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.
2016 has been another year of mobilising and lobbying against EU complicity with Israeli violations of international law and human rights, in particular through its Research and Development funding cycle Horizon2020. The European Commission feels the heat of pressure to stop European funding to Israel under HORIZON2020, yet more action is needed, especially in view of the 2017 review of the funding cycle. The greatest achievement has been the withdrawal of Portugal from the LAWTRAIN project, a Horizon2020 funded effort to link Israeli police and related institutions with European governments and law enforcement forces. It was the first time a government withdrew from an EU funded project after civil society pressure in support of Palestinian rights. This victory has galvanised more campaigns and efforts. Let’s make the 2017 review of Horizon2020 a step in the right direction by pressuring the EU to exclude Israeli military and security companies and institutions linked to Israel’s military and prison complex from receiving EU tax money through Horizon2020!
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.
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.
Recently over 100 trade union delegates, representing twenty nine unions and three million members from all over Europe, gathered in a historic first meeting in Brussels to challenge European governments’ complicity with Israel and establish a cross European platform in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
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.
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.
A joint statement signed by more than 70 personalities, 30 groups and networks representing over 1000 organizations across India has denounced the visit of Israel’s president Reuven Revlin, and the upgrade of relations with this state, which has held the Palestinian people under occupation for decades, displacing communities, segregating people, and besieging them behind cement walls.
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.
Indian movements have called popular movements and organizations from BRICS countries as well as some other guests to Goa in the days ahead of the official summit of the leaders of the BRICS, the alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Palestine was among the people and struggle to be represented and delegates discussed possible ways forward for more powerful solidarity efforts and reaffirmed their commitment to support of the struggle and the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
Monday 26th September 2016, about 20 activists protested against the collaboration of the University of Leuven with Israel. During the official opening of the academic year at KU Leuven protesters lay on the street, just before the procession of professors in gowns was coming. The slogan quoted: 'Professors: don’t wipe your feet on Palestinian human rights! ". The Law Faculty of the University of Leuven is in fact part of the LAW TRAIN project, the EU funded research project to develop and share interrogation techniques with Israeli police. The project is led by the Israeli Bar-Ilan University.
“It is our responsibility to do what is in our reach to support justice in Palestine.” With these sound and simple words Jesús Manuel Sánchez Antuña, the mayor of Langreo, has reaffirmed the solidarity of the small town in Asturias, in northern Spain. We had visited to thank the local council for its decision to declare the municipality ‘free of Israeli Apartheid’ and not to contract any companies that are involved in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.
Nearly 40 European trade unions, water and human rights networks and environmental groups from a dozen countries have written a letter to the European Commission urging withdrawal of patronage from Watec, the Israeli water conference and exhibition to be held for the first time in Europe, September 21-23 in Venice, Italy. (See letter and signatories)
In Canada a new campaign has started to target military relations with Israel: activists from the network BDS Quebec have launched efforts to stop cooperation between the Montreal based military company CAE Ltd. and the Israeli military as well as Israeli private military companies, Elbit Systems and Aeronautics Ltd.
The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine raised awareness about human rights violations perpetrated by the national Israeli water company, Mekorot, by hand delivering an open letter to the Israeli Consul in Boston. Mekorot has been internationally denounced for implementing since its decades ‘water apartheid’ that is essential for Israeli efforts to colonize Palestinian lands and ethnically cleanse it from Palestinian communities. The company was once again in the news recently for shutting off water in many towns throughout Palestine this summer during Ramadan. In the summer temperatures can easily exceed 35 degrees Celsius and cutting water supplies to Palestinian communities is a key component of Israel’s policies to drive people from their lands and communities by making live unbearable and destroying their means of livelihood. The open letter led the group to lobby against an amendment on a bill that would penalize companies taking part in the BDS movement. The group’s initiative to raise awareness against Mekorot successfully led to the anti-BDS amendment to be withdrawn from the bill. More boycott activities is essential for building strength against current efforts in North America and Europe to outlaw BDS.
Under the title “No to the Horizon2020 Law Train project - No to cooperation with Israel’s repressive system!”, on Thursday 24, a large coalition of Portuguese forces has held the official launch of a campaign aimed at ending the participation of the Portuguese ministry of Justice and the police in a joint, EU funded project with Israeli police forces.
Reposting the article by Andrew, 8th June 2016, from War's resisterer international
During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.