Israel Revokes Permits of Palestinian Hunger Strikers’ Relatives

  • Israeli occupation policeman at a checkpoint in Hebron.

    Israeli occupation policeman at a checkpoint in Hebron. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 July 2017
Nearly 40 people were denied entry as they attempted to visit relatives held at an Israeli prison.

In a punitive action against the imprisoned Palestinians who took part in a 40-day hunger strike earlier this year, Israeli occupation authorities have revoked the entry permits belonging to dozens of the inmates’ relatives.

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According to Ma’an News Agency, 37 people were denied entry as they attempted to visit the Israeli Nafha prison in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

They were travelling to the jail on International Committee of the Red Cross buses.

Shahinaz Dadou, whose husband Muhammad is serving a four-year sentence, said ICRC officials had warned the passengers that anyone whose relatives had joined the hunger strike might be denied entry at the checkpoint.

When the buses arrived in the southern Hebron city of al-Dhahiriyya, the family members’ entry permits were revoked.

In Dadous’s case, her one-year permit allowed for twice-monthly visits to Israel to see her husband.

Since the Second Intifada in 2000, Palestinian prisoners’ family members must apply for special Israeli entry permits to visit their relatives held in occupation custody, according to the prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Those holding Israeli passports and Jerusalem residency IDs are exempt.

Organized as the “Strike for Dignity and Freedom,” the hunger strike was launched on April 17 in protest over conditions in Israeli jails.

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Demands included longer and more regular family visits, the installation of landlines and better health care.

It drew in the support of 1,700 prisoners for several weeks making it one of the largest ever.

Negotiations between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the ICRC and the remaining 800 strikers ended the action on May 20.

Human rights officials urged the Israelis to improve conditions for Palestinians held in occupation custody.

Mixed signals have been reported on the hunger strike’s ability to achieve its demands.

Palestinian officials declared victory on 80 percent of the prisoners’ requests.

But Israeli prison authorities say they refused to negotiate with the inmates.

Second monthly family visits were reinstated after being suspended last year, on condition that the Palestinian Authority fund the trips.

Around 6,200 Palestinians still languish in Israeli prisons, where they are only allowed to be visited by immediate family members.

Males aged 16 to 25 are usually barred from visiting the jails.

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Economic Integration and ‘Technological Liberation’ can Resist Division, Domination: Evo Morales

  • Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R).

    Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R). | Photo: EFE

Published 5 July 2017
The Bolivian President called for Latin American economic integration, saying that world powers try to sow division in order to control the region’s natural resources.

Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, called for greater Latin American integration in in order to be competitive and resiliant in a tumultuous global economy, according to Prensa Latina.

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Morales said that Latin America has an “enormous responsibility” as a region with a wealth of natural resources to integrate economically in order to resist the efforts of dominant global industrialized economies, such as the United States, to gain control over this natural wealth.

Speaking at the opening of new offices of the Financial Fund for the Development of the River Plate Basin, the President accused the United States and other dominant economies of engaging in subversive efforts to provoke internal conflicts in Latin America, using the resulting division as a means of controlling politically and economically.

He said that the only way of overcoming efforts at control and division in order to stand strong in the face of a difficult global economy is regional integration, by working together with “solidarity and complementarity” to solve poverty.

Morales spoke of the uphill battle faced by Bolivia following their decision to nationalize natural resources, as they looked to industrialize and aquire technology and trade with China, North America, Europe, and other regions of the world as an example of the need for regional economic solidarity.

He called for “technological liberation” in the region in order to self-finance, develop, and produce the needed technology to gain full sovereignty over resources.

The Bolivian President also took to Twitter in order to thank the Development Bank of Latin America for financing the construction of a major highway in Bolivia, calling the bank an important player in the region’s development.

“After 33 years the Bank of Latin America is for the development and integration of the people,” he said.

Morales praised the work of economist Luis Enrique Garcia, who has served as the bank’s executive president for 25 years and seen the organization grow from an institution only encompassing 5 coutnries – Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru – to being a major integrative force for Latin America tying together 19 countries.

The remarks also come as the President recently received a flurry of death threats through Twitter, which Bolivian Minister of Communication Gisela Lopez said tended to occur when Morales criticizes foreign intervention and calls for universal citizenship.

Después de 33 años reunión del directorio de la CAF, el Banco de América Latina para el Desarrollo e Integración de los Pueblos. pic.twitter.com/hpU6bUnvMM

Agradecemos el crédito de la @AgendaCAF de  142 millones para la construcción de la carretera Santa Cruz – Las Cruces – Buena Vista. pic.twitter.com/cuZrUKusZ2

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