Gaza’s only power station forced to shut down over fuel shortageMarch 15, 2014
Gaza is bracing for a “humanitarian crisis” after its only power station was shut down due to a lack of fuel from Israel. The Israeli government closed the Kerem Shalom crossing this week, effectively severing the fuel supply to Gaza.
In the wake of a number of rocket attacks on Israeli territory on Wednesday, the Israeli government closed all borders with Gaza and suspended the delivery of all commercial goods to the region. As a consequence of the sanctions, Gaza’s only power station ran out of fuel Saturday. 
"The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing," said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement to AFP.
The Gaza power plant provides about a third of Gaza’s electricity needs, while the rest of the territory’s energy is provided by Egypt and Israel.
Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told Turkish news agency Anadolu that the lack of fuel would lead to electricity being cut off 16 hours a day in Gaza.
"Gaza is bracing for a humanitarian catastrophe if the crossing remains closed," said Khalil, who has urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to open up the Kerem Shalon border crossing.
This is not the first instance when Gaza’s power plant was forced to shut down. A couple of months ago the plant had to be turned off after Egypt blocked a number of smuggling tunnels on its border with Gaza which were used to bring in fuel.
Israel eventually allowed the entry of 450,000 liters of fuel, paid for by the Qatari government, so that the Palestinians could restart their power plant.
Source
The US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki statement on Wednesday’s rocket attacks into Israel, completely ignoring the 29 aerial strikes into Gaza: 

"It is reprehensible that dozens of rockets have been fired today alone. There is no justification for such attacks. We call for these terrorist attacks to cease immediately. Israel, like any nation, has a right to defend itself."

Gaza’s only power station forced to shut down over fuel shortage
March 15, 2014

Gaza is bracing for a “humanitarian crisis” after its only power station was shut down due to a lack of fuel from Israel. The Israeli government closed the Kerem Shalom crossing this week, effectively severing the fuel supply to Gaza.

In the wake of a number of rocket attacks on Israeli territory on Wednesday, the Israeli government closed all borders with Gaza and suspended the delivery of all commercial goods to the region. As a consequence of the sanctions, Gaza’s only power station ran out of fuel Saturday. 

"The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing," said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement to AFP.

The Gaza power plant provides about a third of Gaza’s electricity needs, while the rest of the territory’s energy is provided by Egypt and Israel.

Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told Turkish news agency Anadolu that the lack of fuel would lead to electricity being cut off 16 hours a day in Gaza.

"Gaza is bracing for a humanitarian catastrophe if the crossing remains closed," said Khalil, who has urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to open up the Kerem Shalon border crossing.

This is not the first instance when Gaza’s power plant was forced to shut down. A couple of months ago the plant had to be turned off after Egypt blocked a number of smuggling tunnels on its border with Gaza which were used to bring in fuel.

Israel eventually allowed the entry of 450,000 liters of fuel, paid for by the Qatari government, so that the Palestinians could restart their power plant.

Source

The US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki statement on Wednesday’s rocket attacks into Israel, completely ignoring the 29 aerial strikes into Gaza: 

"It is reprehensible that dozens of rockets have been fired today alone. There is no justification for such attacks. We call for these terrorist attacks to cease immediately. Israel, like any nation, has a right to defend itself."

183 Palestinian children arrested by army, facing military courts in January aloneMarch 4, 2014
A new report indicates that as of the end of January, 183 Palestinian children were arrested and detained by Israeli occupation soldiers and occupation police, and imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Of the 183 children, 20 are between the ages of 14 and 15 years old.Defence for Children International - Palestine section (DCI-PS) added in its detention bulletin that 75 percent of Palestinian children detained during 2013 “endured physical violence during arrest and interrogation.”DCI-PS documents specific case studies of Palestinian children being detained, arrested and violently abused by Israeli forces. In their bulletin, the rights group highlights the case of 16-year-old Salah S. from Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank:
In January, Israeli soldiers detained Salah S, 16, from Azzun, Qalqilya around 4:30 pm while he was with friends near a road used by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Israeli soldiers held him overnight and transferred him to multiple locations over a 12-hour period, while subjecting him to physical violence and ill-treatment.Salah was previously arrested in January 2013, then 15 years old, and spent 10 months at Megiddo prison inside Israel.On January 1, Israeli forces arrested 16 residents from at-Tabaqa village, west of Hebron, in the West Bank, including nine Palestinian children, some as young as 13, on suspicion of stone throwing.DCI-Palestine research shows that children arrive to Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived. Unlike their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian children have no right to be accompanied by a parent during an interrogation. In 96 percent of cases documented by DCI-Palestine in 2013, children were questioned alone and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.
Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years [old], are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is for throwing stones. Currently, 41.5 percent of Palestinian child prisoners are detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Source

183 Palestinian children arrested by army, facing military courts in January alone
March 4, 2014

A new report indicates that as of the end of January, 183 Palestinian children were arrested and detained by Israeli occupation soldiers and occupation police, and imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Of the 183 children, 20 are between the ages of 14 and 15 years old.

