From Palestine

The World Without Walls delegation, formed of leaders in the movement against the US/Mexico border wall has arrived in Palestine to build connections with Palestinians impacted by the Israeli Apartheid Wall and Latinx and indigenous communities impacted by the US/Mexico border wall. 

The last week has seen an almost unprecedented retreat of Israel in front of Palestinian mass mobilisation. The occupation authorities removed newly installed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrance to the al Aqsa Mosque and eventually had to give access to the Mosque to all worshippers, scrapping a previous ban on men under the age of 50. This victory against Israeli attacks on Palestinian rights and existence in Jerusalem has come at a crucial moment for the city and is bound to lastingly transform power relations.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is excited to announce the full launch of our new bi-lingual BDSmovement.net website. We launched a version of the site last year and we’re delighted that the site is now fully online in both Arabic and English.

With the passing of World Refugee Day on June 20th, we remember the Palestinian refugees both within the occupied territories and those dispersed around the world. At the same time resistance against the ongoing Nakba - the destruction of our homes and villages to dispossess and exile us - continues. The Sumoud Freedom Camp in the South Hebron hills is just one of our expressions of steadfastness.

After 41 days, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs and Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) put out a joint statement that ‘Freedom and Dignity’ hunger strike has been suspended after more than 20 hours of negotiations. Palestinians have taken to the streets celebrating and singing in disbelief. It is still un-clear what the hunger strikers and the Israeli state have agreed upon.

The 37th Day of the Dignity and Freedom Hunger Strike had been declared as a Day of Rage in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and in protest against US president Trump’s visit to Bethlehem. Israeli military killed the third person since solidarity protests with the prisoners started.

Today marks the 32nd day of the freedom and dignity strike. As the hunger striking prisoners hold out - people in Palestine are being killed at checkpoints and on the streets.

During a march in solidarity with the hunger strikers that ended at Huwara checkpoint, Muataz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, from Beita (Nablus district) was shot in the head by an Israeli settler and succumbed to his wounds at the spot. Photographer Majdi Eshtayya was also injured with live ammunition shot by the settler and was transferred to Rafidiya Hospital. Many more have been injured by Israeli occupation forces during the ongoing protests of the last days.  

On Friday, May 12, unarmed 23-year-old Saba Abu Ubeid was killed in cold blood with a bullet to the chest by an Israeli sniper during confrontations in Nabi Saleh. This morning the district of Salfit mourned the loss of the young man and he was laid to rest.
Since the beginning of 2017 hundreds have been injured and 21 lives have been brutally taken by the Israeli occupation.

As 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners enter into day 25 of their freedom and dignity hunger strike their health is quickly deteriorating and tensions on the ground are increasing. This afternoon in solidarity, approximately 1000 men, women and youth gathered and peacefully marched towards the checkpoint close to the DCO offices and Ofar detention center.

As political prisoners enter day 14 of the 'Freedom & Dignity' hunger strike they are still being refused their rights and basic needs. Prisoners are being put into solitary confinement, denied legal representation and personal belongings have been confiscated. The prisoners have also reported that salt has been confiscated which they use to consume with water during hunger strike to stop their blood pressure from falling and to avoid rapid lasting damage to the intestines. Please see here the latest news on Palestinian solidarity and how to take your own solidarity action! 

Tomorrow the people of Bardala village, men, women, children, and animals will march to Road 90, the main road in the Jordan Valley, carrying the slogan of ‘Depriving us of Water is a Crime Against Humanity’ and ‘We are Here to Take Back our Water’. They are determined to fight for the right to water and against Israel’s water apartheid. The Right to Water campaign and the Popular Council to Protect Jordan Valley are calling on the international community to support us in our fight to take back our water.

Women in Palestine, as anywhere across the globe, are subjected to and daily resisting an intricate, mutually reinforcing web of state, social, economic and domestic violence and oppression, continuously violating their rights. The burden of Israeli occupation weighs therefore on many more layers on the daily lives of Palestinian woman than their male counterparts.

