Thursday, 30 October 2014

Torture in Israeli prisons: 200 methods used against Palestinian prisoners


Hundreds of torture methods used against Palestinian prisoners during interrogations conducted in Israeli prisoners have been observed by human rights organisations and prisoners' rights associations.

A report by the United Nations lists around 200 methods of torture. The Israeli rights group B'Tselem listed around 105 torture methods. Regardless of the number, all these reports indicate a grave level of violations perpetrated against Palestinians following their arrest.

Fouad Khuffash, director of the Ahrar Centre for Prisoners' Studies and Human Rights, suggests that torture can be divided into two categories; physical and psychological. Some believe that psychological torture is less harmful than physical torture, but the mental scars left by both can leave prisoners traumatised long after their release.

Khuffash adds: "Torture in Israeli prisons is systematic and starts from the moment a prisoner is arrested, not from the moment they begin interrogation. This is a premeditated and staged scenario that changes according to the case of the detainee and the nature of their file. Investigators alternate and play various roles assigned in advance to each investigator."

Fahd Abu Al-Hajj, director of the Abu Jihad Centre for Prisoner Affairs at the University of Jerusalem, noted that there are 73 methods of interrogation considered to be the "most popular" in Israeli jails. These methods demonstrate the barbarism of the occupation and its lack of respect for basic standards of human rights, he stated. more

Abbas: Closure of Aqsa 'declaration of war'


Israel's closure of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to all visitors following the shooting of a Jewish hardliner is tantamount to a "declaration of war," President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.

"This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

"We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque this morning," he added.

Abu Rdeina added, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, that Abbas confirmed that “Jerusalem and its holy Muslim and Christian places are a red line and we won’t accept any harm to them.”

Abu Rdeina said that Israel’s decision to seal Al-Aqsa mosque for the first time “was a brazen challenge and dangerous behavior, and will lead to more tension and instability and create very dangerous atmosphere.”

The state of Palestine, he added, will carry out all the procedures needed to call Israel to account and stop these ongoing attacks.

Abbas’ spokesman urged the international community to “take action immediately in order to stop this aggression because with such attacks and dangerous escalation “Israel is declaring war against the Palestinian people and their holy places and against both the Arab and Islamic nations.” more

Israeli forces kill Palestinian man in Jerusalem shooting


Undercover Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man in East Jerusalem early Thursday suspected of shooting a prominent Israeli extremist hours earlier.

Special forces raided the al-Thuri neighborhood near Silwan at 2:30 a.m. and began searching rooftops before shooting dead Muataz Ibrahim Hijazi, 32, after exchanging fire.

Witnesses said that Hijazi was shot and unable to move or fire back, at which point Israeli forces broke into his home and went to the rooftop.

The special units then threw a water tank on him as he bled to death.

Chairman of a local sports club, Hani Gheith, told Ma'an that Israeli forces only broke into Hijazi's house after they were sure he was critically wounded.

Dozens of locals tried to access the home after the shootout to take Hijazi to hospital but Israeli forces fired at them, injuring 15.

Four were taken to hospital for treatment. more