Palestinian prisoners refuse food in protest: Belgian press

‘Palestijnse gevangenen gaan in hongerstaking’

3 april 2013

Duizenden Palestijnse gevangenen zijn uit protest tegen de dood van een gevangene in een Israëlisch ziekenhuis een driedaagse hongerstaking begonnen. Zo’n 4.600 gevangenen weigerden woensdag hun maaltijden. Dat bevestigde woordvoerster Sivan Weizman van het Israëlisch gevangenisbestuur.

Een Palestijnse gevangene, die al jaren opgesloten zat, kreeg twee maanden geleden te horen dat hij kanker had. Dinsdag overleed de man aan de ziekte. Volgens de Palestijnse Autoriteit (PA) is Israël ervan verantwoordelijk voor de dood van de gevangene. De medische behandeling van de man werd verwaarloosd en ondanks zijn toestand werd geweigerd hem vrij te laten. De Israëlische overheid beweert dat ze de zestiger wel wilden vrijlaten omwille van zijn gezondheidstoestand, maar dat hij voortijdig stierf. Er zal nu een autopsie uitgevoerd worden in bijzijn van zowel Palestijnse als Israëlische experten.

Dinsdag waren er na de bekendmaking van de dood van de man onlusten uitgebroken in verschillende gevangenissen. Daarbij raakten drie gevangenen en zes cipiers gewond. Ook in Hebron, de geboortestad van de overledene, kwam het tot rellen tussen Palestijnse demonstranten en Israëlische soldaten.



Apr 4, 2013

US also to blame for Palestinian prisoner’s death: Mark Dankof

A commentator tells Press TV that the United States is also responsible for the death of the Palestinian prisoner who died of cancer while in Israeli custody since Washington continues to provide the Tel Aviv regime with both political and economic support…

The comment comes as a Palestinian prisoner, who suffered from cancer, lost his life on Monday in an Israeli jail due to the lack of medical care. Palestinian Minister for Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Monday that medical negligence in the Israeli regime’s custody led to the death of Maisarah Abu Hamdiah. Abu Hamdieh was transferred to a hospital in Tel Aviv after he fell unconscious on Monday. Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners held a protest following the death of their fellow inmate due to medical negligence in the Israeli regime’s custody. 

Press TV has conducted an interview with Mark Dankof, a former US Senate candidate and host of the Ugly Truth Radio Network from San Antonio, to further discuss Israel’s role in the death of Abu Hamdiah, along with the regime’s practice of detention without trial. The video also offers the opinions of one additional guest: George Lambrakis, who is a former US diplomat from London. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview with Dankof. 

Press TV: Let’s discuss some of the reasons why this peace process has failed. The death of this Palestinian prisoner while in Israeli custody, it is said that the Israeli authorities are fully responsible for his well-being; it is part of the Geneva Conventions, aren’t they? 

Dankof: It is kind of interesting looking at the whole situation because after all this is the same regime that gave us operation cast lead; this is the same regime that gave us the illegal attack on the Mavi Marmara; this is the same regime that had a very interesting case recently involving an Israeli-Australian citizen by the name of Ben Zygier who clearly was working for the Israeli Mossad who had a very, very convenient suicide recently while in Israeli custody. 

It seems to me that when you look at this whole situation where they are talking about this one Palestinian death in prison which is a tragedy in and of itself or you are looking at Israel’s ongoing policies of international lawlessness which includes their ongoing refusal to negotiate on Jerusalem and they continue the expansion of these illegal settlements with the full funding and enabling of the United States, this is at the heart of the problem. 

Then when you look at the geographic map of Palestine since 1948, it is clear that the Palestinians continue losing, that they continue losing more land, that they continue being the victims of more and more state-sponsored violence and frankly the notion that they are the intransigent party in these negotiations. It is completely preposterous. 

Press TV: Week in and week out, we are getting these reports, again the tensions, also not to mention the tensions without trial that happens that Israel abides by its own rules on that, freedom of movement, settlement buildings, etc. and all types of international laws and the international community is also deeming these types of activities illegal. Yet we have George Lambrakis, the other guest on the show from London who is a former US diplomat, who somewhat is defending these activities on the ground, if I understood him correctly. Why is that that Israel keeps committing and violating these terms of these international laws? 

