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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Israel-Palestine: the game of life

The footballer Mahmoud Sarsak detained without trial in Israel since 2009, would be in critical condition after a hunger strike. While the Euro 2012 in full swing, another match, much more important, is played in Israel . Hope of an entire nation, footballer Mahmoud Sarsak would now between life and death, locked in an Israeli prison, the small Mahmoud has always dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. As a teenager he already plays for the national Gazan. Very soon he caught the eye of recruiters from Batala, a refugee camp whose team is one of the most brilliant of the Palestinian territories. Problem, it is almost impossible for Gazans to leave the enclave, blockaded by Israel since the capture of Gilad Shalit in June 2006, reinforced a year later after the takeover of the territory by Hamas .But, conscious of their future hold nugget, Batala leaders will make every effort to allow the player to cross the Israeli border, and so to win the West Bank. But the dream will come up against a wall. On July 22, 2009, transfer, yet materialized, stops dead at the Erez terminal. Considering it as an "enemy combatant", Israeli forces arrested him on the spot, before placing in administrative detention.This specific provision, inherited from the British Mandate ofPalestine , enabling the Jewish state to imprison without charge or trial a suspect for a period of six months, renewable indefinitely. "Nobody knows what crime was committed Mahmoud Sarsak, given that no charge has been filed, neither him nor his lawyer," said the Deborah Hyman, a researcher for Amnesty International in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Furthermore Mahmoud Sarsak, two other Palestinian players, the goalkeeper Omar Abu Olympic Kings, 23, and Mohammad Nimr, 22, who plays for the refugee camp of Al-Amari in Ramallah, both arrested in February by the Israeli army. Since they are "detained without charge or trial."

"No evidence" (Human Rights Watch)

"The level of proof needed for administrative detention is even lower than for criminal cases," said Bill Van Esveld to, rapporteur in Jerusalem by Human Rights Watch. "Belonging to an organization defined as terrorist by Israel in many cases sufficient to justify an arrest without proof that the law has been broken," recalls, in turn, Ran Cohen, a member of the organization Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. Witness, for example, the arrest Thursday morning a Palestinian 95 years in the southern West Bank. "Israel had granted Mahmoud Sarsak a right of way from Gaza to the West Bank," complained to the AFP Dhouqan Muzaffar, a club official Balata, ensuring you follow "all the procedures required" by the Israeli military administration. Since it is the nothingness ... until March 19. Fearful of falling into the dustbin of history, the player uses the latest weapon of Palestinian prisoners: the hunger strike. Sarsak Mahmoud joins some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners calling for the abolition of administrative detention and the solitary confinement, two practices considered illegal under international law.

Broken agreement (Amnesty)

Collective action caused a stir. After mediation by Egypt, Israel finally won the claims of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a signed commitment to "refrain from any act of terrorism" and any new hunger strike. But in fact, the agreement would be far from being respected. Amnesty International says have increased since the agreement more than 30 cases where administrative detention orders were renewed. According to the organization, three new cases have even been recorded. Having received no written undertaking by the end of his administrative detention, Mahmoud Sarsak again stopped eating, limiting the absorption of glucose and vitamins. According to Amnesty International, he might die soon. For the first time since the beginning of his hunger strike, an independent physician (the Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Ed) has been allowed to visit him on June 6. The health professional has found that the prisoner had lost a third of his weight and he fainted frequently.

Calling Cantona

Asked by The, the spokesman for the Israeli prison administration confirms that Mahmoud Sarsak is still under administrative detention. Sivan Weizman argues, however, that the prisoner was taken Sunday in a hospital outside the prison in Ramle and he resumed eating back to prison medical center, denies version Deborah Hyman AI. The footballer's lawyer has told AFP that the Israeli security service would consider Thursday the secret file of his client, pursuant to a decision of the Supreme Court. "If there is no further evidence that Mahmoud Sarsak is a danger to Israel, he should be released," said Mohammad Jabbarine AFP. "We do not know why he is detained. It has nothing to do with politics", has protested his brother, Imad, during a demonstration outside the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza. "We call on Arab and European clubs to save the life of a footballer," he added. The call appears to have been heard. Tuesday, Mahmoud Sarsak has received support weight in the person of Eric Cantona. "It is time to end Israel's impunity and to insist on the same basis of equality, justice and respect for international law that we demand of other states," said the letter, addressed to the Minister UK Sport and the UEFA president, Michel Platini , and also signed by the American intellectual Noam Chomsky and the British film director Ken Loach . The message has not remained a dead letter. The same day, the FIFA president, Joseph Blatter , who is not yet known for his courage, urged the Israeli Federation (IFA) to intervene on behalf of Palestinian players "Prisoners of allegedly illegal manner," referring to the fate Mahmoud Sarsak. Thursday is the president of the Palestinian Federation of Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, who has asked UEFA to punish Israel by removing the organization of the Euro Under-21 years in 2013. And of footballer Palestinian family to hope that the Jewish state will not play extra time.


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