Call for the Week against the Apartheid Wall 2015: November 9-16
Stop the Bantustans!
2015 has been so far one of the worst moments in the waves of ethnic cleansing by Israel against the Palestinian people. Israel is rapidly implementing its plan to forcibly transfer the Palestinian population out of the over 500 communities located in area C: 7,000 Palestinians living in 46 Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley and east of Jerusalem are currently resisting the demolition of their communities, an additional 20 communities are under threat in the South Hebron hills. This adds to the over 15,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes in the West Bank during the last two decades and includes some of the 4,500 pending demolition orders against Palestinian buildings. We are fast approaching a crucial point of no return.
Kamal Farah Abed keeps stones on his roof to protect his family from Israeli settlers. All his windows have grids on. "We teach our children that fear is not allowed here. I’m not going anywhere. They will have to kill us all, but we’re not leaving”.
Nabi Saleh, West Bank – Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi, 28, died this morning of wounds sustained after the Israeli occupation forces shot him in the face on Friday at the weekly popular protest in Nabi Saleh. Tamimi was shot from less than 10-meters distance with a high velocity tear gas grenade that made him unconscious and bleeding profusely. He was then taken to hospital where he remained in life support until this morning. The Israeli occupation forces prevented his family from accompanying him.
Stop the Wall is organizing three demonstrations to add to the weekly Friday activities against the Wall in the different villages:
The demonstration takes place to commemorate the massacre of the people of al Sammou, south of Hebron. Exactly 45 years ago, on November 13 1966 Israeli forces raided this village, destroyed 125 houses, the village clinic and school as well as 15 houses in a neighboring village. 18 people were killed and 54 wounded.
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.
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.
After hundreds of toothless UN resolutions condemning Israeli policies, only the people around the world can ensure the latest resolution will not fail the Palestinian people once again. Read here the opinion peace by Stop the Wall's coordinator Jamal Juma' published by Middle East Eye.
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.