Defence for Children International - Palestine section (DCI-PS) added in its detention bulletin that 75 percent of Palestinian children detained during 2013 “endured physical violence during arrest and interrogation.”

DCI-PS documents specific case studies of Palestinian children being detained, arrested and violently abused by Israeli forces. In their bulletin, the rights group highlights the case of 16-year-old Salah S. from Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank:

In January, Israeli soldiers detained Salah S, 16, from Azzun, Qalqilya around 4:30 pm while he was with friends near a road used by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Israeli soldiers held him overnight and transferred him to multiple locations over a 12-hour period, while subjecting him to physical violence and ill-treatment.

Salah was previously arrested in January 2013, then 15 years old, and spent 10 months at Megiddo prison inside Israel.

On January 1, Israeli forces arrested 16 residents from at-Tabaqa village, west of Hebron, in the West Bank, including nine Palestinian children, some as young as 13, on suspicion of stone throwing.

DCI-Palestine research shows that children arrive to Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived. Unlike their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian children have no right to be accompanied by a parent during an interrogation. In 96 percent of cases documented by DCI-Palestine in 2013, children were questioned alone and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.
Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years [old], are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. 
The most common charge is for throwing stones. Currently, 41.5 percent of Palestinian child prisoners are detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Source

discount-transorbital-lobotomy

Here are events happening all over the world for Israeli Apartheid Week:

Palestinians destroy separation barrier in two West Bank villages - During the early hours of Friday morning, Palestinians in two Palestinian villages took part in a “direct action” to destroy parts of the separation barrier. In Bir Nabala, located on the other side of Route 443, Palestinians used hammers to break open a hole in the wall, while Palestinians in Rafat (near the Ofer Military Prison) cut through 20 meters of the security fence bordering their village.

The army did not arrive during the action, and no mainstream media outlet was invited.

Source

This week marked the start of the annual Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient tradition on which 80,000 families still rely for their livelihoods. Yet these families face growing economic hardship due to Israeli land confiscations, access restrictions, settler attacks, and not least the widespread uprooting, destruction and theft of the trees themselves. 
The infographic “Uprooted” focuses on the staggering fact that Israeli authorities have uprooted over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees since 1967, the equivalent to razing all of the 24,000 trees in New York’s central park 33 times. - Visualizing Palestine

This week marked the start of the annual Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient tradition on which 80,000 families still rely for their livelihoods. Yet these families face growing economic hardship due to Israeli land confiscations, access restrictions, settler attacks, and not least the widespread uprooting, destruction and theft of the trees themselves.

The infographic “Uprooted” focuses on the staggering fact that Israeli authorities have uprooted over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees since 1967, the equivalent to razing all of the 24,000 trees in New York’s central park 33 times. - Visualizing Palestine

