Monday, January 17, 2022 Last Update: 4:48 PM GMT

Critically Ill Palestinian Prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid Still in a Coma

The mother of Palestinian prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid. (Photo: via Social Media)

Nasser Abu Hamid, a critically ill Palestinian political prisoner held in Israel, is still in a coma due to acute pneumonia, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Commission said on Sunday.

Abu Hamid, 49, from Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, entered into a coma 12 days ago after suffering a severe lung inflammation as a result of bacterial contamination.

Hasan Abed Rabbo, from the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Commission, told WAFA on Sunday that Abu Hamid remains critical and is attached to artificial respiration at the Israeli hospital of Barzilai while he is not responding to medication.

Rabbo added that the commission had petitioned Israeli courts to force the Israel Prison Services to provide them with more information about Abu Hamid’s health and to allow his family to visit him. However, there has been no response so far.

Last week, Abu Hamid’s family appealed to all parties of concern to take urgent and effective action to save the life of their son. They also called on the Palestinian people to continue their popular support to press the Israeli occupation to release him, as he is facing an imminent risk of death.

The Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission also urged all human rights and international institutions to urgently intervene and pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to release Abu Hamid.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

New US Ambassador to Israel Will Not Visit Settlements, But Will Support Normalization

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides. (Photo: US Department of State, via Wikimedia Commons)

The new US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides stated on Friday that he will not visit Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank but would support normalization, Israeli media reported.

Speaking to Yedioth Ahronoth, Nides, who took up his post in November, announced that he does not want to carry out actions that would inflame the situation on the ground.

Nidessaid that he visited Israel in the 1970s, describing Israel as “special”.

“When it comes to Israel, I have no ideology,” he said. “All I care about is that Israel will remain a strong, democratic and Jewish state.”

“Because just like I ask both the Palestinians and Israelis not to take steps that inflame the situation, I do not want to do things intentionally that would create disrespect or anger among people,” Nides explained.

Regarding Iran, he said: “The headlines in the media have calmed down because trust has been gained: We believe you and you believe us,” stressing that both sides share the ultimate goal of preventing a nuclear Iran.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Red Cross Urged to Check Palestinian Women Prisoners’ Conditions in Damon Prison

Palestinian women detained by Israel reportedly face various forms of torture. (Photo: via MEMO)

The Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday to visit Palestinian women prisoners in Israel’s Damon prison and check their health conditions, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a statement, the Commission urged the ICRC to send an “urgent medical team to Damon prison to inspect the health conditions of the infected female prisoners and the female prisoners who are subject to sanitary isolation, and to provide them with all the necessary medicines, food and sterilizers.”

“The number of female prisoners infected with the coronavirus has risen to seven, which doubles the anxiety and fear for them,” the statement said.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported, on Thursday, that the number of prisoners infected with the coronavirus since April 2021 climbed to 410.

According to Palestinian NGOs, there are around 4,600 Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons, including at least 600 sick prisoners.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

World Vision Says Its Gaza Office Director Imprisoned by Israel is Innocent of All Charges

Mohammed Al-Halabi, World Vision’s Operations Manager in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: File)

The international Christian relief and development organization, World Vision, said that an external investigation found out that Israeli allegations against its imprisoned Gaza office director, Mohammad Al-Halabi, are unfounded, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Saturday.

World Vision said in a statement that they decided to examine any evidence of Israeli charges against Al-Halabi, and commissioned an independent external forensic investigation, in cooperation with its donor governments.

“We have been closely following Mohammad’s lengthy trial. Many of our staff have participated as witnesses, and our staff, often alongside representatives from other organizations, have been present as observers in every public trial session,” the international organization stated.

“After five years of trial proceedings, which have now concluded as we await a verdict, we have not seen anything that makes us question our conclusion that Mohammad is innocent of all the charges,” the statement added.

“This process has had a dramatic and negative effect on children and their families in Gaza, including Mohammad’s own family. We expect and pray that it will be resolved soon and fairly with an acquittal.”

Al-Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested on June 15, 2016, during one of his travels between Gaza and Jerusalem, and was later charged with providing financial support to Hamas. He has been on trial since then.

Israel has been targeting Palestinian civil society organizations and their staff, including Al-Halabi, in order to discredit and defund them to stop their development and human rights work with the Palestinians. It recently designated six prominent Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations operating from Ramallah as “terrorist organizations”, threatening to arrest anyone working for them.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

HRW: Israel Doubled Down on Polices to Repress Palestinians in 2021

A Palestinian father carries the body of his son, who was killed by Israeli bombs in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, the Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli occupation authorities doubled down on policies to repress Palestinians and privilege illegal Jewish settlers during the last year, Human Rights Watch stated in a new report.

“The government’s policy of maintaining the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), coupled with the particularly severe repression against Palestinians living in the OPT, amounts to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” the report reads.

Human Rights Watch said it documented serious violations of the laws of war and apparent war crimes during the May 2021 Israeli aggression on Gaza, including Israeli strikes that killed scores of Palestinian civilians and destroyed four high-rise Gaza towers full of homes and businesses, with no evident military targets in the vicinity.

