Monthly Archives: April 2013

Psagot Winery: Winning awards while supporting the occupation

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Psagot boutique and visitors’ centre in the illegal settlement of Psagot – Photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers – February 2013

The Psagot winery visitors’ centre is located in the illegal settlement of Psagot, positioned just outside Ramallah and Al Bireh in the West Bank. Established in 1981, the settlement hosts the headquarters of the Binyamin Regional Council and has a population of over 1600 people. Originally, the winery itself was also based there, but in 2008 it moved a few minutes down the road to the East Jerusalem settlement, Pisgat Ze’ev. Its first vineyards were planted on stolen land in 1998 and the winery has been operational since 2003. It produces around 100,000 bottles of wine per year, most -but not all- of which is sold in Israel. The winery’s vineyards are located within the West Bank.

The Israeli settlement wine export industry might not yet be huge, but settlement wineries are growing and have a big impact on Palestinians. The planting of vineyards facilitates settlement expansion and is an easy way to take over Palestinian land. Just like with other settlement businesses there is also state support for individuals willing to operate from the West Bank. For a full report of all the facts around Israel’s settlement wine industry, read the excellent report by Who Profits? Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli Wine Industry and the Occupation. Continue reading

Tell G4S to ‘come and see the prisons with their eyes’: Imprisoned without trial for being a member of a political party

Last week a day of action was held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. This interview is part of a series of Corporate Watch articles investigating the Israeli prison system.

Suleiman Majid* is a member of the Hamas party in his early forties. Corporate Watch met with him, and with Talib Hasan* who was imprisoned during the same period, in a town in the Northern West Bank to discuss their imprisonment by the Israel state. We discussed the involvement of international companies in providing services to Israeli prisons, particularly G4S. Continue reading

Kept in administrative detention for being a ‘man of influence’

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Continuing our series of personal testimonies from Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in the run-up to Palestinian prisoners’ day, this is the story of Tariq Abd al Kareem Fayyad Khaddar. Originally from Tulkarem, he now lives in Ramallah. He is a teacher at Bir Zeit University and a researcher in Israeli studies. He was first arrested in 2003, when he spent four years in prison, and again in 2011, when he spent two six month periods in administrative detention. Continue reading

Kept in administrative detention for being a ‘man of influence’

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Continuing our series of personal testimonies from Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in the run-up to Palestinian prisoners’ day, this is the story of Tariq Abd al Kareem Fayyad Khaddar. Originally from Tulkarem, he now lives in Ramallah. He is a teacher at Bir Zeit University and a researcher in Israeli studies. He was first arrested in 2003, when he spent four years in prison, and again in 2011, when he spent two six month periods in administrative detention. Continue reading

“You don’t look for justice in a military court”

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Salah, , a 27 year old French-Palestinian man from Jerusalem who has spent 7 years and 10 months in Israeli prisons since he was 16 years old.

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

In January and February 2013 Corporate Watch interviewed a number of ex-prisoners with the aim of highlighting the conditions for Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s jails, and allowing their personal stories to be heard. This is the testimony of Salah, a 27 year old French-Palestinian man from Jerusalem who has spent 7  years and 10 months in Israeli prisons since he was 16 years old.

A video interview with Salah can be viewed here.

Continue reading

“It only takes one phone call for us to get you here. We can take you anytime”: Arrested for using Facebook

Ghada Hanieh - impisoned in an Israeli jail for running a prisoner solidarity Facebook page

Ghada Hanieh – imprisoned in an Israeli jail for running a prisoner solidarity Facebook page

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

In January and February 2013 Corporate Watch interviewed a number of ex-prisoners with the aim of highlighting the conditions for Palestine’s political prisoners in Israel’s jails, and allowing their personal stories to be heard. This is the testimony of Ghada, a 22 year old woman from Ramla who lives in Ramallah. At the time of her arrest Ghada had been active in student organising and in prisoner solidarity work. To watch Ghada’s video statement to click here Continue reading

“I cannot remember how many times I have been arrested”: A decade in Israeli prisons

Palestinians pray outside Ofer prison at a demonstration in solidarity with hunger strikers – February 2013

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

This is the transcript of an interview with a member of Tubas Prisoner’s Society who has been a prisoner in Israeli jails. His last term of imprisonment was from 2002-12. The interview was carried out in February 2013. It is illustrative of the conditions faced by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The interviewee’s name has been changed. Continue reading

“Are you Palestinian? Are you a little bit Palestinian? They yelled at me”: Experiencing detention in Israel

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CCTV watches over an Israeli police station in the Israeli occupied West Bank

Palestinians have called for international action on April 17th 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focussing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Tom Woodhead is a Palestine solidarity and anti arms trade activist and recently volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. On March 1st 2013, he was arrested by Israeli border police whilst participating in the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum in the West Bank. Two Palestinians, Belal Jomaa and Nayif Jomaa were also arrested. Tom spent 11 days in detention in Israel before being deported to the UK. Corporate Watch caught up with him to find out about his experiences, and to get more information about companies operating in Israeli detention facilities. Continue reading

Guerrilla research exposes sponsors of Israeli apartheid

This Corporate Watch op-ed was first published by Electronic Intifada on the 20th of March 2013.

For the last three and a half years the UK-based research cooperative Corporate Watch has been running a project tracking corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine.

After a research visit to Palestine in 2010, we wrote a handbook for activists who want to take action in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In January and February this year, we returned to Palestine to find out what was new on the ground.

Much of Corporate Watch’s research has focused on entering Israeli settlements, seeing how they are financially sustaining themselves, what companies are operating or providing services there and how they are facilitating apartheid and colonization. Continue reading