Palestinian farm dodges Israeli bulldozers - in treehousesAugust 16, 2013
Mazen Saadeh faces a problem. In trying to expand the facilities of the campground and restaurant he manages in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, he risks attracting the attention of the Israeli authorities tasked with halting Palestinian construction.
Hosh Jasmin, the cooperative farm and tourist destination that Saadeh manages with his partner Aidan Pendleton, is located in the West Bank’s Area C, meaning it lies on Palestinian land under complete Israeli civil and military control. Area C and Hosh Jasmin are under full occupation, a situation that brings with it many challenges, including the threat of demolition. A restaurant just across the valley from Hosh Jasmin has been demolished by the Israeli military three times.
“We need to build. But it’s hard, and it’s forbidden,” Saadeh said. “If we add a centimeter, the Israelis will come and demolish it. Not demolish what we added — they will demolish everything. So it’s a big challenge.”
In response, Saadeh has come up with a unique solution: Since building on the land is prohibited, he builds in the trees.
Saadeh and volunteers at Hosh Jasmin recently completed construction on one treehouse, and they plan to build two more in the coming months. They have also built additional rooms on top of existing structures in a way that allows them to circumvent the language of the law.
The treehouses will be used as rooms for visitors to stay overnight when they visit Hosh Jasmin. Currently, visitors can stay in tents for 50 shekels — around $14. Hosh Jasmin attracts a wide range of foreign and Palestinian tourists, and it was featured in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year under the headline “Growing Figs in a Place of War.” But Hosh Jasmin is more than a simple hotel. Taking its name from one used for shared spaces common in Syrian communities, Hosh Jasmin is meant to become a model community where food is produced on-site. In addition to the restaurant and campsite, Hosh Jasmin is home to a farm with 11 kinds of vegetables, as well as chickens, rabbits and sheep. Saadeh’s goal is to eventually serve only food produced on the farm, all grown organically.
“I am sorry to say it, but Palestinian farmers, like Israeli farmers, use huge quantities of chemicals,” Saadeh said. “What you buy in the market is not good.”
Saadeh became concerned about the quality of food produced in Palestine after a friend of his, an agricultural engineer at Bethlehem University, showed him a study he had done on the amount of chemicals used in Palestinian agriculture. “He found 38 percent of that fruit and that vegetable are poisonous,” Saadeh recalls. “He told me, when you go to the market, don’t buy the beautiful apple or beautiful tomato. Buy the bad one, with a bad look. Because a bad look is more natural than a good look.”
According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, over 490 tons of pesticides are used in the West Bank each year, including about 200 tons of methyl bromide, a highly toxic chemical phased out of use in the United States and Europe in the early 2000s. There is widespread use of 14 different pesticides that are, according to the institute, “internationally suspended, canceled or banned.”
But the Hosh Jasmin project extends well beyond the production of healthier food. The volunteers, employees and owners of Hosh Jasmin are actively constructing a new model for life in Area C. Saadeh said an important part of that project is supporting Palestinian work; all of the food Hosh Jasmin buys is produced in Palestine.
“Even the kind of beers we offer is the Palestinian one. It’s very powerful, I think. It’s all Palestinians, with Palestinian hands, with Palestinian farmers from Palestinian areas,” Saadeh said.
Casey Asprooth-Jackson, an American who spent several weeks in Hosh Jasmin and helped construct the first treehouse, had previously worked with a community-supported agriculture project in Upstate New York. He explained what he sees as the similarities and differences between agricultural projects in Palestine versus the rest of the world.
“The way that people live in most places in the world, there’s a disconnection between the land and your life, and that’s something that we want to intercede in and break,” he said. “Here, it’s even further because there is an occupation.”
The demographics of Hosh Jasmin’s employees reflect a commitment to improving life under occupation. All seven of the employees come from Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem, Nablus and Qalandiya — areas where it’s often difficult if not impossible to secure a decent job.
Alaa Qsass, a Hosh Jasmin employee from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, said there are two reasons he prefers working in Hosh Jasmin to working in the camp.
“One of them is that, in the camp, it’s not allowed to you to have a lot of kinds of work. Just the [low-quality] jobs,” he said. “But the other reason is, you know camp is very, very, very—there’s no space in the camp, you know? You can’t see this view in the camp and you can’t see any tree, actually, in the camp. You can’t walk in the mountain like that. You can’t smell air like that.”
Despite the advantages of working at Hosh Jasmin, Qsass said, there are also difficulties and dangers related to the farm’s status in Area C. “There’s danger to working in Area C. Some nights we worked here, and the Israeli police came and took photos of us. And sometimes they stop us when we come here and ask us questions,” he said.
Another employee at Hosh Jasmin, Jehad Afaghani, was born in Balata refugee camp in Nablus and spent four months working on the farm. He said he thinks Hosh Jasmin represents a model that could be exported to other parts of Area C to improve living conditions around the West Bank.
“It’s a fantastic way to resist, you know? You don’t need to be in contact with the army, but you can improve yourself by existing in one place,” he said. “You could bring back life to Area C.”
Source

Palestinian farm dodges Israeli bulldozers - in treehouses
August 16, 2013

Mazen Saadeh faces a problem. In trying to expand the facilities of the campground and restaurant he manages in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, he risks attracting the attention of the Israeli authorities tasked with halting Palestinian construction.

