Probe drugging of Palestinian prisoners – demands Hamas

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THE Hamas Movement has appealed to the Palestinian authority and the international groups in the occupied Palestinian lands to investigate news reports saying that Palestinian prisoners are given lethal injections in jails.

‘The frequent news and reports about prisoners in Israeli jails being injected with long-term lethal substances or subjecting them to laboratory tests to try some new drugs or medicines represents a moral scandal and a crime against humanity,’ Hamas stated in a press release on Saturday.

‘We, in the Hamas Movement, express our deep concern over the lives of the prisoners and their health conditions in Israeli jails, where about a thousand of them suffer from different diseases due to the deliberate medical neglect and the systematic violations by the occupation and its Zionist prison administration, which we hold fully responsible for such crimes and violations,’ the press release stressed.

In a separate incident, the Palestinian prisoner centre for studies said that the Israeli prison authority had taken punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners in different jails after one of them allegedly attacked the chief of the guards in Ashkelon prison.

The Israeli Prisons Services (IPS) in Israeli jails have taken arbitrary procedures against the Palestinian prisoners in all Israeli prisons following the stabbing of an Israeli official in Ashkelon prison, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Studies Centre revealed.

The IPS denied the prisoners their daily stroll time, closed all the prisons and sections, and prevented any communication between the prisoners, the spokesman for the centre added.

The IPS informed the prisoners in the Israeli prisons that severe sanctions are imposed against them due to the recent incident, sources in Captive Movement told the centre.

Mahmoud Zahran, sentenced to 18 years, has stabbed an Israeli official due to the continued detention of his elderly mother.

In Raymond prison, Israeli brutal measures were taken against the prisoners following the incident in Ashkelon prison.

The centre confirmed that the prisoners in Nafha, Raymond, Sabaa, and Ashkelon prisons were denied their daily stroll, where collective retaliatory sanctions are expected to be imposed against the prisoners.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Action Front Party has called on the Jordanian government to intervene officially and urgently for the release of one its leaders from the Israeli jails.

This came after the Israeli occupation on Saturday arrested the citizen Atta Ayyash on Karama crossing on his return to Jordan after two days visit to his family in Rafat village in the northern West Bank, Hamza Mansour, the Secretary General of the party, has explained in his letter to the Jordanian Foreign Minister.

Sheikh Atta’s arrest has been extended for 12 days pending investigation, he added.

The occupation authorities have charged Atta Ayyash of being affiliated to the Hamas movement and transferring money to the martyr Yahya Ayyash’s family.

The Jordanian detainee denied his affiliation to Hamas and said that he is used to supporting the martyr’s family because they are his family too.

Sheikh Atta Ayyash is the uncle of the martyr Yahya Ayyash, the military leader in Hamas movement who was assassinated by the Israeli occupation in 1996.

In a separate development, Israeli forces early Sunday detained a number of Hamas affiliates at al-Najah National University, locals said.

Israeli patrols raided Nablus and detained Hussam al-Bastami from Nablus, Raed Abu Rmaileh from a suburb area in Nablus, Alaa Samih al-Araj from Anabta village east of Qalqiliya, Mohammad Radi Abu Sada from Jayyus village in Qalqiliya, and Samir Abu Shaeib from Awarta village east of Nablus.

Hamas said in a statement that the Israeli forces failed to arrest Mohammad Nimer Aseda from Tell village west of Nablus. Mohammad Aseda was not at home when the Israeli forces raided his house.

Hamas accused the Israeli authorities of trying to influence the results of the upcoming student elections at al-Najah University.

A statement from the Islamist group had said on Saturday that a Hamas-affiliated bloc will participate in student union elections at An-Najah university on Tuesday, for the first time in six years.

‘We have decided to resume student work and stand for elections after a six-year boycott, during which Hamas suffered from crackdowns and arrests by security services,’ a Hamas statement said.

An official in Hamas’ student bloc said the decision to run in elections would help shake up the ‘state of laziness’ of the Islamist group’s student movement.

The party competing in student elections will be called ‘Muslim Palestine Bloc.’

Last Thursday, Fatah’s Shabibeh (Youth) Students Bloc won Hebron University’s student senate elections.

The list won 23 seats while the Hamas bloc won 17, and a bloc representing the leftist parties won one seat. The Palestine Belongs To All bloc won no seats. Out of 5,766 eligible voters, 3,974 cast their votes.

Meanwhile Hamas has been holding a series of closed-door meetings in the Qatari capital of Doha to distribute positions on the new members of its politburo, says senior leader Ahmed Yousif.

Yousif added on Sunday that the task would be completed this week.

He highlighted that Hamas’ leader in Gaza and deputy chief of the movement’s politburo Ismail Haniya arrived in Doha to join the meetings and to discuss reconciliation with Fatah.

He is also expected to discuss the special Arab League summit the Emir of Qatar suggested during the latest Doha summit to address Palestinian reconciliation.

Names and positions of new politburo members will be announced soon, added Yousif.

The new Hamas politburo, added Yousif, is expected to focus on benefiting from the Arab, Palestinian and Muslim communities in Europe to recruit support to Hamas in Europe, and try and take the movement’s name off terrorism lists.

‘Hamas will focus on convincing European countries to take its name out of the terrorism list. Hamas is certain that the US will not agree to take its name off the list.

‘However, European countries set only one condition to do that – avoiding martyrdom attacks inside Israel, and Hamas hasn’t carried out any attack since 2004.’

Asked about expected consultations to form a unity government after Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad’s resignation, Yousif said his movement would be ready to join any consultations.

‘The atmosphere is appropriate for forming a technocrat government, and the ball is on President (Mahmud) Abbas’ court who can in a few weeks hold consultations with Palestinian factions and set a date for elections.’

Yousif applauded Fayyad highlighting that his resignation was not directly related to Palestinian reconciliation.

‘He has gone through pressures and injustices by some people who tried to show that he was a weak element,’ Yousif said.

Fayyad, added Yousif, is innocent of all these accusations and he is a patriotic man who helped the Palestinian national project considerably.