Palestinians in West Bank strike over Israel’s nation law

The streets of Ramallah and other West Bank cities were largely empty on Monday as schools, universities, government offices and private business were closed. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 October 2018
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Palestinians in West Bank strike over Israel’s nation law

  • The law undercuts Israel’s democratic values and marginalizes the Arab minority, about 20 percent of the population
  • Critics of Israel’s Jewish nation state law, passed last month, say it sidelines Israel’s non-Jewish citizens

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinians are on a general strike across the West Bank in solidarity with Arab citizens of Israel over a contentious law that defines Israel as a Jewish state.
The streets of Ramallah and other West Bank cities were largely empty on Monday as schools, universities, government offices and private business were closed. Public transportation also wasn't available.
For the Palestinians, the strike is a rare foray into domestic Israeli politics.
Critics of Israel's Jewish nation state law, passed last month, say it sidelines Israel's non-Jewish citizens.
Israel's 1948 declaration of independence defined the country as a Jewish and democratic state. The government says the new law merely enshrines Israel's existing character, but critics say it undercuts Israel's democratic values and marginalizes the Arab minority, about 20 percent of the population.


Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies: doctors

Updated 21 min 23 sec ago
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Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies: doctors

  • The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service
  • It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese civilian detained and allegedly tortured by security agents in a central town has died in custody, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said Sunday.
The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the doctors committee said in a statement.
The detainee “passed away on July 20, 2019 from torture while in detention at the NISS office in Dilling,” the statement said without elaborating on the circumstances of his arrest.
“NISS continues to torture and claim innocent civilian lives illegally without facing any consequences.”
Officers of NISS were not immediately available for comment.
Rights groups and activists had regularly accused NISS agents of cracking down on dissidents and restricting freedoms during the regime of veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir who was ousted in April.
It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December.
Dozens were killed and hundreds of protesters, activists and opposition leaders were arrested during the months-long campaign that led to Bashir’s overthrow and subsequent demonstrations calling for civilian rule.
Last week a power-sharing deal was inked between the protest leaders and the ruling generals who seized power after ousting Bashir.
More talks between the two sides to thrash out some pending issues have been suspended following differences within the protest movement itself over the power-sharing deal.