Hosh Jasmin, the cooperative farm and tourist destination that Saadeh manages with his partner Aidan Pendleton, is located in the West Bank’s Area C, meaning it lies on Palestinian land under complete Israeli civil and military control. Area C and Hosh Jasmin are under full occupation, a situation that brings with it many challenges, including the threat of demolition. A restaurant just across the valley from Hosh Jasmin has been demolished by the Israeli military three times.

“We need to build. But it’s hard, and it’s forbidden,” Saadeh said. “If we add a centimeter, the Israelis will come and demolish it. Not demolish what we added — they will demolish everything. So it’s a big challenge.”

In response, Saadeh has come up with a unique solution: Since building on the land is prohibited, he builds in the trees.

Saadeh and volunteers at Hosh Jasmin recently completed construction on one treehouse, and they plan to build two more in the coming months. They have also built additional rooms on top of existing structures in a way that allows them to circumvent the language of the law.

The treehouses will be used as rooms for visitors to stay overnight when they visit Hosh Jasmin. Currently, visitors can stay in tents for 50 shekels — around $14. Hosh Jasmin attracts a wide range of foreign and Palestinian tourists, and it was featured in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year under the headline “Growing Figs in a Place of War.” But Hosh Jasmin is more than a simple hotel. Taking its name from one used for shared spaces common in Syrian communities, Hosh Jasmin is meant to become a model community where food is produced on-site. In addition to the restaurant and campsite, Hosh Jasmin is home to a farm with 11 kinds of vegetables, as well as chickens, rabbits and sheep. Saadeh’s goal is to eventually serve only food produced on the farm, all grown organically.

“I am sorry to say it, but Palestinian farmers, like Israeli farmers, use huge quantities of chemicals,” Saadeh said. “What you buy in the market is not good.”

Saadeh became concerned about the quality of food produced in Palestine after a friend of his, an agricultural engineer at Bethlehem University, showed him a study he had done on the amount of chemicals used in Palestinian agriculture. “He found 38 percent of that fruit and that vegetable are poisonous,” Saadeh recalls. “He told me, when you go to the market, don’t buy the beautiful apple or beautiful tomato. Buy the bad one, with a bad look. Because a bad look is more natural than a good look.”

According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, over 490 tons of pesticides are used in the West Bank each year, including about 200 tons of methyl bromide, a highly toxic chemical phased out of use in the United States and Europe in the early 2000s. There is widespread use of 14 different pesticides that are, according to the institute, “internationally suspended, canceled or banned.”

But the Hosh Jasmin project extends well beyond the production of healthier food. The volunteers, employees and owners of Hosh Jasmin are actively constructing a new model for life in Area C. Saadeh said an important part of that project is supporting Palestinian work; all of the food Hosh Jasmin buys is produced in Palestine.

“Even the kind of beers we offer is the Palestinian one. It’s very powerful, I think. It’s all Palestinians, with Palestinian hands, with Palestinian farmers from Palestinian areas,” Saadeh said.

Casey Asprooth-Jackson, an American who spent several weeks in Hosh Jasmin and helped construct the first treehouse, had previously worked with a community-supported agriculture project in Upstate New York. He explained what he sees as the similarities and differences between agricultural projects in Palestine versus the rest of the world.

“The way that people live in most places in the world, there’s a disconnection between the land and your life, and that’s something that we want to intercede in and break,” he said. “Here, it’s even further because there is an occupation.”

The demographics of Hosh Jasmin’s employees reflect a commitment to improving life under occupation. All seven of the employees come from Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem, Nablus and Qalandiya — areas where it’s often difficult if not impossible to secure a decent job.

Alaa Qsass, a Hosh Jasmin employee from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, said there are two reasons he prefers working in Hosh Jasmin to working in the camp.

“One of them is that, in the camp, it’s not allowed to you to have a lot of kinds of work. Just the [low-quality] jobs,” he said. “But the other reason is, you know camp is very, very, very—there’s no space in the camp, you know? You can’t see this view in the camp and you can’t see any tree, actually, in the camp. You can’t walk in the mountain like that. You can’t smell air like that.”

Despite the advantages of working at Hosh Jasmin, Qsass said, there are also difficulties and dangers related to the farm’s status in Area C. “There’s danger to working in Area C. Some nights we worked here, and the Israeli police came and took photos of us. And sometimes they stop us when we come here and ask us questions,” he said.

Another employee at Hosh Jasmin, Jehad Afaghani, was born in Balata refugee camp in Nablus and spent four months working on the farm. He said he thinks Hosh Jasmin represents a model that could be exported to other parts of Area C to improve living conditions around the West Bank.

