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sinai

  • His finest hours: On Sharon's murderous legacy

    From the Qibya massacre, to Sabra and Shatila and the dirty tricks, lies and deceptions that made the West Bank settlements what they are today, Ariel Sharon has caused unimaginable damage to Israel, its army, morality, and political life. (Translated by Sol Salbe) On Saturday night, as soon as  Ariel Sharon's death became known, our hyperactive education minister, Shai Piron, rushed to announce that teachers would devote part of the following day's lesson to Sharon's legacy. These classes would be based on prepared outlines which were supposed to be distributed in the morning. You can get a really good idea of what…

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  • WATCH: Eritrean refugee's shocking personal testimony

    Zabib Sultan, an asylum seeker from Eritrea who heads the Eritrean Women's Community Center, shares a shocking testimony about her and other women's experiences on their way to Israel. She gave her testimony during a meeting organized by Amnesty International and the ASAF NGO on May 23, 2013.

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  • Abducted from Sudan, tortured in Sinai: Mother and child languish in Israeli jail

    After facing brutal treatment at the hands of Sinai smugglers, an Eritrean mother and her baby daughter - who did not intend to go to Israel - have found themselves victim to Israeli policy, despite not having done a thing to deserve such a fate. By Anat Ben-Dor There are things one can do only when no one else is looking. Detaining a baby girl a year and three months old for a period of three years, for instance. We met Ambat* yesterday in Saharonim prison - an active child, she was dressed in red and was held in her mother's…

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  • Eritrean activist: Asylum seekers plea for safety, compassion

    Last week, asylum seekers and their Israeli supporters traveled south to the Saharonim prison near the Egyptian border, where thousands of asylum seekers are held. The prison is presently under expansion to hold thousands more - new Israeli legislation, coming amidst a package of moves to put pressure on refugees and asylum seekers, now enables detention for years at a time, even if the detained asylum seekers cannot be deported under international law. Eritrean activist and asylum seeker Isayas Teklebrhan spoke during last week's protest. His speech is reprinted in full, below.  By Isayas Teklebrhan Dear Brothers and Sisters. Thank you all…

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  • Palestinian prisoners, Eritrean refugees: On the outskirts of Israeli law

    In the case of the refugees trapped on the Israeli border, as in the matter of hunger striking prisoner Khader Adnan, Israel's highest court wriggled out of a decision, escaping the shackles of democracy and international law that are supposed to guide its work. Last February, a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail was on the verge of death, more than two months into a hunger strike he had launched in protest of his administrative detention order under Israeli military law. On Sunday, February 19, the High Court of Justice agreed to hear Khader Adnan’s petition against the order – and…

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  • A scorching desert jail for asylum seekers, with no way out

    While Eritrean asylum seekers cannot be deported due to the risk they would face upon return, the new Prevention of Infiltration Law enables Israel to keep them in prison indefinitely. New arrivals, most having faced rape and torture en route to Israel, are presently being held in a prison in the desert, and nobody knows how long they'll be kept there. A visit to Ketsiot prison. By Yonatan Berman Almost three years ago, I wrote about how much I hate the journey to Ketsiot prison; how frustrating it is there, even for the fleeting visitor who knows that at the…

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  • Lethal Sinai attack is connected to the Gaza blockade

    The lethal attack on an Egyptian military outpost, in an attempted incursion into Israel, is another reminder of the terrorist infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula. This infrastructure was built in part on the basis of the Gaza-Egypt-Israel smuggling industry, which is fueled by the massive restrictions on movement and trade imposed on the Strip by Israel and Egypt. On Sunday evening, terrorists attacked an Egyptian military outpost in the Sinai Peninsula, near the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings, connecting Egypt with the Gaza Strip and Israel respectively. Fifteen Egyptian soldiers were killed in the attack, in which assailants seized…

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  • The tragedy and threat of African refugees in Israel

    With at least 60,000 now in the country and 2,000 to 3,000 more coming every month, African refugees, for all the trauma they have been through, are unassimilable in this country. The first in a three-part series. On Friday, with the headlines screaming of Eritreans raping a 15-year-old Israeli girl,  I went with a photographer friend to the Hatikva neighborhood in South Tel Aviv to get a sense of how the Jewish residents were feeling toward the Africans, and vice versa. I was surprised to see no hatred on the faces of the Israelis nor fear on the faces of the Africans. Everyone looked calm, doing their Friday afternoon…

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  • Testimony: Sudanese refugee details torture by Sinai smugglers

    By Sigal Rozen It has been almost two years since chilling evidence of horrors inflicted by human traffickers on refugees on their way to Israel through the Sinai desert started being published and broadcast in Israel and throughout the world. NGOs have provided detailed information, systematically collected, regarding smuggling networks operating in the Sinai and beyond (in Israel, Ethiopia, and Sudan) to influential bodies in the international arena including diplomats, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and the Israeli authorities. Despite these numerous appeals, and the concrete nature of the information that was transferred, the detention camps, the extortion, and the…

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  • New law targeting refugees employs logic of human traffickers

    Israel's "Infiltrators' Law" strips the refugee and asylum seeker of liberty, dignity and the right to due process. In producing a form of life that is rendered unworthy of living, the government reformulates the strategies employed by notoriously violent refugee smugglers. By Itamar Mann The amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, passed in the Knesset late Monday night, makes no differentiation between unauthorized migrants pending deportation and asylum seekers: they are all grouped together under the law’s ominous title, and a non-discriminatory policy of detention, potentially for life, is inflicted upon all of them. This far-reaching measure contradicts Israel’s…

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  • WATCH: Refugees smuggled to Israel face organ theft in Sinai

    CNN and Egypt’s Channel 25 released this week chilling video reports lending credence to rumors of an emerging organ trade in the Sinai Peninsula By Noa Yachot Thanks to a spate of media interest over the last year, the numerous ordeals faced by African refugees smuggled to Israel have been well-documented. Detailed reports in the press and by rights organizations have covered the exorbitant amounts Bedouin smugglers demand for the coveted trip from the Horn of Africa to the Holy Land, along with the horrors many face once in Sinai. Smugglers may at that point suddenly demand more money -…

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