Israeli court confirms administrative detention of hunger-striking Balboul brothers

sanaa balboul

Sanaa Balboul holds up a t-shirt of her sons’ faces at a Bethlehem sit-in for Palestinian prisoners on Aug. 2, 2016. The shirt reads: “If you live, live free”

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court at the Ofer detention center near Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Sunday decided to confirm the administrative detention sentence of Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul, two brothers from Bethlehem who have been on hunger strike since the beginning of July.According to a statement from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, the court rejected an appeal by the committee’s lawyers to reduce the sentence.Muhammad, a dentist, was sentenced to six months of administrative detention, while Mahmoud, a Master’s student at al-Quds University, was sentenced to five months.

Mahmoud Balboul has been on hunger-strike since July 5, and Muhammad since July 7.
Mahmoud Balboul has been suffering from severe pains in his chest and has had difficulty breathing, the statement said. “From time to time, he falls to the ground with signs of fatigue, and has lost a noticeable portion of his weight.”Reports emerged on Wednesday that the Israeli military court had postponed the court hearing.A lawyer told Ma’an at the time that Muhammad Balboul, who is also being treated in Ramla prison hospital, told him that Israel Prison Service (IPS) doctors were not providing his brother Mahmoud with proper medical care, and that prison authorities assaulted Mahmoud in the hospital before transferring him back to Ofer prison.Muhammad Balboul added that he has been suffering from constant dizziness, muscle stiffness, exhaustion, and insomnia, while Mahmoud suffered from issues in his pelvic bones, acidity caused by chronic vomiting, and has not able to speak as well.Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul were detained on June 9from Bethlehem, just two months after their 14-year-old sister, Nuran, was detained after attempting to cross Israel’s 300 Checkpoint between northern Bethlehem and Jerusalem for allegedly possessing a knife, an accusation that locals denied.Nuran was released from prison on July 12 after spending three months in prison.
The three are children of Ahmad al-Balboul, a prominent leader in Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who was shot dead along with three other Palestinians by undercover Israeli forces in March 2008.
The two brothers have joined several other Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in an attempt to hold Israel accountable for its arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinians.
According to Palestinians, Israel uses its policy of administrative detention — internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence — to detain family members of Palestinian political leaders, in an extension of several policies that rights groups have deemed “collective punishment” aimed at disrupting family life for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.More than 80 Palestinian prisoners continued their open hunger strikes in solidarity with the Balbouls and Bilal Kayid, the highest profile hunger striker since Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq came near death during a 94-day hunger strike before he wasfinally released in May.
 
(Source / 07.08.2016)

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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