Israel, Palestinian Authority, partners in silencing critics

The Palestinian Authority has extended the detention of Issa Amro, a prominent activist against Israeli colonization in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Amro was arrested Monday by the PA’s Preventive Security force, after he criticized its earlier arrest of Ayman al-Qawasmi, the director of Hebron’s Minbar al-Hurriya radio station.

Amro will be held for at least another four days.

On Wednesday, nine members of the US Congress wrote to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas urging Amro’s release.

Amro is reportedly being held under the draconian Electronic Crimes law decreed by Abbas in July.

He remains on a total hunger strike, refusing food, water and medicine, according to Youth Against Settlements, the group he leads.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday joined other groups that have sharply condemned Amro’s arrest, which is part of a much wider crackdown on free speech and journalists by Abbas’ authority.

Amro is already facing trial in an Israeli military tribunal on trumped-up charges designed to repress his activism against settlements.

In June, 32 US lawmakers signed a letter expressing support for Amro in the face of Israel’s baseless charges.

Radio station closed by Israel

Meanwhile, the PA released al-Qawasmi on Wednesday. On 31 August, days before his arrest by Palestinian forces, the Minbar al-Hurriya radio station he runs was violently raided by Israeli occupation forces.

Israel ordered the station closed for six months, accusing it of “incitement.”

Al-Qawasmi’s arrest reportedly came after he criticized PA leaders for failing to protect Palestinians from such Israeli attacks.

This video shows some of the damage the station’s managers said the Israeli forces inflicted during the raid:

Another video appears to show Israeli forces loading equipment on a truck in order to confiscate it:

Israel frequently claims that Palestinian media that report on the occupation are guilty of “incitement” as a pretext for shutting them down.

But Minbar al-Hurriya denies it has broadcast any material that could have provoked violence or what Israel calls terrorism.

Following the detentions of al-Qawasmi and Amro, MADA, a Palestinian group that documents violations against journalists said it condemns the PA’s “arrest of journalists and activists for expressing their opinions and demands an end to this policy.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Israel to “allow the al-Hurriya media network and its affiliates to resume work without fear of harassment,” and had also called on the PA to release al-Qawasmi.

“It seems the only thing Israel and the Palestinian Authority have in common right now is their desire to silence their critics in the media,” the watchdog’s Middle East program head Sherif Mansour said.

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Thank you for your position and action on the Issa Amro situation

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Clearly Abbas takes his orders from Tel Aviv.

He has been threatening to go to the UN for ten plus years but lacks the spine or patriotism to keep his word.

Time for this quisling to be removed from office and make way for a true Palestinian leader.

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* Israeli police recommend Netanyahu's wife is indited on fraud charges.
* A corruption investigation could bring down Israeli prime Minister
* As Netanyahu's investigators close in - some ask - how long can he hold out
* Does it really matter if Netanyahu ends up behind bars? .. former chief of staff Ari Harow to become state's witness.
* Israeli ex-PM Ehud Olmert begins 19 months prison sentence - for bribery & obstruction of justice.

I'm sure you know all this -
Q: What has happened to cause this ?
Q: What is going to happen that all this became necessary ?

The US is generous to a fault when it comes to Israel - but the US is bankrupt - Markets Throw Hissy-Fit about US Default by Wolf Richter - are elements / have vested interests in the US got fed up with being bankrupt - or have they actually killed themselves in lovingly lavishing credit card monies over Israel - is there a reckoning coming - ?

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If Netanyahu is to be made a scapegoat - what does that say about his positioning in the pecking order ?
And exactly how many others will they need to sacrifice to absolve the sins committed - to the tune of how many gazillions upon gazillions - siphoned off in all directions.
If he gets done for fraud - it is that much easier to haul his sorry ass before the ICC on war crimes.

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