“These attacks took place amid Israel’s sweeping restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. With rare exceptions, Israel’s closure policy, which is not based on an individualized assessment of security risk…, rob the more than two million Palestinians of Gaza of their right to freedom of movement, severely limit their access to electricity, health care, and water, and have devastated the economy,” the report adds.

“In June, a broad range of political parties formed a new Israeli coalition government, with Naftali Bennett as prime minister. This government continued to facilitate the transfer of Israeli citizens into settlements in the occupied West Bank, a war crime. In October, it advanced plans and issued tenders for more than 4,000 new settlement units,” the report continues.

The report further says that “during the first eight months of 2021, Israeli authorities demolished 666 Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 958 people, a 38 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Joint List Leader, Ayman Odeh, to Be Probed for ‘Assaulting’ Far-Right Israeli Lawmaker

Far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir carries out a provocative visit to hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Meqdad Qawasmeh. (Photo: video grab)

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh is expected to be investigated by Israeli police for allegedly assaulting a far-right lawmaker in October, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The incident occurred outside the hospital room of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Meqdad Qawasmeh, at Kaplan hospital. 

Itamar Ben-Gvir, of the far-right Religious Zionist Party, carried out a provocative ‘visit’ to the hospital on October 19. Odeh, leader of the Joint List – a coalition of predominantly Arab parties at the Israeli parliament – was with the Qawasmeh family and confronted Ben-Gvir. 

According to Haaretz, “Odeh is expected to be questioned under caution as a criminal suspect.”

Ben-Gvir is a follower of the late Jewish extremist, Rabbi Meir Kahane. He was elected to the Israeli parliament in March 2021.

In December, Ben-Gvir was caught on video pulling out and waving a gun at two Palestinian parking attendants in Tel Aviv.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Pro-Settler Group Demands Israeli Army, Shin Bet to Stop Protests in Negev

Palestinian residents protest in the Naqab desert. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

Extremist Jewish pro-settler group Regavim demanded, on Thursday, the Israeli army and the Shin Bet security service to end protests by Bedouin residents of the Naqab (Negev) desert region against planting trees on Palestinian land, Israeli media reported.

“During the events of May 2021, the army’s response was slow and late, roads and cities were burned, life was disrupted, and it took a long time for security to return, and these scenes should not be repeated, and we demand action now,” Israel’s Channel 7 reported Regavim Director-General, Meir Deutsch, as saying.

“The events that took place yesterday [Wednesday] and today [Thursday] in the Negev are a direct result of the government’s failure in the issue of agriculture, as we had previously warned that surrender by the Prime Minister would directly lead to an increase in confrontations in the streets,” Deutsch added.

Deutsch claimed that the statements of elected officials, led by Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces and an MK for Meretz, Yair Golan, were the fuel that led to the ignition of the Negev, and that responsibility must be taken and lessons learned.

Many Palestinian residents in the Naqab, despite having Israeli citizenship, live in unrecognized townships scattered across the southern desert.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Jewish Settlers, Accompanied by Israeli Soldiers, Attack Palestine TV Crew

Israeli occupation forces often commit violations against Palestinian journalists. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

Jewish settlers attacked the Palestine TV crew on Friday morning while they were returning from a filming assignment in the Jordan Valley, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

According to a WAFA correspondent, the crew, composed of three members, were stopped and forced out of their vehicle near the village of Bittin, east of Ramallah.

The settlers proceeded to harass and attack the Palestine TV members until they were bruised, and were protected by Israeli occupation officers nearby, who did nothing to stop the brutality.

Palestine TV says that the Israeli authorities often harass its staff, arresting and questioning them.

 

Settler violence has become part of daily life for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Observers believe that the settlers are officially, albeit under the radar, encouraged and funded to carry out such attacks.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Occupation Forces Injure Six Palestinians in Kafr Qaddum

A weekly protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

At least six Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces on Friday during the weekly protest against Israeli settlement construction in the village of Kafr Qaddum, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Eyewitnesses told WAFA that Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters with rubber-coated rounds and tear gas canisters, injuring six of them and causing many cases of suffocation from gas inhalation.

Some of the injured protesters were treated at the scene while others were moved to the hospital for treatment.

For years, villagers from Kafr Qaddum and neighboring villages have been protesting every Friday against illegal Jewish settlements.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash Contracts Covid after Ending Hunger Strike

Palestinian Prisoner Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement released by the Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) on Thursday.

PPS said in the statement that the Israeli Assaf Harofeh Hospital – where the Palestinian prisoner remains for medical follow-ups before his upcoming release on February 26 –  announced that Abu Hawwash contracted the Coronavirus, and he was transferred to the specialized care unit.

PPS held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the life of the Palestinian prisoner, who needs special care, especially due to his health conditions.

The family accused the hospital administration of failing to provide the necessary medical care to Abu Hawwash, who went on an open hunger strike that lasted for 141 days.

Abu Hawwash contracted the highly contagious virus after being placed in a room with a number of patients without being isolated, despite his difficult health condition.

The family called for urgent international intervention in order to transfer Hisham to a West Bank hospital to provide him with appropriate treatment.

The number of Palestinian prisoners who have contracted the virus in Israeli custody since April 2020 reached 410.

(The Palestine Chronicle