Sunday, March 15, 2009

Zionists Kidnapped 7600 Palestinian Children

21 February 2009

Palestinian researcher, specializing in detainees' affairs, Awni Farawna, stated that the Zionist gangs have kidnapped a total of 7600 Palestinian children, males and females, since the year 2000; 246 children are still behind bars, International Middle East Media Center reported.

At least 200 of the kidnapped children were detained under administrative detention, without charges or trial. Some of the children were as young as 12 years old.

One detainee is now 13 months old as he was born behind bars. His mother, Fatima Al Zoq, was kidnapped while pregnant, and gave birth in prison while she was handcuffed and her legs were tied to the hospital bed.

Farawna stated that Israel's targeting of children is a policy that targets childhood and a healthy growth, and expressed concern over the fate of the detained children as they are subjected to different sorts of violations, including torture and isolation, which affects their growth, physical and psychological conditions, in addition to affecting their education.

Hundreds of children were cut off schools due to being imprisoned; hundreds of detainees were kidnapped when they were children and grew up behind bars. Many of them have spent more years behind bars than with their families.

Several detained children were sexually abused and violated by interrogators and soldiers, while a number of Israeli prisoners, held for criminal violations, also attacked them.

Farawna stated that international law and treaties regarding children forbid barring children from their freedom, forbid torturing and violating them.

Many children were arrested more than one time before they reached the age of 18; others were kidnapped as children, and grew up to be young men and women while they were in prison.

Several children who grew up in prison and were released later on are having difficulties in coping with the outside world; some became violent and tend to seek vengeance.

Farawna demanded international human rights groups to intervene and put pressure on Israel in order to oblige Israel to comply with international law and the fourth Geneva Convention.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Poem: Hands


by L.Hashim-AlBayaa

small hands
smudged by hazelnut-filled chocolates
impatiently reach toward the neck of Sittu’s thobe

a leathery henna-stained hand emerges
with unhurried precision
tissue -- all but dissolved in salty wetness is unfolded

a shekel moist with old woman’s musk

a silent exchange ensues
one calloused hand (were there three fingers or four?)
claims its prize
while the other (this one has five) pours

dark liquid
its dizzying sweetness shocking the nose
flows into a glass no longer clear after three hours of customers

a moment long awaited
the kharoob feels syrupy and thick on the tongue
the day’s heat having leeched out the possibility of refreshing coolness
(that’s okay when life is not known to be refreshing)

(yes, it is four fingers!)

the four-fingered hand retrieves the glass
now not only cloudy, but decorated by chocolate finger prints
(a few more customers’ hands will rub them off)

Sittu smiles
her slow hand reaches down the neck of her thobe to pull out a hard caramel

small hands
in their never-ending search for sweetness
struggle to release the wrapper welded to the caramel by Sittu’s heat

trembling leathery hands wipe tears
flowing down a face creviced by memories of small hands
now hidden from sight beneath a white shroud.