After ignoring her entire
hunger striking ordeal, her lawless detention, and weeks of Israeli
ruthlessness, The New York Times finally acknowledged she exists, but
On April 1, The Times headlined "Israel Frees Palestinian Detainee After
Hunger Strike of Weeks," saying:
Hana "was released from an Israeli prison on Sunday and sent into temporary
exile in Gaza under a deal reached with the Israeli authorities."
The Times regurgitated baseless Israeli accusations, but admitted she
was detained uncharged. The article provided sketchy information about
what Palestinians endure, but fell woefully short of explaining it properly,
let alone decades of Israeli oppression.
Conditionally released from detention, Hana's far from free. Maan News
explained headlining, "Hana Shalabi arrives in Gaza," saying:
She "was escorted Sunday through the Erez crossing between Israel and
the northern Gaza Strip...."
She agreed to live in exile three years. Palestinian officials condemned
her deportation. One day's too much, but Israel plans never letting
her back in the West Bank.
Numerous past conditional release deals were violated. Expect Hana to
be cheated the same way. Israel makes but ignores deals. Moreover, even
in Gaza exile, she's vulnerable to rearrest or targeted assassination.
Her parents and relatives got an hour with her before Israel whisked
her off. On arrival, she was welcomed and taken to Shifa Hospital. Her
condition was described as no longer life-threatening. On March 29,
she again began eating.
From Ramla Prison clinic, former hunger striker Khader Adnan messaged
her through his lawyer. He said she inspired other lawlessly detained
Palestinians. Deporting her is wrong, he added, but at least Hana's
released and can begin her slow recovery process. Khader understands.
He's painfully undergoing his own.
In a joint statement, Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
(PHR-I) expressed alarm about Hana's deportation three days after ending
her hunger strike.
They also condemned Israel's refusal to let both organizations see her
before her release.
They "fear that, given her grave medical condition, the restriction
of access of Ms. Shalabi’s physician and lawyers, in addition to the
prevention of family visits, were used as methods of coercion."
"Furthermore, serious concerns exist regarding the availability and
arrangement of adequate medical care matching Ms. Shalabi’s urgent needs
in light of her swift transfer."
In addition, Israel's deal violates international law. Fourth Geneva's
Article 49 states:
"Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected
persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power
or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless
of their motive."
Under Article 13 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within
the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own,
and to return to his country."
Israel spurns all international laws and its own. That's how rogue states
operate. Dealing with the devil's impossible. Israel's one of the worst.
Addameer, PHR-I, and Hana have just cause to be concerned. She's isolated
in Gaza. Her parents and relatives can't see her.
Both organizations called lawless deportation or transfer "one of the
most serious war crimes."
"Given the stark asymmetry in power, resulting from the belligerent
occupation, between the Palestinian and Israeli parties involved, neither
the potential 'consent' of the prisoners nor the fact that these deals
have been negotiated by a Palestinian authority can serve as justification
for the deportations as this contravenes the spirit of articles 7, 8
and 47 of the GC (Geneva Convention) IV concerning the inviolability
of the protections afforded by the Convention."
Hana's deteriorated health condition raises other concerns. To fully
recover, she needs proper care perhaps not available in Gaza. Medical
supplies are inadequate. Electricity and power are spotty at best.
"Addameer and PHR-Israel fear that transferring her while she is still
recovering from her hunger strike to the destabilized Gazan medical
system might further jeopardize her medical condition."
Hana's case, like Khader Adnan, highlights Israel's lawless administrative
detention practice. Uncharged victims can be held months, years, or
indefinitely without trial or knowledge about why they're imprisoned.
Addameer, PHR-I, and other human rights organization demand world leaders
intervene to end this outrage. Otherwise, Palestinians will continue
being abused lawlessly.
A Final Comment
On March 26, political prisoner Marwan Barghouti's letter from Hadarim
Prison urged widespread nonviolent resistance against Israel's repressive
"The Palestinian Authority must stop all coordination with Israel
economic and security and work toward Palestinian reconciliation."
"It must be understood that there is no partner for peace in Israel
when the settlements have doubled. It is the Palestinian people's right
to oppose the occupation in all means, and the resistance must be focused
on the 1967 territories."
As expected, Israel retaliated harshly. Prison officials isolated him
in solitary confinement. He's denied all rights, including to see visitors.
His wife Fadwa was scheduled to see him. At best it'll be later.
Prisons Authority spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said he'll be there a week
or longer with no rights or privileges, few as they are in Israeli gulags.
Contrary to Israeli claims, Barghouti called for nonviolent resistance.
He said "the launch of a large-scale popular resistance at this stage
serves the cause of our people."
International law permits it. He also explained the futility of negotiating
peace without a legitimate partner. He added that ending Israel's occupation
remains an illusion.
Though imprisoned for the past decade, he enjoys widespread popularity
for good reason. His courage inspires others to resist. It's Palestine's
only way to be free.
Perhaps under leaders like him they have a chance. At best, expect years
more struggle, countless lives lost, and incalculable human suffering.
Hopefully liberation one day will follow. Palestinians and other persecuted
people deserve no less.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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