Tag Archives: exchange

As Palestinians are released from Israeli prisons, we’re finally hearing their stories

Israa Jaabis: her face was badly burnt when her car caught fire. Israel jailed her for attempting a car-bomb attack and refused to allow her to have reparatory surgery.

Remember those Israeli hostages who were released before the current Israel/Hamas ceasefire, and their stories of being well-treated by Hamas? Here’s the flipside.

It seems that of the 150 Palestinians we were told would be released during the truce, which ends tomorrow (November 27, 2023), 78 have so far been released – in exchange for 26 hostages who were taken from Israel on October 7.

But the numbers seem to vary, depending on who you ask.

The BBC has been publishing the stories of some of the freed Palestinians, but these seem to be in very short supply in comparison with those of the freed Israelis.

What we’re hearing stands in stark contrast to the claims of Israel’s apologists on the social media, who claimed they were all convicted hardened criminals and terrorists.

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Instead, the majority of those released so far had been held in administrative detention – some for many months. And those who have been convicted by Israeli courts seem to have been jailed for the most specious of reasons.

One such case is that of Israa Jaabis, imprisoned in Israel since 2015 because her car broke down.

Here‘s the BBC:

Her car broke down on a highway 1.5km (0.9 miles) from a checkpoint in the West Bank.

The reason for the breakdown is disputed. Israelis said back then it was an attempted car bombing but Arab media said the engine of her car failed causing a fire.

Jaabis sustained fire injuries in the accident and her face was badly burnt.

She was sentenced to 11 years in jail, of which she spent eight years before she was released.

Last year, Jaabis filed a request with the Israel Prisons Service for a nose job to repair the damage to her face, and was rejected.

Mohammad dar-Darwish, 17, was convicted by a military court of throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers in April. He denies doing it. And how was he treated? Here‘s the BBC again:

After the 7 October attacks, Mohammad told me, guards took the blankets, cooking equipment, radios and televisions of Palestinian prisoners.

“They only gave us one portion of food between seven or eight people – we were always hungry. They couldn’t get to Gaza, so they punished us.”

Until his release, the only information about the war in Gaza came from new arrivals at the prison, he said.

He described people arriving in custody with fresh injuries: broken teeth, a badly bruised hand, and a large cut to the head that was left to heal untreated.

It’s a stark contrast to what we’ve been told by Israel’s spokespeople on the social media.


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Ridiculous: media claim 3:1 hostage exchange ratio means Israel does not value Palestinian life

Yasmin Porat: she was an Israeli hostage who escaped Hamas, which is not the same as the current situation – but this is the only image of a former hostage that This Site has at the time of publication.

Dept. of Even-Handedness: after spending a huge amount of time defending Gaza and Palestinians from Israeli falsehoods and propaganda, it is only fair that this idiocy be identified as well.

It has been suggested by some media types that the fact that three Palestinians are being traded for every Israeli hostage means Israel thinks Palestinian lives are worth less than Israeli lives:

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This has been seized by the usual propagandists:

But of course this time they have a point.

This Writer hasn’t thought for a moment that the numbers we’re seeing mean Israel doesn’t value Palestinian lives as highly as those of Israelis.

It seems far more likely to me that Hamas demanded three Palestinians for every Israeli and saw that wish granted.

The suggestion that the ceasefire was delayed because of further Hamas demands tends to support that thesis.

I hope none of you have been seduced by this particular form of twisted reasoning.


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Israel supporters attack hostage exchange plan for Gaza ceasefire

Social media demon: ‘X’ seems to be full of pro-Israel liars at the moment, filling up the platform with provable falsehoods. Block them.

Supporters of Israel are undermining a plan for a hostage exchange during a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that was announced overnight (November 21-22) – and they all seem to be reading from the same script.

Odd, that.

It seems the deal to pause fighting will allow 50 hostages to be released from Gaza and 150 Palestinians to be released from Israeli prisons.

The ceasefire will begin at 10am on Thursday (November 23) and will last for four days.

A further number of hostages may be released – up to 150 Palestinians and 50 Gaza hostages – after the four-day pause.

This Writer will be very interested to know the condition in which the Israeli hostages arrive back in their own country. If they have been well-treated, what will this tell us about the words of people like Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy, who was whipping up fear about Hamas “rapists” only days ago?

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Meanwhile, the usual suspects have been trying to undermine the hostage exchange. Here’s what they’re saying:

It’s as though someone has told these people what to say, isn’t it?

Especially as it seems their claim about the Palestinians is not true:

Again, I would suggest that if you want your social media feeds to be free of fake news, lies and/or propaganda, you would be well-advised to block the accounts of those making the apparently-false claims above.


