Thursday, August 19, 2004

'The Forgotten'.. Israeli Crimes Against Detainees

By Suleiman Besharat
IOL correspondent

CAIRO, August 17 ( – As Palestinian security detainees in Israeli jails continued their 'empty stomach' battle for the third day running Tuesday, August 18, a new book documenting the torture methods used by the Israeli investigators against the Palestinian detainees, hit the shelves.

Published by the Arab Information Center in Cairo under the title "The Forgotten In Zionist Jails", Palestinian writer Ibrahim Abul Haigaa sheds light on the systematic methods used in Israeli jails to extract confessions from the Palestinian detainees.

The horrible torture methods used by the Israeli investigators against the Palestinian prisoners include putting out cigarettes at the sensitive parts of the detainees' bodies and sitting the detainee on a very small chair with his hands tied up behind his back for long hours.

Exposing the detainee to electric shakes as he sits on an electric chair was among the torture methods used, often leading to losing the consciousness of the detainees.

Beating and depriving from sleep, food and answering the call of nature are also used by the Israeli investigators to punish the Palestinian detainees who refuse to comply with the regulations of the jail administration.

Palestinian male prisoners are also stripped for long hours and some of them, including children, are sexually abused, as per the book.

In addition, the Israeli investigators threaten the detainee with bringing some of his relatives to watch him while being sexually abused in case he does not cooperate with the Israeli authorities.

Rape Threats

The Israeli investigators also threaten to rape female Palestinian detainees in case they refuse to deal with the investigators.

"Raping is the threat they use against me, they say either you confess or this soldier will rape you before us," the writer quotes female detainee Raeda Mohamed Shehada, as saying.

The same method was cited by another female detainee.

"The Israeli investigators threaten me to bring some women to rape me by force," said Fatma Kurd.

Athird, Safaa Deabes, agrees.

"An investigator approached me saying, were you a virgin when you got married?"

"He threatened I would come on my kneels after he brings who rapes me."

Rahab Al-Essawi, another Palestinian detainee, said she was threatened to be raped if "I did not give a full confession".

"At this moment as I kept steadfast, the investigator got angered, throwing a bottle of peer at my face as he screams and insults me."

The writer cites a case of a Palestinian detainee, Abla Taha, who was raped by some Israeli female soldiers while dozens of Israeli soldiers stood watching.

The writer also cites some cases of Palestinian detainees who died due to medical negligence. The number of the Palestinian detainees who are under long-term detention periods are 1046 among more than 7000 detainees in the Israeli prisons, according to the writer.

More than 8,000 Palestinians detained in Israel , some are held with no charges leveled or terms set for their release, have started an open-hunger strike on Sunday to protest the Israeli practices against them.

The Washington Post reported June 16 that the accounts of physical abuse of Iraqis by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad are similar to the Israeli army techniques in torturing Palestinian detainees.

It cited cases of Palestinian detainees painfully tortured by their Israeli interrogators and placed in stress postures similar to those imposed on Iraqi detainees.



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