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Physicians for Human Rights

  • Resource: How the Shin Bet holds Gazans' health ransom

    A 2008 report by Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, detailing for the first time the methods Israel's domestic security services use to exploit the medical needs of Gaza Strip residents in order to extort them into becoming collaborators for Israel. In September 2014, dozens of Israeli army intelligence reservists publicly spoke out about the way that they were trained and ordered to conduct surveillance on innocent Palestinians to find ways of extorting them into becoming informants. Such information included innocent Palestinians' sexual orientation, which the Shin Bet could threaten to expose, or health problems -- their own…

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  • Photos of the week: Asylum seekers, LGBT activists hit the streets

    This week: solidarity with asylum seekers, animal rights activism, denouncing against attacks on transgender people, return of Palestinian militants' remains, tear gas in Aida Camp, military training in the Jordan Valley, Palestinian steadfastness in Khirbet Makhoul, protests against medical privatization, and weekly demonstrations against the occupation.                    

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  • After years of false promises, time to close Guantanamo

    It has been five years since President Barack Obama promised to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention center - and yet 155 prisoners remain imprisoned under harsh conditions. By Chen Liraz Five years ago yesterday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The facility has not closed, and as of today, 155 detainees are still imprisoned there. So what's the story? Established in January 2002 following the September 11th attacks, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has become a large holding facility for hundreds of people. Detainees there were captured as part of the notorious "War on…

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  • WATCH: Why is Israel still shackling hospitalized prisoners?

    As far back as 2008, Israel's Health Ministry and Prison Service formulated clear criteria for the shackling of hospitalized prisoners. But as it turns out, the Prison Service still dictates the policy and doctors' hands are tied -- and shackling procedures are still being applied arbitrarily. http://youtu.be/jlPiOcBJgBQ Related: As Palestinian hunger strikes come to a head, world begins to take notice

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  • Hunger-striker Samer Issawi is another statistic in an unjust legal system

    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…

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  • As Palestinian hunger strikes come to a head, world begins to take notice

    Four Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention and the conditions in which they are being held. While the EU calls on Israel to respect its obligations toward Palestinian prisoners' human rights, an Israeli NGO reports they are being treated unethically in hospital. All anyone in Israel has spoken about for the past week is ‘Prisoner X,’ the Jewish-Israeli-Australian Mossad agent held secretly by his own country, who supposedly took his own life in prison two years ago. But only a few miles from Israeli newsrooms in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, outrage over a different type…

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  • 'Why don't you write about Syria?'

    Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help. It's not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: "why don't you write Syria instead?" Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel's image, in some sick, relativist fashion. A rather funny - or tragic, depending on what you…

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  • Palestinian prisoners' rights activist detained, tortured in Israeli prison

    Ayman Nasser, a researcher for the Palestinian prisoners' rights NGO Addameer, has himself become a detainee in an Israeli prison, having been charged with several counts of membership in an illegal organization and of partaking in illegal assembly. According to Physicians for Human Rights, he has been tortured during his 39-day-long interrogation. Nasser, 42, was arrested on October 15 in a nighttime raid by armed soldiers and attack dogs on his house in the village of Saffa in the Ramallah district. According to Physicians for Human Rights, Nasser was taken into custody after a prolonged search in his house and a…

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  • Turning one's back on the world and all its suffering

    A group of twenty people who fled the horrors of Eritrea was being prevented from crossing the fence to Israel at gunpoint. The army also prevented doctors and volunteers from supplying the refugees with food and medicine.  UPDATE: Around 6:30 P.M., it was made known that two women along with the 14-year-old boy will be allowed into Israel to receive medical treatment. The rest of the asylum seekers will be left on the Egyptian side of the fence. Prime Minister Netanyahu has confirmed that three of the "infiltrators" will be let in, while the rest will turn back. According to initial reports, the rest of the group has…

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  • Hunger striking Palestinian footballer at risk of death

    Mahmoud Sarsak, midfielder for the Palestinian national football team, has been on hunger strike for 82 days in protest of his detention without trial. Physicians for Human Rights has expressed "grave concern for his life." Sarsak (25) is a resident of the Rafah refugee camp and a prominent player in the Palestinian national football team. On July 22, 2009 Sarsak arrived at the Erez checkpoint between Gaza and Israel with a valid permit to enter the West Bank, where he was seeking to advance his sporting career, after already having received offers from a German football team. However, the permit didn't…

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  • The tent protest: neither social justice, nor revolution

    This article was jointly written by Dahlia Scheindlin and Joseph Dana, based on our shared experiences of the protests. The popular, mass protests here that began as a cry of rage against housing prices have evolved admirably into a public outcry against a slew of deep-rooted problems in Israeli social and economic life. Visiting the tent camps early every day, we’ve watched the protest grow from a motley band of wishful Woodstockers at the tip of Rothschild Boulevard two weeks ago, to a sort of mini-metropolis spreading close to the end of the road. There’s a first aid tent courtesy…

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  • A quiet week: cottage cheese and social (in)justices

    In the absence of any major diplomatic fiascos or triumphs, wars or terror attacks, here is a roundup of a regular old week in Israel: Right-leaning Kadima MK Israel Hasson  has proposed that Israelis should not be allowed to perform their national service (an alternate form of IDF service for those with a special exemption) at human rights organizations. The idea is that national service should not include organizations like the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, and others because Hasson is miffed about their involvement in the Goldstone investigation. But as Haaretz explains: Hasson is…

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  • The passing of Sonia Peres: For better or worse, a small country

    Sonia Peres, wife of Shimon Peres for 67 years, died peacefully in her sleep on 20 January. She was 87 years old. The media eulogized her with photos and reminiscences of pre-and-early Israeli society, when everyone knew everyone and people lived far more modestly. But Israel is still a very small country, and most Israelis are two phone calls away from a member of Knesset or perhaps even from a minister in the government.  The result is a society of favors - which can be both good and bad The death of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ wife Sonia has reminded…

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