Haya Asaad waited for more than a decade for her fiancé to get out of Israeli prison. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY — At a modest dressmaking shop in downtown Gaza City, the tailor makes the final touches on Haya Asaad’s classic tight wedding dress. But Asaad isn’t your typical bride: an Israeli court kept her wedding on hold for more than 12 years while her fiancé was behind bars. The story began when Asaad, now 30, was studying business administration. Eyad was a teacher at the same school, and the young couple immediately fell in love. Eyad proposed after only…Read More... | 2 Comments
What kind of future is Israel offering Palestinian women when they can't even obtain permits to leave the country in search of a better life? Amira Hass published an article in Haaretz last week about the Israel government rejecting a request by a young woman from Gaza to travel to Turkey in order to get married and live there. The young woman turned to Israel's District Coordination and Liaison Office through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee for permission to exit through the Erez Crossing into the West Bank. From there should would first travel to Jordan before taking off for…Read More... | 13 Comments
In response to Palestinian hunger strikes, Israel has made — and subsequently broken — all sorts of promises, both in individual cases and regarding the practice of administrative detention itself. Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan announced last week that he would begin a week-long hunger strike to protest the renewal of his administrative detention. Adnan made headlines in 2012 when he went on a hunger strike over his administrative detention. He was released after his health greatly deteriorated. Adnan was arrested once again last July during the IDF's "Operation Brother's Keeper," which came in the wake of the kidnapping of…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel held over 3,000 prisoners — in over 5,000 incidents — in solitary confinement over the course of last year. Over 200 minors were sent to solitary. Experts call the practice cruel and inhuman treatment, and agree that it causes severe psychiatric problems. With two attacks in Jerusalem within the span of a week committed by men who spent significant period of time in solitary, it merits a closer look. By Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Einat Adar) On Wednesday night, October 29, a man arrived on a motorcycle to a conference organized by a Jewish right-wing movement to promote…Read More... | 2 Comments
If Israel was serious about restoring security to its capital, it would recognize the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem and find a way for all residents to live in dignity. Trying to make good on his promise to restore quiet in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet approved an amendment to Israel's penal code on Sunday, which would prescribe up to 20 years in prison for someone caught throwing stones at a vehicle (and 10 without having to prove intent to cause harm). Currently, Palestinians convicted in Israeli civil courts of throwing stones receive around two years in jail, so…Read More... | 85 Comments
To pretend as though the events of recent days are extraordinary is to ignore the context that led to this ‘flare-up’ and is disrespectful to the millions of Palestinians who wrestle with the occupation every day, in both the West Bank and in Gaza. It’s Wednesday. The death toll in Gaza is in the dozens and rising as Layla*, a Christian Palestinian, gets into my car. We live in Bethelehem. She needs a ride to pick up her tasrich (permit) from the Civil Administration’s office in Gush Etzion, where Israel and the Western media claim that the current “flare-up” began.…Read More... | 21 Comments
Providing context may be taboo at a time when the entire country is focused on the fate of three kidnapped Israeli teens, but it is part and parcel of the story. Since news broke Friday of the alleged kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers who study in a West Bank yeshiva north of Hebron the night before, media outlets and social media users have been gripping at straws to publicize new information on what has quickly become a national tragedy dominating Israel's public discourse. The kidnapping and reactions to it, however, cannot be viewed in a vacuum. The Israel Defense Forces…Read More... | 52 Comments
This week: Hammering away at the wall, refugees march for return, Palestinians form a unity government, Gazan youth wave at the border, Palestinians burn tires, protests in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners, protests against the occupation, and assessing the damage to private Palestinian land.Read More... | 2 Comments
When discussing administrative detention with Israelis, there comes a point when the discussion becomes an argument like one about religion -- based on blind faith in the security establishment. By definition, administrative detainees have not committed a crime. An administrative detention order is issued against people (almost all of whom are Palestinians) against whom there is no evidentiary basis to be put on trial. None at all. Because there is no evidence, there is also no indictment, no trial, no opportunity for the detainee to dispute the charges against him, no conviction and no verdict or sentencing to determine the…Read More... | 46 Comments
Rather than arguing over the 'gestures' of releasing long-term prisoners, Israel must use restraint during arrests in the West Bank, while ensuring fair and swift procedures in the military courts. (Translated by Ofer Neiman) One of the main factors behind the failure of the recent round of Israeli-Palestinian talks was Israel's decision to cancel the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, which had been agreed upon as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority. The issue of prisoner release, whether in the framework of negotiations or in the framework of prisoner exchange deals, touches on very strong sentiments on both sides. For…Read More... | 8 Comments
Strikers claim Israel reneged on a 2012 agreement to limit the use of administrative detention, a legal tool under which they are all being held, Palestinian rights group says. Over 100 Palestinian administrative detainees have started a hunger strike in Israeli prisons, Palestinian prisoner support and human rights group Addameer reported on Thursday. The strike comes in the context of an agreement that Israel made to end a previous mass hunger strike in 2012, in which it agreed to limit its use of administrative detention, according to Addameer. The prisoners say that Israel has reneged on that agreement. At the…Read More...
To mark International Palestinian Prisoners' Day, which has been commemorated annually by Palestinians worldwide since 1974, Activestills brings you a look into the lives of Palestinian prisoners and their supporters struggling to obtain freedom. According to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support organization, there are currently 5,224 Palestinian men and women held in Israeli prisons. These include 183 administrative detainees; 210 children; 21 female prisoners; and 11 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Since the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip began in 1967, more than 700,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by Israel. To this day, dozens…Read More... | 1 Comment
New feature: A selection of Larry Derfner’s sociopolitical outbursts on Facebook for the week ending Saturday, April 12. THE GREAT COLBERT As he moves into the mainstream of the mainstream (taking over the David Letterman show), a reminder of Stephen Colbert’s unforgettable roast of George W. Bush (and the press) at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner (FB status, April 12): This is to the Bush years what Edward R. Murrow's famous TV takedown was to the McCarthy era. In 2006 it was finally sinking in on America that Bush and his wars were a disaster, and that the press had…Read More...
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