Israel

Amnesty International has called on Israel to immediately release Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who has been held since December without charge under Israel's infamous policy of “administrative detention”.

The call came after Adnan, near death, ended a 66-day hunger strike when Israel signed a deal on February 22 agreeing to release the 33-year-old father of two by April 17.

Residents of the Gaza City neighbourhood al-Tuffah suffered a rude awakening at 2am on February 16 when Israeli warplanes targeted what the army said was a Hamas training site.

The shelling left six people injured, including members of two civil defence rescue teams. Civil defence said a firetruck and an ambulance were hit by Israeli missiles as the crew responded to earlier strikes.

Israeli sources said the attacks came in response to rocket fire from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns. The crude rockets landed in open fields; no casualties were reported.

UPDATE: On February 21, Khader Adnan and all who support him won a big victory. Israel finally caved into pressure and signed a deal with Adnan under which he ended his 66-day hunger strike in return for Israel pledging to release him from administrative detention (that is -- without charge) by April 17.

Khader Adnan is a 33-year-old Palestinian husband and father. As of February 14, he was 59 days into a hunger strike and perilously close to death. He has been held by Israel since December without any charge or trial under an Israeli "administrative detention" order. Such orders violate international law.

There is an urgent need for international action to save Adnan's life and -- beyond that -- force Israel to abolish administrative detention orders (under which someone who is held is denied access to the evidence being used to justify holding them).

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Palestine prisoner's rights group Addameer released the statement below on February 9 on the condition of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan. At the time of the statement, Adnan was 54 days into a hunger strike and in a critical condition. Adnan is being held in “administrative detention” ― without charge or trial. The statement is abridged from Electronic Intifada.

United States' singer/songwriter Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) was encouraged by boycott activists to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, scheduled for February 12. It looks like the pressure worked.

On February 9, Cat Power announced her show had been cancelled, and tweeted: “Music is healing and it is not humane if all cannot have the choice, the right, to attend.”

One of the most chilling scenes in the recent SBS mini-series The Promise depicts the plight of some Palestinian schoolgirls in Hebron.

Leaving school in the afternoon, the girls are subjected to abuse and intimidation by settler youths as they walk home. At one point, a settler boy, face contorted with hatred, viciously hurls stones at the group, injuring one.

Meanwhile, as the girls crouch in terror, blase Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers look on, doing nothing to stop the violence until challenged by a young foreign tourist.

After a year of ferocious debate, the New South Wales Greens decided on December 4 to retreat from supporting the global pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

It does not mean the NSW Green Party has abandoned all support for the Palestinian struggle for justice, but it marks a setback for the left inside the Greens and the pro-Palestine movement in Australia.

Israeli officials suspect that France-based megabank BNP Parisbas has pulled out of Israel due to pressure from Palestine solidarity groups, even though the bank itself has denied this.

Israeli paper Haaretz reported on 24 November: “The powers that be are furious at BNP Paribas for shuttering its operations in Israel, and suspect it is acting due to Arab and anti-Israeli pressure in France, the bank’s home base.

On November 25, a group of around 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists protested against Israel's apartheid separation wall near the village of Bil'in in the West Bank. Weekly protests in the village have been taking place for six years. Residents also protested the arrest of Ashraf Abu-Rahma, a young activist from the village, who has been detained for three weeks.

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