Father free, son detained

Ridha had been in administrative detention in Israel for over 600 days when he was released —  He faced no charges, he had not been brought before a court. His most basic democratic rights were taken away by the Israeli government.
And now to add one more burden to Ridha and his wife Weam’s fractured lives, Israeli soldiers have taken their son and placed him in detention.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claimed to be “deeply concerned” by reports that Israeli armed forces are removing Palestinian children from their homes in night-time raids. — Julie Bishop ‘deeply concerned’ by mistreatment of Palestinian children in TV report

Yet in November 2013, Julie Bishop swung the government’s support further behind Israel at the expense of Palestine, giving approval to controversial activities including the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

Administrative detention for Ridha was in six-month blocks. When Ridha’s detention was for review his brother-in-law, Khalil, asked the Labor Government to put pressure on the Israeli authorities to make sure Ridha was released. The ALP Senator for Queensland, Clare Moore, made a speech in parliament but that was ignored.
The Australian Labor government did not act by calling on the Israeli ambassador to make sure maximum pressure was brought against the Israelis to release Ridha.
Aunty silent on Hunger Strike
Previously the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) was silent on the Palestinian hunger strike and the protests against administrative detention in Israel. 
ABC news editor told Justice for Palestine activists that she would refer our concerns to their ‘foreign desk’. This is what Department of Foreign  Affairs and Trade did when we brought the administrative detention of Ridha to their attention.
 We said that we were not going away and would be back.
ABC protest about non-coverage of hunger strikes in Palestine
Support the Hunger Strikers
End Administrative detention 
at ABC studios
114 Grey St South Brisbane,

 5 pm Wed
17 April 2013.
Wear a gag if possible.

Earlier that year, Ridha’s son was taken from his home and his mother, Weam. Their flat was trashed for a second time by Israeli soldiers.

Weam’s brother has lived here in Australia for over 40 years and is an Australian citizen. The Australian government has not helped Ridha yet they have intervened in Syria to protect prisoners there. Weam is not an activist, her son is a child who goes to school, why does Israel persecute this family?

Back in May 2012, Justice for Palestine took up a petition that read in part:

We note the treatment of Weam and Ridha and their family by Israeli soldiers on 20 May 2012 — Israeli soldiers broke into Weam’s 2 bedroom unit in the night-time terrorising her five children, smashing her furniture and taking her husband, Ridha, away to an undisclosed location for an indeterminate period. We sought the immediate release of Ridha and compensation for Weam. See Petition to Free Ridha

ABC protest about non-coverage of hunger strikes in Palestine 2We took this petition to Senator Clare Moore who supported it and made a speech in parliament in support of Ridha, Weam and their children.

Regardless Ridha remained in detention with many other Palestinians. The Australian government did not do enough, words were not followed up by action from Foreign Minister, Bob Carr. The Israeli ambassador should have been sent home until  Palestinian prisoners like Ridha were released…

No Detention without Trial
In a democratic society people should not be detained without trial.
This has happened in recent times to Bradley Manning, Julian Assange,  and Ben Zygier, the Australian who hung himself in an Israeli prison.
But the detention of Palestinians is on a whole other level of crime because they are detained in their own country.
Write down this
I am an Arab
And I work with comrades in a stone quarry
And my children are eight in number.
For them I hack out
a loaf of bread
a school exercise-book
from the rocks
rather than begging for alms
at your door
rather than making myself small
at your doorsteps.
Does this bother you?
Mahmoud Darwish
Ian Curr
Feb 2014


7 thoughts on “Father free, son detained

  1. Aunty remains silent says:

    We are dealing with an unfolding tragedy: the likely deaths (hope it doesn’t happen) of the hunger strikers, the idea of indefinite arbitrary detention, child prisoners…yet the ABC remains silent…we did it today and we will be doing it again next Friday at 5pm outside ABC studios at Southbank (Grey and Russell Streets, South Brisbane)

    Solidarity with the hunger strikers!

  2. ABC mis-reports reason for death says:

    A Palestinian man from Hebron died last week after torture.
    The ABC’s refuses to report on the cause of the unrest in the West Bank – Israeli Apatheid. Yet it sponsors Zionist propaganda on shows like ‘The Spirit of Things’ hosted by Rachael Kohn under the guise of discussion of different faiths and anti-semitism.

    ABC radio (RN) had a short piece on the news at 2 am last night (24 Feb 2013) about how a ‘Palestinian prisoner had ‘died of a heart attack’ while in custody in Israel . This is contradicted by the autopsy – see

    “At a news conference in Ramallah, Issa Qaraqe said an autopsy conducted in Israel in the presence of Palestinian officials revealed that 30-year-old Jaradat had six broken bones in his neck, spine, arms and legs. .. http://maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=568699

    A source in the West bank says that she has never witnessed such a crackdown by Israeli authorities in the refugee camps. Soldiers are raiding houses and arresting people like never before.

