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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday, March 20th, 2012.
Political detainee, on hunger strike, Hana Ash-Shalabi, is moved to hospital after health complications, while UN warns of Israeli settlers’ takeover of Palestinian water in the West Bank. These stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Palestinian hunger-striking detainee Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike since 34 days, was moved to Meir Israeli Hospital, in Kfar Saba, after a sharp deterioration in her health condition. She continues her protest against administrative detention and ill-treatment by her Israeli captives.According to the Palestinian government sources 50 prisoners have joined the hunger strike with Ash-Shalabi. While prisoners stated yesterday that they will escalate their protest in April.
Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated that sh-Shalabi was hospitalized after she was examined by a medical team of the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), adding that the doctors had to wait for three hours until they were allowed to see her. Meanwhile Ash-Shalabi’s family called for international pressure to save her life. Omer is Ash-Shalabi’s brother:
Ash-Shalabi had been in administrative detention for 2 years, but she was released last October during the Egyptian mediated swap deal between Israel and Palestinian groups. Ash-Shalabi was rearrested last month, along with 6 others who had also been released in the deal. Human rights groups say there are 300 Palestinian prisoners are currently held by Israel under the policy of administrative detention. Among them are 23 elected law makers. Israel uses administrative detention to hold prisoners without charges for many years.
In other news the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territories OCHA released a report saying that in recent years, Israeli settler activity in the West Bank has significantly impaired Palestinian access to, and use of, a growing number of water springs. Springs are the single largest source of water for irrigation in the West Bank and an important coping mechanism for communities not connected to a water network, or poorly supplied, to meet domestic and livelihood needs.
A survey carried out by OCHA in the course of 2011 identified a total of 56 such springs. Thirty of these springs according to OCHA’s report were found to be under full settler control, with no Palestinian access to the area. In almost three quarters of these, 22 springs, Palestinians have been deterred from accessing the spring by acts of intimidation, threats and violence by Israeli settlers. In the remaining eight springs under full settler control, Palestinian access has been prevented by physical obstacles. OCHA said in its report.
And that’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Tuesday March 20th daily news roundup from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Join us again tomorrow. For more news and updates visit our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, Ghassan Bannoura.