Thousands attend funeral for Qalandia victims
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Thousands of mourners on Monday attended the funeral of three Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces overnight. After funeral prayers were said, the bodies of the three men were carried to a cemetery in the camp. Robin al-Abed, 32, was shot in the chest and died instantly, medics said. Younis Jihad Abu al-Sheikh Jahjouh, 22, was also shot dead. Jihad Asslan, 20, died Monday morning from his injuries after being pronounced brain dead at a Ramallah hospital. Al-Abed’s mother collapsed upon seeing her son’s body. He was reportedly on his way to work in a UN office in the camp when he was shot dead.
A number of gunmen fired into the air while shouting slogans against the killings and calling for revenge. Clashes broke out at Qalandia checkpoint following the funeral, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces near the military checkpoint. Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators. The killing of the three men has been widely condemned by Palestinian officials and peace talks planned for Monday in Jericho have been canceled as a result of the deaths. “The meeting that was to take place in Jericho…today was cancelled because of the Israeli crime committed in Qalandia today,” an official told AFP
Egypt’s Mahalla textile workers on strike again
Ten thousand shift workers at the Egyptian public sector Weaving and Textile Company in Mahalla City commenced a strike on Monday morning, claiming the company’s administration did not respect the payment deadline for their profit-sharing bonus. Mahalla workers, totalling around 24,000, went on strike last month after they were paid only half of their agreed bonus (the equivalent of 45 days salary). Management promised they would receive the remaining sum with their August pay checks, but this didn’t materialise.
”The ministry of finance delayed the payment because of the current economical situation,” Ibrahim Badr, head of the company told Ahram Online. “I cannot say exactly when the money will be available, but it will not take longer than a few days,” he added. In contradiction with the workers story, Badr says only a few hundred of the company’s task force went on strike. The strikers raised other demands, including the dismissal of the head of the Holding Company for weaving and spinning, Fouad Abdel-Alim, and the suspension of the current state-run trade union committee, which has been accused by the workers of siding with management.
”The dismissal of Fouad Abdel-Alim is a main demand. We know him very well. The company will not flourish as long as he is in this position,” Kamal El-Fayoumi, a worker who has become a renowned figure after playing a key role in strikes staged before Mubarak’s ouster, told Ahram Online. “It is not the workers’ business to decide who should be dismissed or appointed; it’s the state’s responsibility,” Badr comments. Negotiations are underway between respresentatives of the workers and the military governor of Al-Mahalla regarding the way out of this stalemate.
The feud between Abdel-Alim and Mahalla workers has been ongoing for years, since he was head of the company. After 25 January he was removed from his post amidst substantial strikes. ”We believed it (Abdel-Alim’s removal from post) was in response to the workers, but the government later promoted him,” El-Fayoumi said.
Solidarity Strike Commences due to IPS Failure to Remove Abu Sisi from Isolation
According to Waed Association for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners, the Palestinian inmates who were planning to postpone their hunger strike will now commence the strike, since the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has failed to follow through on ending Dirar Abu Sisi’s solitary confinement. On Thursday, Palestinian prisoners gave the IPS 48 hours to remove Abu Sisi from isolation, indicating they would commence an open-ended solidarity hunger strike if the condition was not met. Waed announced that the prisoners would delay the threatened strike, which was supposed to start on Sunday, when the IPS appeared to be ready to remove Abu Sisi from isolation.
Since the IPS has failed to relocate Abu Sisi, the prisoners announced Monday their decision to follow through with the solidarity strike. Dirar Abu Sisi, 44, was kidnapped by the Israeli foreign intelligence agents on February 19, 2011 while in the Ukraine, his wife’s country of origin. He is on hunger strike in protest of being kept in solitary confinement. Abu Sisi has been kept in solitary confinement since the abduction, and his health is deteriorating. He has been subjected to torture, inhumane treatment and humiliation in the Israeli prisons.