From Palestine

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.

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.

Another case of Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights defenders - Latest: November 23, the Israeli military court extended the interrogation period for Salah Khawaja for 9 days. Upcoming court hearing appealing the decision: November 27, 16h at Ofar military detention facility. For more see the fully updated dossier here.

Three solidarity protests have already been held in the West Bank and Gaza demanding Salah’s immediate release while foreign ministries are briefed about his case and pressured to act. Read here to learn more and see what you can do.

Yesterday, Wednesday November 16, a new hearing against Salah Khawaja took place at the Israeli military court in Petah Tikva: The court decided to extend the interrogation period for another 8 days. In the meanwhile Israeli forces had stormed once again into the heart of Ramallah in the preceding night and had raided the offices of the Health Development Information and Policy Institute (HDIP), leaving destruction behind and confiscating archives and technological equipment.

We need your support to #FreeSalah - Please take one minute and send the below message to your government and authorities! Salah Khawaja's  shocking conditions after 15 days of almost non-stop interrogation cannot but move us to redouble our efforts to #FreeSalah, to denounce Israeli illegal and inhumane practices inside its prison system and as part of its institutionalized and structural regime of repression against the Palestinian people and all those opposing Israeli violations of human rights.

The hearing at the Israeli military court in Petah Tikva ruled Salah Khawaja would be subjected for another 8 days of interrogation. It further revealed the shocking physical conditions Salah is in after having been subjected to two weeks of almost non-stop interrogation already for two weeks. Join us to #Free Salah.

We are proud to launch our online donation tool and ask you to use it! The Land Defense Coalition unites 12 movements and organizations, among others some of Palestine’s most active movements, such as the Stop the Wall Campaign, the Palestinian Farmers Union, the New Trade Unions. It is almost entirely based on voluntary efforts but we need a minimum of resources to act effectively and independently. Please give and become a supporter of our struggle. Please encourage your friends and contacts to join as well.

 

 

For the 13th year in a row, Stop the Wall and the Land Defense Coalition in collaboration with the Palestinian Farmers Union have conducted the “You Are Not Alone” campaign, the collective voluntary efforts to support Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest against Israeli aggression and land confiscation.

Prominent Palestinian human rights defender Salah Al Khawaja has been arrested on the morning of October 26 at 2 am without being informed about charges or reasons for his arrest. We ask for your support! Please help us to address your MPs and governments requesting: 

  • they raise immediately concern about the arrest of Salah Khawaja through the appropriate channels with Israeli officials, demanding his release

  • in accordance with the provisions of the guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, they ensure attendance of UN offices at the hearings of Salah Khawaja, starting from his hearing on November 9, and reinforce trial observation in Israeli military courts.

  • they take determined action to pressure Israeli to stop repression of human rights defenders, including increasing arrests and ongoing practices of torture and ill-treatment. 

  • suspension or maintenance of non-cooperation with Israeli national institutions overseeing and implementing Israeli illegal policies of repression.

  • effective compliance with third state obligations stemming from the ICJ’s decision on the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of the Wall.

Salah Al Khawaja is currently held in Petah Tikwa interrogation centre, the military court has granted a 15 days interrogation period during which no access to legal council or family will be granted. Lawyers are now appealing the decision.
The military court has already convened few hours after Salah's arrest yesterday morning, without the lawyer being informed or even able to trace the whereabouts of his client. We are deeply concerned for him suffering ill-treatment, duress and maybe even torture.

At 2 am last night, convoys of the IDF entered the old city of Ramallah and raided the house of 46 years old Salah Khawaja. The house was searched, computers and his phone were controlled and then destroyed, together with the furniture. Salah was eventually arrested and driven away in the army jeeps. The big amount of soldiers inside a densely populated neighbourhood produced a feeling of threat and insecurity in the area so that the arrival of the Israeli military lead as well to clashes in the streets.

Over the past two decades, social, political, cultural and institutional changes have swept across the occupied Palestinian territories. Many of the changes can be traced back to the Oslo process, such as the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the redefinition of official Palestinian-Israeli relations, the involvement of international donors, and the radical shift in the political economy of the occupied territories. Al-Shabaka policy member Tariq Dana argues that Palestinian civil society is fundamental to understanding the multilayered changes that have negatively affected Palestinian society. He identifies the four dimensions of “what went wrong” since Oslo – the shift in organizations’ agendas, the role of the grassroots, the status of politics, and the production of knowledge – and concludes with recommendations to revive civil society as a fertile terrain for profound social transformation.

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