A PALESTINIAN prisoner on Sunday started an open-ended hunger strike in protest against his ongoing detention despite the completion of his sentence in Israeli custody.
Jibril Mohammad Zubaidi, a resident of Jenin refugee camp, announced going into an open-ended hunger strike in protest against being placed under extended detention although he completed his 10-month sentence in Israeli custody.
Jamal Zubaidi, a former prisoner, confirmed that the Israeli occupation authorities rejected the release of his nephew, Jibril, who was placed in detention for 12 years and released in December 2016, before being detained once again for 10 months.
It is worth noting that Jibril’s mother, Samira, and brother, Taha, were killed by Israeli forces during the Israeli military’s bombardment of the refugee camp, that is just 0.4 square kilometres and hosts about 15,000 people, for more than 10 days in April 2002.
The bombardment occurred as part of Israel’s so-called Operation Defensive Shield, during which it sent troops into the heart of six major West Bank cities and surrounding towns and refugee camps that were ostensibly under the Palestinian Authority’s control.
Jibril’s brothers, Yahya, Daoud and Zakaria are currently in Israeli detention. Zakaria, a leading Fatah member, was rounded up during a raid in Ramallah in February 2019.
Israel has been widely condemned for its practice of administrative detention that allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.
The US State Department has said in past reports on human rights conditions for Palestinians that administrative detainees are not given the ‘opportunity to refute allegations or address the evidentiary material presented against them in court’.
Amnesty International has described Israel’s use of administrative detention as a ‘bankrupt tactic’ and has long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.
Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy, which violates international law.
- Israeli forces yesterday cracked down on an anti-settlement protest in al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah, according to local sources.
They said that Israeli soldiers violently dispersed the participants of the rally organised to defend the Ras al-Tin area against being seized to make room for the construction of a new Israeli colonial settlement outpost.
Under the protection of soldiers, Israeli settlers opened fire towards the journalists who came to cover the rally to Ras al-Tin area, which is part of the nearby village of Kafr Malik. No injuries were reported though.
It is worth noting that Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Ali Abu Alia, hitting him with a live bullet in the abdomen as he participated in the weekly demonstration in al-Mughayyer village on Friday, December 4th.
He was standing among the crowds when an Israeli soldier shot him in the abdomen, killing him on his 15th birthday.
Israeli settlers have recently commenced the construction of the new colonial settlement outpost in the Ras al-Tin area, and prevented the villagers and shepherds from reaching the area.
Settlers are also attempting to demolish the school in the area, constructed with funding from the European Union, in preparation to force the Palestinian Bedouin community to leave the area.
- Israeli settlers on Friday morning broke into several Palestinian houses and assaulted their owners in Masafer Yatta village cluster, south of Hebron city, according to a local activist.
Coordinator of the Protection and Steadfastness Committees, Fuad al-Amour, said that a group of armed settlers, under Israeli military protection, forced their way into several houses in the al-Markez community, ransacking them.
When the homeowners attempted to prevent the settlers from tampering with their houses, they were assaulted.
Another group of armed settlers sealed the entrances to Umm al-Kheir, At-Tuwani and Khirbet Shi’b al-Butum hamlets, where they stopped and searched vehicles.
The settlers came from the nearby colonial settlement outpost of Mitzpe Yair, located about a kilometre to the west of the al-Markez community.
Umm al-Kheir and Shi’b al-Butum are two of the Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta, a collection of almost 19 hamlets which rely heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood.
Located in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli administrative and military control, the area has been subjected to repeated Israeli violations by settlers and soldiers targeting their main source of living – livestock.
It has been designated as a closed Israeli military zone for training since the 1980s and accordingly referred to as Firing Zone 918.
Israeli violations against the area include the demolition of animal barns, homes and residential structures. Issuance of construction permits by Israel to local Palestinians in the area is non-existent.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers’ violence includes property and mosque arson, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others. There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- Meanwhile, the Lebanese army has teamed up with the country’s customs services to begin the inspection of around 700 containers, which had been left in the port of the Beirut capital since 2005, in the light of the August explosion, the Lebanese Ministry of Finance announced last Thursday.
‘Under the directions of the finance minister of the caretaker government, Dr Ghazi Wazni, the army, in cooperation with the customs services, will start today (Sunday) the inspection of around 700 containers left in the port since 2005,’ the ministry’s information office said in a statement.
Last Wednesday, Wazni and Armed Forces Chief Joseph Aoun discussed in a phone conversation the coordination issue between the nation’s armed forces and customs officers to examine the abandoned containers and take care of them immediately, the statement read.
The finance minister held a meeting with the president of the Lebanese Higher Council of Customs, Assaad Tfaily, Acting Customs Director Raymond El Khoury and the acting head of the Beirut port, Bassem Al-Qaysi, to discuss the full cooperation on rapid steps to deal with the containers and ensure their security, according to the statement.
The complex investigation is already ongoing to unveil the circumstances of the Beirut port blast and determine identities of those involved in the widescale incident.
Last week, the investigation judge, Fadi Sawan, filed a suit against the Lebanese caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, and three former ministers – Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghazi Zuaiter and Youssef Fenianos – accusing them of negligence resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries. In response, Diab expressed surprise over those charges, noting that he was ‘confident that his hands are clean’.