    The number of prisoners on hunger strike is now 11:
    -Ayman Sharawneh
    -Samer Issawi
    -Tareq Qaadan
    -Jaafar Izzeddine
    -Muna Qaadan
    -Younes Hroub
    -Hazem Taweel
    -Fadi Washha
    -Sufyan Rabee’
    -Ayman Sakhr
    -Omar Dar Ayyub

    Ian Curr
    25 Feb 2013


    PShift: Lies and Silence – media bias in Australia

  3. Justice for Palestine says:

    Today (Wednesday April 17, 2013) is Palestine prisoners day.

    This day is a day to remember the thousands of Palestinians illegally locked up in Israeli jails where they are routinely subjected to inhumane treatment including lack of medical treatment and torture. Many are held without trial or change.

    As you would be aware, many of these prisoners are currently protesting these conditions, including Samar al Issawi, who is nearing day 270 of his hunger strike.

    Justice for Palestine Brisbane is holding a short action on Palestinian Prisoners Day Wednesday 17 April outside the ABC building at Southbank at 5pm.

    Please join us to support the campaign against administrative detention in Israel and support the struggle of the Palestinian hunger strikers and political prisoners.

    Palestinian Hunger striker Samer Issawi is on day 269 of his strike and he is on the edge of his life, imprisoned with no charges and no trial.

    Over 4,812 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel; 12 of them women, 219 of them children, and 178 of them held under administrative detention, a decrepit policy that Israel uses to hold Palestinians on secret information indefinitely without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Not only are these prisoners held arbitrarily, but Israel’s use of administrative detention violates several international standards, such as deporting Palestinians from the occupied territory to Israel, denying regular family visits and failing to take into account the best interests of child detainees as required under international law.

    The Australian media continues to ignore the hunger strikers as well as the ceaseless violations of human rights perpetrated by the Apartheid State of Israel. No More Silence No More Lies.

    Support the Palestinian Prisoners Wednesday the 17th of April 5pm ABC building Southbank.

    Justice for Palestine Brisbane

  4. Congratulations on marking this infamous day and sheeting it home to the ABC for its complicity with Israel.

    1. 'Children of the revolution' says:

      A real first here … a balanced report on Palestine from the ABC and The Australian … the aspect of the Four Corners story that concerned me was the Israeli military’s use of children as informants to sustain the occupation.

      Stone Cold Justice describes systematic ‘mapping‘ by the Israeli military to discover where Palestinian children live, right down to details of the rooms where they sleep at night.

      Then Israeli military raid the houses.

      Why? They take the children in order to force them to give information about the parents, to threaten and to bribe them.

      The other interesting aspect of this report is that we have not heard the usual accusations of antisemitism from Israeli spin machine. It seems the ABC is off the hook … at least this time.

      Israel is using the children as a means of keeping fear in people so that they will not rebel against the occupation and the building of settlement on the West bank.

      I wonder if there is a parallel in other settler societies like Australia where aboriginal children are taken from their parents and kinship carers and asked to provide information of their parents.

  5. Letter to Editor The Australian says:


    Your editorial of 11 February [2014] says of Israel’s illegal midnight abduction, detention and torture of Palestinian children: “To understand the problem in context, it needs to be acknowledged that the Israeli army faces constant and often dangerous provocation in the area, with children in the vanguard of stone-throwing and violence.”

    By your logic, the stone-throwing children in Soweto and other bantustans were to blame and not their Afrikaan occupiers! Occupation, colonisation and the replacement of an indigenous population by the occupying nation’s people has always been achieved and maintained by state violence and overwhelmingly superior military force. Why are you surprised that the children of an occupied indigenous people with no army or access to international courts of justice respond to their occupiers’ tanks, bulldozers, attack dogs, snipers and arbitrary detention policies with stones?

    The editorial then makes the amazing claim: “In mainstream Israel, the Middle East’s only functioning democracy, children born to parents of a Palestinian background have the same legal, educational, health and other rights as Jewish children.” You seem unaware that about 1.2 million Palestinian Israelis, those who Israel did not succeed in expelling in 1948 and who make up 20 percent, or one-fifth, of Israel’s population, have second-class citizenship within Israel, which defines itself as a Jewish state rather than a state for all its citizens. More than 20 provisions of Israel’s principal laws discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against non-Jews, according to Adalah: The Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel.

    Yours truly

    David Albuquerque

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