Palestinian Authority arrests dissident professor

In Electronic Intifada 

A Nablus court on Thursday extended the detention of a prominent Palestinian scholar and longtime dissident whose arrest earlier this week has led to accusations that he is being politically persecuted by the Palestinian Authority.

At around 11pm on Tuesday, Abdel Sattar Qassem, a 68-year-old professor of political science at Nablus’ An-Najah National University, and a father of four, was taken from his home, where he had been staying alone. His wife, Amal al-Ahmad, was not informed of the arrest and concerned neighbors broke down a door at her prompting to check whether Qassem had suffered an accident.

“I called him several times but his mobile phone was closed and I got no answer from the landline,” al-Ahmad, a program coordinator at the Women’s Study Center, told The Electronic Intifada. Continue reading

When Israel turns houses into jails

In Elctronic Intifada

Fadi Shaludi, 14, has not left his house since November. Every day, he sees the children from his neighborhood go off to school. He especially misses playing football with his friends and walking around Jerusalem’s Old City.

Fadi is under house arrest. He fears going downstairs, let alone to the corner shop next to his home. His punishment came after he was charged with throwing stones at Israeli troops during confrontations in Silwan, the area of occupied East Jerusalem where he lives, in October.

That incident also resulted in his mother, Shifa Obeido, being put under house arrest on charges of “incitement.” She awaits a trial that will likely see her forcibly transferred from Jerusalem.

Originally from Hebron, Shifa was granted temporary residency and began a family unificationprocess after marrying a Jerusalemite. Her residency was revoked, however, after her husband married a second time. Continue reading

This uprising is about more than knives


Israeli police restrict Palestinians from entering Jerusalem’s Old City in October 2015.

In Electronic Intifada

When the “intifada of the knives” set off in October last year, Western reporters flooded in toJerusalem to cover the new “escalation,” interview people from “both sides of the conflict” and raise several variations of the old question: “Is this the beginning of a third intifada?”

Inevitably, the journalists left once a massive crackdown significantly reduced the number of deadly attacks against Israelis in the city. It is an all too familiar pattern for Palestinians, who know by now that it’s only “escalation” when there are dead or wounded Israelis. Deaths, injuries, arrests and home demolitions inflicted on Palestinians by Israel are deemed business as usual, not worthy of further inquiry.

The daily acts of collective punishment suffered by Palestinians in Jerusalem and their slowethnic cleansing are too routine to be considered newsworthy. Continue reading

Palestinian hunger striker’s case to be reviewed by Israeli court

Supreme Court to decide on detention of journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, on hunger strike for two months and described as ‘close to death’

In Middle East Eye

Israel’s top court will this week rule on whether to release a hunger-striking Palestinian journalist who is described as being close to death, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Protesters have picketed an Israeli hospital to call for the release of Mohammed al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for 63 days.

Jawad Boulus, Qiq’s lawyer, said that the Supreme Court in Jerusalem would on Wednesday rule on whether to release his client.

Qiq, a journalist from Dura in the occupied West Bank, was arrested on 21 November by Israeli authorities. He began his hunger strike a few days later, and is now in HaEmek hospital in the northern town of Afula.

Tens of journalists and Palestinian members of the Knesset Bassil Ghattas and Haneen Zoabi demonstrated outside under the rain, calling on Israel to release al-Qiq. Continue reading

Palestinian hunger striker’s case to be reviewed by Israeli court

In the Middle East Eye,
Lina Alsaafin & I

Israel’s top court will this week rule on whether to release a hunger-striking Palestinian journalist who is described as being close to death, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Protesters have picketed an Israeli hospital to call for the release of Mohammed al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for 63 days.

Jawad Boulus, Qiq’s lawyer, said that the Supreme Court in Jerusalem would rule on Wednesday about whether to release his client.

Israeli authorities arrested Qiq, a journalist from Dura in the occupied West Bank, on 21 November. He began his hunger strike a few days later, and is now in HaEmek hospital in the northern town of Afula. Continue reading

Rethinking Solidarity with Refugees

in al-Manshour

In an attempt to challenge the rising tide of prejudice and incitement against refugees, world renowned artist Banksy sprayed a graffiti of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs, on a wall in Calais Refugee Camp last month.

The piece depicted Jobs, himself the son of a Syrian immigrant to the United States, carrying an Apple computer in his hand and a black bin bag over his shoulder.

Banksy, who rarely comments on his art, wrote in a statement:

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant. Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7bn a year in taxes – and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

While it is commendable that Banksy is dedicating his art and reputation to the cause of supporting refugees, he has provided an example of how even the most well-meaning initiatives to counter anti-refugee propaganda can get it completely wrong. Continue reading

Fighting to bury their sons: on the necropolitics of occupation

In Roar Magazine

In her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined five major emotional stages that people tend to go through while coping with the death or loss of a loved one: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Over three months have passed since the killing of his son Bahaa, but Muhammad Alayan has not been able to experience any of them. The 60-year-old lawyer has been too immersed in the struggle to recover the body of his slain son to actually contemplate his loss.

“More than a hundred days have gone and I couldn’t sit with my wife and three (remaining) children at one table together and realize that there is an empty chair no longer occupied by Bahaa,” Muhammad Alayan told me. “We have had no time to discuss his absence because our entire lives have revolved around getting him back.”

Parents whose children’s bodies or remains are detained by Israel, either in morgues or in the infamous “cemeteries of numbers” (where the remains of at least 268 Palestinian combatants have been buried for decades in closed military zones) wait to receive their bodies as if they were waiting to welcome living people after their release from their prisons. Continue reading