Dankof: They are doing it with impunity because they continue to have the wholesale political and economic backing of the United States. Just look at this latest visit of Barack Obama which of course was preceded by the visit of Republican US Senator Rand Paul. 

Rand Paul unlike his father, Ron Paul, made serious statements in Israel which made it very, very clear that if Rand Paul is the Republican candidate for president in 2016, that Rand Paul will go along with absolutely everything that Israel wants done in terms of its foreign policy arrangements. Rand Paul is signing off and all of these aggressive behaviors that the United States is undertaking against the present regime in Iran, just as one example. 

And Rand Paul would seem to be very, very amenable to Israel continuing with these illegal settlements and the continued pouring into that country of all of this American money. Then we Barack Obama’s visit to Israel whereby he commits the United States to yet another 400 billion dollars over time in helping to fuel Israel’s military machine; this is at the same time that there has absolutely been no significant concession on the part of Israel either in terms of Jerusalem or in terms of these illegal settlements or what they are doing in Gaza. 

The United States is surely to blame for this and the United States of course has used its position in the Security Council to make sure that anything that is said about Israel in the General Assembly is subsequently vetoed by the United States in the Security Council. When you look at the number of resolutions that have passed the UN General Assembly in regard to Israel’s repeated violations of international law, absolutely none of these have gotten past the United States in the Security Council.

We have turned around; our government has turned around in this country and facilitated ongoing financing of Israel to the tune of what is actually believed to be about 10 billion dollars per year even aside from these latest military commitments that the president made when he was there visiting Mr. Netanyahu. 

So the US is aiding in the bedding and enabling in all of this. The funds from the United States to Israel continue with no sign that this will even be lessened and as long as this goes on, Israel will continue to do whatever it feels that it would like to do whether it is the settlements or the status of Jerusalem or what they are presently doing in Gaza or what they are doing with the Palestinian prisoners in these jails. 

Press TV: Let’s look at the US Secretary of State John Kerry, due to visit the region, when he was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said, “We are serious about Israel freezing settlement activity in the West Bank”. Do you think he is serious about that as the US Secretary of State? 

Dankof: No, I do not think he is serious about it any more than Hillary Clinton was serious about it, any more than the previous Republican Secretary of State was serious about it and again this gets back to the disproportionate control of the Israeli lobby in the United States of our elections. 

Look at these 30 plus political action committees known to be connected directly or indirectly to Israel that are pouring incredible amounts of money in these American political races. Look at these super pacts and people like Sheldon Adelson with the amount of money that he put into the campaign of Mitt Romney and before that Newt Gingrich in the Republican Party. 

The fact of the matter is this and nobody wants to talk about this of course in the US because it is considered to be taboo but what they are talking about the amount of Jewish money in American politics, the disproportionate Jewish control of the American news media, the disproportionate Jewish control of the international central banking structures. 

The fact of the matter is all of this plays into the fact that Mr. Kerry represents a political party where it is believed that approximately two thirds of the money that goes into the Democratic Party is coming from Jewish sources. The Republican Party not as much but certainly very, very significant and the fact of the matter is that if Kerry was at all serious about this, if his Republican predecessor had any serious intentions in this regard, Israel would simply have been told that its conduct could not continue, the conduct that it has exhibited since 1948 and they would be told specifically that there would be a major cutback if not a shot off of American money to their activities until they negotiated seriously on the status of Jerusalem, a serious two-state solution and a serious termination of these illegal settlements that are being presently undertaken in the occupied territories. 

The fact of the matter is that Kerry can say anything that he wants to as long as the United States with both the Republicans and the Democratic Parties continues to funnel the kind of money that it does to Israel and when the president of the United States whom Mr. Kerry is allegedly working for just hands over to Israel another 400 billion dollars in defense in military money over time, this tells virtually anyone looking at this what is going on; follow the trail of the money; read not their lips but read their budgets. 


Photo:  funeral procession of martyr Maysra Abu Hamdiya