“It’s a fantastic way to resist, you know? You don’t need to be in contact with the army, but you can improve yourself by existing in one place,” he said. “You could bring back life to Area C.”

Source

Professor & physicist Stephen Hawking has joined the academic boycott of Israel “based upon his knowledge of Palestine & on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”
In another stride forward in the campaign for boycott, divestment & sanctions against Israel, Hawking pulled out of a conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. 
"The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue," Hawking said after Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza in 2009.

Professor & physicist Stephen Hawking has joined the academic boycott of Israel “based upon his knowledge of Palestine & on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”

In another stride forward in the campaign for boycott, divestment & sanctions against Israel, Hawking pulled out of a conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. 

"The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue," Hawking said after Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza in 2009.

In response to President Obama’s visit to Israel today, Palestinians built a new protest tent village of Afhad Younis in the E1 area. More than 15 tents were erected while anti-US & anti-Obama signs were scattered throughout the village near the site of the Bab al-Shams protest village that Israeli forces tore down in January.
Mohammad Khatib, a spokesman for the activists, said soldiers handed protesters a document declaring the area a closed military zone."We are staying. We are Palestinians, and we will stay here. They will have to evacuate us. They will have to use their power to do it, but we will not do it by ourselves," Khatib told Ma’an."We are staying here because this is Palestinian land. This is our land, and no one has a right to evacuate us."
Watch a video of the new protest site here.
Photo

In response to President Obama’s visit to Israel today, Palestinians built a new protest tent village of Afhad Younis in the E1 area. More than 15 tents were erected while anti-US & anti-Obama signs were scattered throughout the village near the site of the Bab al-Shams protest village that Israeli forces tore down in January.

Mohammad Khatib, a spokesman for the activists, said soldiers handed protesters a document declaring the area a closed military zone.

"We are staying. We are Palestinians, and we will stay here. They will have to evacuate us. They will have to use their power to do it, but we will not do it by ourselves," Khatib told Ma’an.

"We are staying here because this is Palestinian land. This is our land, and no one has a right to evacuate us."

Watch a video of the new protest site here.

Photo

How Israel gets away with torturing Palestinians to deathFebruary 26, 2013
Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest - February 18 - and the day of his death - February 23 - his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.
Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.
When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat - who leaves a pregnant widow and two children - died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.
What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.
The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.
The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011, 700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.
Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”
Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.
In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.
And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.
In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.
Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.
Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisoners refused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.
Source

How Israel gets away with torturing Palestinians to death
February 26, 2013

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest - February 18 - and the day of his death - February 23 - his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat - who leaves a pregnant widow and two children - died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011, 700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”

Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.

Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisoners refused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.

Source

Even more disturbing Instagram images from the Israeli army

These are from Instagram user “ybaruch,” who describes himself as “Retired Operations Sergeant at the Israeli army, now just a student” and gives his age as 21. He says that all the 144 images images posted to his account are his. Many of the images in his account indicate that “ybaruch” took part in frequent night raids and armed attacks on Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.

Photo 1: The caption says “Oops … one less Arab. Let’s see if he’ll try to escape from us again.” Posted on May 17, 2012.

Photo 2: An Israeli soldier plays a “card game” with confiscated Palestinian identity cards in the occupied West Bank, posted October 18, 2012.

Photo 3: The caption says “This is how we break into a house” & was taken in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank on June 15, 2012.

Photo 4: A Palestinian man blindfolded and bound can be seen during a night raid on July 10, 2012.

Click here for more.