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Murty’s meltdown? Firm connected to PM’s wife loses millions

Akshata Murty and her husband, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak: has she been using her connection with a leading UK politician to gain advantages for her firms? Is she now losing support after Sunak fell under investigation for a possible conflict of interest? Or is it all just coincidental?

A firm connected to Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty has lost a fortune on the stock exchange.

The losses are being reported on the day an investigation was launched into whether Sunak failed to correctly report a conflict of interest; Ms Murty is a shareholder in a firm that will profit from a Budget incentive to recruit childminders.

It seems another of her investments that made the headlines because of government policy has taken a major loss on the stock market.

Remember Infosys, the company that carried on trading in Russia after the government sanctioned such firms?

Infosys claimed in April last year that it was closing its office in Russia – providing a lucky escape for the then-Chancellor, who had refused to take any action about the company’s continued commercial interest in a country that the UK should have been shunning.

Then – exactly a month ago – we discovered that Infosys was still operating in Russia, eight months after it said it would withdraw, and had been given a £1.8 million government contract in spite of this.

Now:

So her shares, which were worth £400 million this morning, are now worth £351 million – in a company for which, like Koru Kids, Sunak broke – or at least seriously bent – government rules.

Had she been using her connection with a leading UK politician to gain advantages for her firms? Is she now losing support after Sunak fell under investigation for a possible conflict of interest?

Or is it a coincidence? It will be interesting to find out.


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Was Tory crackdown on protest really prompted by this oil-funded think tank?

Targeted: Extinction Rebellion members – here protesting at a Murdoch print works – were briefly defined as an extremist group. Although they have now been removed from the list, Home Secretary Priti Patel has continued to refer to climate protesters as “criminals”.

A Tory crackdown on legal political protest was devised by a right-wing think tank that is funded by the US fossil fuel corporation ExxonMobil, it has been alleged.

And it is easy to see the reason: it removes the right of ordinary citizens to protest against the climate-wrecking policies followed by the oil industry.

According to Open Democracy,

Policy Exchange explicitly said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion (XR) in a 2019 report that got the attention of Tory MPs and peers.

The report called for protest laws to be “urgently reformed in order to strengthen the ability of police to place restrictions on planned protest and deal more effectively with mass law-breaking tactics”.

Sections of Priti Patel’s controversial policing bill, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, appear directly inspired by the Policy Exchange report.

The Policy Exchange report that appears to have contained the seeds of the policing bill was later cited in the House of Commons by Tory MP Steve Baker, who urged ministers to read it, and in the Lords by Tory peer Matt Ridley. Baker is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group that has received money from groups with oil interests in the US. Ridley is a member of the group’s academic advisory council.

Patel said openly that the legislation was intended to stop tactics used by Extinction Rebellion. The home secretary first pledged to introduce the bill just over a year after the Policy Exchange report was published.

Policy Exchange does not disclose its donors, but openDemocracy has uncovered that ExxonMobil Corporation donated $30,000 to its American fundraising arm in 2017.

There is much more information on the Open Democracy site (link below).

Circumstantial evidence?

Maybe – but then it isn’t likely that the Conservative Party, Policy Exchange and ExxonMobil are ever going to admit conspiring to silence legitimate political protest.

Source: Policy Exchange: Was oil-funded think tank behind anti-XR policing bill? | openDemocracy

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Bryant admonished by Hoyle over ‘face-pulling’ during PMQs. Shame it was nothing to do with Johnson

Chris Bryant: what did he do?

Politics has come to a pretty pass when Chris Bryant pulling faces at the Speaker is more interesting than Prime Minister’s Questions!

That’s what appears to have happened today (December 9).

During the weekly exchange between Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle halted proceedings and addressed Bryant:

It seems Bryant had left the chamber but returned later, standing next to the Speaker’s chair for a hushed discussion, at the end of which, Hoyle was heard saying, “Mr Bryant I think we need this conversation later.”

Bryant shrugged. Some say he was heard saying, “Fine.” And then he left the chamber.

Speculation about what it was that Bryant actually did to cause such ire in the Speaker has been rife:

Some of the news websites are claiming that Bryant’s offence was simply standing in front of a door.

According to Politics Home,

One backbencher who was sat in the Commons said the row was about where Bryant was standing, allegedly in front of a door that had been left open for ventilation.

The MP said: “The speaker told him to move and he wouldn’t. They then had a face pulling and finger pointing contest.”

If true, it is a shame. Bryant’s reputation would have soared if he had been pulling faces at Johnson, as this now-deleted tweet indicates:

It reads: “Good to see Chris Bryant chased out of the House by the Speaker for pulling a slightly quizzical face which was clearly putting the Prime Minister off from telling his intergalactic lies.”

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