Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Israel Tortures Palestinian Detainees Captured in Gaza War

Most people have heard about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier taken hostage in late June 2006 but not so much about the kidnapping earlier in the month of Salwa Salah and Sara Siureh, two Palestinian girls (both 16) kidnapped from their homes in Bethlehem and held without charge in administrative detention. See a piercing post about the issue here.

It is similarly unlikely to expect mainstream media to report on the roughly 200 Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces during Israel's most recent war on Gaza and the torture to which they have been subjected.
Speaking about the kidnapped, seven Israeli human rights groups assert that:
... minors and adults were held in ditches dug in dirt for hours, sometimes days, exposing the detainees to the elements while handcuffed and blindfolded. The testimonies also suggested that food and shelter were not always made available to the detainees. Even after the detainees were taken out of the ditches, the letter argued, the detainees were held inside a truck for an entire night, handcuffed, with one blanket for every two people. They suffered violence and humiliation at the hand of IDF soldiers and investigators, the letter went on to suggest. The rights groups went on to argue that after the detainees were transferred to a military detention facility, they were denied showers and bathroom facilities.
See Ha'aretz here. According to Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs (yes, so persistent is the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails that a ministry was created):
...prisoners were subjected to severe beating especially in the upper parts of the body, forced to sit in uncomfortable positions, deprived of sleep and forced to sit on children chairs while both hands and feet shackled in addition to violently shaking them and exposing them to extreme cold... some of those detainees were moved to the Negev desert prison without any clothes, covers or other basic necessities, and noted that the IOA [Israeli Occupation Authority] was dealing with those detainees as "unlawful combatants", which meant they had no rights and [are] indefinitely detained without trial or specific charge or knowing the reason for their detention.
See Palestine Information Center here.

The Shin Bet is currently releasing information that 'terrorists' that they captured in Gaza are now confessing to
Palestinian terrorist groups training and hiding bombs in mosques. Sure, nothing a little waterboarding and torture can't dream up for the occupation.

There are currently 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel, including 345 children and 53 parliamentary members! Inspite of the 1999 High Court of Justice ruling prohibiting most means of torture by the Israeli security forces, Palestinian detainees continue to be victims of torture.

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