victims…Read More... | 23 Comments
Mukhlis Burghal is one of the Palestinian prisoners who was exchanged for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. His experience in Israeli jails points to the state's disregard for prisoners' human rights The Alternative Information Center has an in-depth interview with Mukhlis Burghal, one of the Palestinian prisoners who was freed in exchange for Gilad Schalit. Speaking to an European journalist who goes by the nom de plume Mikaela Levin, Burghal, who spent 24 years in Israeli prisons for throwing a grenade at a bus full of Israeli soldiers, says, [The] initial questioning is one of the most difficult moments... My head…Read More... | 16 Comments
Coming on the heels of last week's prisoner swap, Egyptian authorities have released to Israel 27-year-old Ilan Grapel, suspected in Cairo of having spied on Israel's behalf. Some two dozen Egyptians held in Israel were released in exchange. The only image much of the world saw of 27-year-old Ilan Grapel over the past four months was that of a tall, slightly pale, sunglass-wearing young man standing amid a crowd of Egyptians, pursing his lips in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The dual national American-Israeli was picked up by Egyptian authorities in June of this year on suspicion of spying for the Jewish…Read More... | 2 Comments
Mahmoud Abbas' popularity in the West is a headache for Benjamin Netanyahu. It's no wonder he'd rather do business with Hamas If I were Bibi Netanyahu, that’s what I’d want. I’d say to myself: “Mahmoud Abbas is a pain in the neck, he’s popular with the West, he makes Israel look bad – he cooperates with us and we don’t cooperate with him, so he goes to the UN and makes us look bad. Puts pressure on me to do things I don’t want to do and couldn’t do even if I wanted to, which I don’t. But Hamas? Hamas…Read More... | 11 Comments
Right? I mean, that's the immediate impression when you read it (h/t Political Correction). Rachel Abrams, who blogs at Bad Rachel, sits on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, the very same group that tried accusing Occupy Wall Street of anti-Semitism. Take a deep breath: Yeah. Rwanda, make way, here comes Mrs. Abrams. Even if you take out the actual howl for blood, that's just about one of the most hate-filled rants I've ever laid my eyes on. It's almost as if she wrote it to give readers a useful sample of what hate-speech really is. If that's…Read More... | 89 Comments
In August of 2002, less than 24 hours after hearing about the death of a dear friend, Marla Ann Bennett, I wrote a column in a prominent British newspaper about the world's loss. Marla was one of a number of people killed in the bombing of the Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus Frank Sinatra cafeteria. A popular meeting point for the foreign students studying abroad, the dead also included Israelis (Jews and Arabs). Less than 24 hours after watching the man responsible for the attack walk free from an Israeli prison as part of the Gilad Schalit exchange deal, another…Read More... | 11 Comments
I have been crying since 10:24 this morning. After three hours, my television was finally on mute, but suddenly my eyes caught a flurry of activity: grainy footage of a tiny but unmistakable youngster, walking in a slanted way and being propped or dragged under his arms by people who obviously controlled him. It was the first image of Gilad Schalit emerging from captivity. He was wearing a button-down stiff-collar shirt, so new it still had original packing creases, what looked like jeans, and a black baseball cap. The staid reporters on Channel 2 choked up in unison, they sniffled…Read More... | 41 Comments
Most of us will never be privy to the behind-closed-doors discussions and negotiations that took place indirectly between Israeli and Hamas officials. Why one Palestinian prisoner was included on the list while another one was left off is, according to Israeli security officials, a matter of strategic consideration. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insists that this is the best deal Israel could have gotten. But for the families of those killed by the very prisoners being released (or their accomplices), each name left on or left off is of great concern. Writing in Haaretz, Bradley Burston notes: In Israel's nine…Read More... | 9 Comments
Israel has released Palestinian prisoners from its jail in the past. But this exchange is especially touchy for a number of reasons, least of which might be the freshness of some of the attacks that landed these people in jail in the first place. But for the prisoners, this might not be the end of their time behind bars. Some of the families of foreign-national or dual-national victims killed in these attacks could take their cases to their respective national courts and governments. A Palestinian prisoner like Ahlam Tamimi, one of the 27 woman being released, is being "exiled" to…Read More... | 10 Comments
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Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
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WATCH: Activists interrupt Bennett at Diaspora event, denounce occupation http://t.co/tmVLxXg5zI
Lapid and Netanyahu aren't the problem, their voters are http://t.co/xedgTDQ0Zi by @nsheizaf
New on +972: Dispelling modern myths of Muslim anti-Semitism http://t.co/NwazYBUowB
Israeli man kills four at bank, reportedly after being denied credit http://t.co/EH6gIG7WUW
Israeli Finance Minister Lapid: No to settlement freeze, no to compromise on Jerusalem http://t.co/sNu260Sacs