As Palestinian political prisoners enter into the sixth day of their freedom and dignity hunger strike, prisoners are being transferred into solitarily confinement, denied solicitor visits and one hunger striker has taken ill and been transferred to hospital. Tensions are high and Palestinians are calling on the international community to take a stand and hold Israel accountable to their breeches of Human Rights. 
 All this week demonstrations have been taking place across Occupied Palestinian Territories in Beituniya, Bi’lin, Kafr Qaddum, Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem. 


Monday 17th April marked Palestinian prisoners day. As Palestinians remember their friends and relatives who have been detained at the hands of the Israeli state, over one thousand Palestinian prisoners began a mass hunger strike - the largest in recent years. The hunger strike was called by prominent political prisoner Marwan Barghouti and is supported by most Palestinian political factions and protests all over the West Bank.

Overview

The Land Defense Coalition, officially founded in 2014 as a collective effort of a dozen Palestinian grassroots organizations, has during the last year organized ongoing campaigns, protests and actions to defend the rights of the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid as well as against neoliberal policies promoted by the Palestinian authorities, which effectively weaken the capacity of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli violations of their rights.

During the last court hearing for Salah Khawaja, his defense successfully challenged  the trumped up charges brought against him. At that stage, the prosecution of the Israeli military court resorted to presenting a ‘secret file’ to ask for continued imprisonment of Salah. The judge adjourned the proceedings and suspended his decision until a further hearing. Uptodate the court has not announced any date for further hearing, while continuing to keep Salah Khawaja in pre-trial detention.

The Israeli military court at Ofar detention facility postponed Salah Khawaja's hearing for one week. Salah, 46 years old, has been arrested in the middle of the night of October 26 and is since then in Israeli jail. He is a human rights defender who started his fight in his village Nil’in, is a member of the coordination committee of Stop the Wall Campaign and is part of the secretariat of the Boycott National Committee. Currently, he is also a leader of the  Palestinian National Initiative party (PNI, known as Al Mubadara).

UN Special Rapporteur on the OPT, Michael Lynk, and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, have issued a statement denouncing that human rights activists in the occupied Palestinian territories face "daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws". The statement has been also endorsed by Mr. Roland Adjovi, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, and Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

Israeli policies of holding military trainings in the middle of populated areas is Israel continues and has once again cost farmers their livelihoods. Every year the military organizes large scale military training on the land of the Palestinian farmers in the northern part of Jordan Valley. Usually these trainings take place during the summer, when the farmers are about to harvest their crops, but this time they started training at the beginning of the winter, when the farmers prepare the land for cultivation and plant the seeds. This means planting can’t happen and people will have nothing to harvest in the coming season.

Still the Israeli military courts have not decided on the case of Salah Khawaja. As well today the case has been adjourned, this time until December 20. This will bring Salah's incarceration to almost two months. Please help us to keep up the pressure! Write to your government representatives and diplomatic missions in Palestine now to ask their intervention to stop Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights defenders.

Yesterday, the Israeli military court once again refused to decide on Salah Khawaja’s case, extending with this his arrest until the next court hearing, set for Thursday December 15 at 11 am at Ofar military detention facility.

The European External Action Service has responded to the calls from Palestinian and European civil society to pressure Israel to #FreeSalah Khawaja and end the repression of human rights defenders. We thank all European organisations, activists, members of parliament and the ECCP, which has put the case of Salah Khawaja on the agenda of the recent EU lobby days, for their efforts to #FreeSalah and to end Israeli repression of human rights defenders.

At the court hearing held on December 1 at Ofar detentino facility, the Israeli military court decided to postpone its decision on Salah Khawaja's case to a final hearing on December 11. The court hearing has seen significant presence of consular and international observers. It is the moment to intensify our pressure on Israel to uphold the rights of human rights defenders and due process in its trials. Please keep contacting your governments to intervene with Israel.

Yesterday the appeal hearing adjourned from Sunday has upheld the 9 days extension of the interogation period for Salah Khawaja. A next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 1 2016 at Ofar detention center, close to Ramallah.

When a true hero dies sadness is overpowered by a sense of gratitude and responsibility. Fidel Castro’s passing away leaves all those of us convinced that justice, freedom and equality are possible with these revolutionary emotions. Our gratitude goes to his commitment to the struggle and courage to attempt almost impossible feats.

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