In the name of God the Merciful
Greetings to all the Palestinian people and the freedom loving people of the world, those who take part in the battle for the freedom of the prisoners, all the prisoners, and first of all the heroic sick prisoners in the Ramlah Prison hospital. These heroes who have sacrificed their bodies and long years to Palestine and the Palestinian people deserve from us that we struggle for their liberation.
Today the Palestinian people proved to the occupation, despite the difficult conditions they go through, that the national cause and the prisoners’ issue are of high priority for every Palestinian. The economic situation and unemployment do not distract the Palestinian people from their prisoners, because they are people of bravery who took upon themselves to defend the Arab and Islamic nation and its holy sites. It saddens me so much that I am not with you to share with you this great battle for supporting the prisoners. But I decided to escalate my strike by avoiding drinking water in order to join this movement and the great battle that you wage on the ground.
I send a warm greeting for all of you who stay in the protest tents everywhere, especially those who are on hunger strike. I send greetings to the participants at the Nazareth tent, first of them Father Atallah Hanna, and to all the people involved in the sit-ins and marches in support of the prisoners.
I send greetings to the heroes who gathered yesterday in front of the court and broke all standards, restrictions and concepts of the occupation (the division between Western Jerusalem and Eastern Jerusalem). They proved to the occupation that AlQuds is one, it is our city, and their pure feet wandered the alleys that were walked by our forefathers before this occupation came, kill them and expels the rest of them.
I greet you, I’m proud of you and I draw the power to resist and my morale from you and your struggle. Yesterday, when I saw you in front of the courthouse, I became free and my jailer became the prisoner. I noticed the humiliation on the guards’ faces when they saw you clinging to your land despite the Judaization.
By God, I kiss those feet that liberated yesterday part of the lands of our holy city and raised the Palestinian flag high. Kissing these pure feet is an honor for me. You are Blessed, Jerusalem, with your heroic sons, the protectors of the Holy Land, the Church of the Resurrection and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will meet soon, God willing, O heroes of Palestine and the free people of the world.
I send my greetings to the free people of the world everywhere, especially in our sister Egypt, to the fans of Zamalek group and Al-Jazeera Sports commentator. I send my greetings and salute to every person. And to Shahed and Maleka.
Concerning my health, I was transferred on Thursday to some hospital, I do not remember its name, after suffering a sharp drop in blood pressure and heart beat where the pressure was 74/40 and pulse 35 beats per minute. I lost consciousness.
I continue my strike. Either Freedom or Martyrdom.
- Samer Issawi, the Palestinian hunger striker who has refused food for more than 200 days. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, but because of time served, he will be released on March 6.

Source
But his struggle still isn’t over. Free Samer & all political prisoners! 

In the name of God the Merciful

Greetings to all the Palestinian people and the freedom loving people of the world, those who take part in the battle for the freedom of the prisoners, all the prisoners, and first of all the heroic sick prisoners in the Ramlah Prison hospital. These heroes who have sacrificed their bodies and long years to Palestine and the Palestinian people deserve from us that we struggle for their liberation.

Today the Palestinian people proved to the occupation, despite the difficult conditions they go through, that the national cause and the prisoners’ issue are of high priority for every Palestinian. The economic situation and unemployment do not distract the Palestinian people from their prisoners, because they are people of bravery who took upon themselves to defend the Arab and Islamic nation and its holy sites. It saddens me so much that I am not with you to share with you this great battle for supporting the prisoners. But I decided to escalate my strike by avoiding drinking water in order to join this movement and the great battle that you wage on the ground.

I send a warm greeting for all of you who stay in the protest tents everywhere, especially those who are on hunger strike. I send greetings to the participants at the Nazareth tent, first of them Father Atallah Hanna, and to all the people involved in the sit-ins and marches in support of the prisoners.

I send greetings to the heroes who gathered yesterday in front of the court and broke all standards, restrictions and concepts of the occupation (the division between Western Jerusalem and Eastern Jerusalem). They proved to the occupation that AlQuds is one, it is our city, and their pure feet wandered the alleys that were walked by our forefathers before this occupation came, kill them and expels the rest of them.

I greet you, I’m proud of you and I draw the power to resist and my morale from you and your struggle. Yesterday, when I saw you in front of the courthouse, I became free and my jailer became the prisoner. I noticed the humiliation on the guards’ faces when they saw you clinging to your land despite the Judaization.

By God, I kiss those feet that liberated yesterday part of the lands of our holy city and raised the Palestinian flag high. Kissing these pure feet is an honor for me. You are Blessed, Jerusalem, with your heroic sons, the protectors of the Holy Land, the Church of the Resurrection and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will meet soon, God willing, O heroes of Palestine and the free people of the world.

I send my greetings to the free people of the world everywhere, especially in our sister Egypt, to the fans of Zamalek group and Al-Jazeera Sports commentator. I send my greetings and salute to every person. And to Shahed and Maleka.

Concerning my health, I was transferred on Thursday to some hospital, I do not remember its name, after suffering a sharp drop in blood pressure and heart beat where the pressure was 74/40 and pulse 35 beats per minute. I lost consciousness.

I continue my strike. Either Freedom or Martyrdom.

- Samer Issawi, the Palestinian hunger striker who has refused food for more than 200 days. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, but because of time served, he will be released on March 6.

Source

But his struggle still isn’t over. Free Samer & all political prisoners!