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Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer al-Issawi near Death after 236 Days without Food

Palestinian prisoner Samer al Issawi is near death, according to doctors, after spending 236 days without food to challenge the Israeli policy of ‘administrative detention’, in which Palestinians are imprisoned for extended periods without trial.

Issawi is one of several long term hunger strikers, but no others have approached the record length of his hunger strike. Some international political analysts have compared the Palestinian hunger striking prisoners with Bobby Sands and the hunger strikers of Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

In a letter released Monday, Issawi wrote “I will continue my open hunger strike, and will not retract my steps. My life is not more precious than the blood of Palestinian martyrs.”

He went before a military court on February 21st, when he had already been on hunger strike for over 200 days, and his lawyers demanded his release. But the "Israeli military court" refused, and sentenced Issawi to an additional 8 months in prison.

He faces a potential sentence of twenty years in prison for the "Israeli military" justice system’s equivalent of ‘violating parole’. After being released in 2011 as part of a prisoner swap deal, he was taken into custody the following year for being in a town near Jerusalem that was forbidden for him to travel to, according to the terms of his release. Issawi is likely to be the first Palestinian prisoner to die in the current movement of hunger strikes, according to his lawyers and doctors.

Begun by Khader Adnan over a year ago, the movement has drawn thousands of Palestinian prisoners into short and long term hunger strikes to demand a change in the "Israeli system of military justice" that governs Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Many prisoners are held for years without trial, and of those that are charged, more than 99% are found guilty, often with little or no evidence against them.

Source : nsnbc

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Saspkin: Doha Summit Decisions Contradict International Legitimacy

 

 

 

BEIRUT,(ST)_Russia's ambassador in Lebanon Alexander Saspkin  stressed that the decisions of the recent Arab summit on Syria contradict with the efforts to find out a political solution to its  crisis and with  international legitimacy and Geneva  Statement, violate the mission of the UN envoy  to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and adversely affects the situation in Syria and the region as a whole.

Following his meeting with the Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Saturday,  Saspkin stressed the need for a political solution in Syria, to continue the efforts to stop violence and maintain a dialogue between the Syrian authorities and the opposition , so as  the Syrian people to have the  right to self-determination and choose their leadership, according to the constitution and democratic norms away from extremism and terrorism.

Saspkin noted to a comprehensive vision in both Lebanon and Russia for what is happening, stressing the need to contain  any problem on the Syrian-Lebanese border , based on the  constructive ties between the two countries  authorities in line with Lebanese- Syrian  bilateral agreements on security , military and defense issues.

Regarding the investigation on  the use of chemical weapons in Syria Saspkin noted  that Russia wants to focus on what happened on March 19, stressing that preliminary investigations conducted by Syria showed that the opposition used chemical weapons.

 

T. Fateh

 

 

 

 

Palestinians mark Land Day

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were holding rallies Saturday commemorating the 37th anniversary of "Land Day".

The annual demonstrations mark the deaths of six Arab protesters at the hands of Israeli police and troops during mass protests in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in the northern Galilee region.

The central events were scheduled for the northern town of Sakhnin and the Negev,according to the AP.

In the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya dozens of people joined a rally, while at Khan Yunis in the south olive trees were planted in commemoration, according to the Daily Star.

Sami Abu Zuhri told participants at the Khan Yunis event his movement was "continuing our resistance to liberate all of Palestine," and would "continue to strike inside Israel."

In Rafah, near Gaza's southern border with Israel, some 500 Palestinians took part in a rally during which some threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live fire.

And on the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem some 200 Palestinians planted trees on land belonging to a Palestinian family.

At the West Bank Qalandia checkpoint nearly 200 Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces, who responded with tear gas.

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Iranian Deputy FM Describes Arab League's Decision on Syria as "Improper"

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian described the Arab League's decision to grant Damascus' seat to the Syrian opposition coalition outside Syria as an "improper move", saying that the measure merely serves the interests of the western countries.

Amir Abdollahian has made the remarks in a meeting with Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim here in Tehran,according to FNA.

"Granting Syria's seat in the Arab League to a group that doesn't have the nation's direct vote is an improper measure," Amir Abdollahian said.

Earlier this week, Amir Abdollahian criticized hasty measures taken by certain countries by giving the Syrian government's seat at the Arab League to unauthorized people, saying the Arab League set a precedent against international norms.

He criticized the Arab League for working in harmony with the western governments to serve their goals in the Middle East.

Amir Abdollahian highlighted inaction of the Arab leaders toward the plight of Palestinian people by the occupying regime of tel aviv and said that if the Arab Leaders were wary of human rights violations, why they kept silent toward bloodshed of Palestinians in the past several decades.

The action was interpreted as the end of the role of Arab League in the region, he noted, adding, "It would be better if the Arab Leaders drew attention to defending oppressed people of Palestine vis-a-vis the occupying regime of tel aviv."

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Iranian Official Blasts West for Supplying Chemical Weapons to terrorists in Syria

An Iranian official lashed out at the West for supplying the armed terrorists in Syria with chemical weapons against civilians, including women and children, saying that the move is a flagrant violation of international laws.

"As the greatest victim of chemical weapons in the past decades, the Islamic Republic has warned on numerous occasions about this issue and the potential access of terrorist groups in Syria to chemical weapons and believes the responsibility of the (terrorist) act falls on the countries that have supported these groups," Iran's Permanent Representative to Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Kazem Qaribabadi said.

Earlier this week, Iran called on the UN to adopt proper measures to prevent terrorists from using chemical weapons against the Syrian people again,according to FARS NEWS.

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