Torture in Palestine: a glimpse into Israel’s history of unrivalled cruelty
Recognition of ‘Israel’ is tantamount to approval of the crimes against humanity that forged its existence. Such recognition is absolutely inexcusable on any level, moral, legal, or otherwise.
Amnesty International has concluded that there is no nation on the face of the planet in which torture is as well-established and documented as in the case of the state of Israel(1). This, coming from an organisation not exactly renowned for its tenacity with respect to the Zionist entity’s crimes, is particularly telling. In addition to this the Zionist entity has a long history of refusing to investigate or even acknowledge the brutal torture that it visits upon its occupied, dispossessed, and terrorised victims.
The Shin Bet (known officially in English as the ‘Israel Security Agency’) is Israel’s domestic ‘security’ force, which boasts the motto “Defender that shall not be seen”. Reporting directly to the Office of the Prime Minister, the Shin Bet is responsible for carrying out the most unimaginably depraved torture on innocent Palestinian detainees, a handful of which will be documented herein.
Ever since its birth, forged in the fires of Jewish terrorism, ethnic cleansing, massacres and rape, the Zionist entity has encountered resistance (peaceful and armed) from dispossessed and occupied Palestinians. Having absolutely zero moral or legal claim to the land it now occupies, Israel responds to righteous peaceful or armed resistance in the only way it can: with violence and force characterised by unmitigated brutality.
Through a mere handful of examples, the reader will see how with unspeakable cruelty, the Zionist entity destroys individuals and families alike, physically and psychologically. Lives are torn apart, human beings are subjected to nightmarish treatment, inflicting unthinkable pain and distress. Their only crime? Exercising their right to self-determination in the face of a violent foreign occupier.
Torture by the Israeli regime is systemic in Occupied Palestine. It is the Zionists’ bulwark, indeed their only bulwark, against the rightful resistance mounted by the dispossessed and occupied Palestinians. What is euphemistically called ‘interrogation’, ranges from beatings, to isolation and sensory deprivation. From assault and mutilation of the genitals, to sodomy and rape. Electric shocks at the mouth, temples, and testicles are widely used, as are attack dogs. Invariably detainees are held in stress positions within tightly confined cells, and deprived of sleep, food and water. Detainees often have committed no crime other than having been politically active, voicing opposition to the occupation.
The cases that follow are taken from Ralph Schoenman’s 1988 book, ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’. The source materials he cites include the Al-Fajr Jerusalem Palestinian Weekly, case studies carried out by himself and Mya Shone, as well as a five-month 1977 study by the London Sunday Times.
I cannot stress enough the importance of reading these accounts in full; the pure brutality visited upon the victims stretches even the most cruel imagination.
Fazi Abdel Wahed Nijim was arrested in July 1970. He was tortured at Sarafand and set upon by dogs. Arrested again in July 1973, he was beaten in Gaza prison. Zudhir al-Dibi was arrested in February 1970 and interrogated in Nablus where he was whipped and beaten on the soles of his feet. His testicles were squeezed and he was hosed with ice water. Shehadeh Shalaldeh was arrested in August 1969 and interrogated at Moscobiya. A ballpoint refill was pushed into his penis. Abed al-Shalloudi was held without trial for sixteen months. Blindfolded and handcuffed while at Moscobiya, he was beaten by Naim Shabo, an Iraqi Jew, Director of the Minorities Department.
Jamil Abu Ghabiyr was arrested in February 1976 and held in Moscobiya. He was beaten on the head, body and genitals and made to lie in ice water. Issam Atif al Hamoury was arrested in October 1976. In Hebron prison the authorities arranged his rape by a prisoner trustee.
In February 1969, Rasmiya Odeh was arrested and brought to Moscobiya. Her father, Joseph, and two sisters were detained for interrogation. Joseph Odeh was kept in one room while Rasmiya was beaten nearby. When they brought him to her she was lying on the floor in blood-stained clothes. Her face was blue, her eye black. In his presence, they held her down and shoved a stick into her vagina. One of the interrogators ordered Joseph Odeh “to fuck” his daughter. When he refused they began beating both him and Rasmiya. They again spread her legs and shoved the stick into her. She was bleeding from the mouth, face and vagina when Joseph Odeh fell unconscious.
The Case of Ghassan Harb
Ghassan Harb, a 37-year-old Palestinian intellectual and journalist for Al Fajr, a prominent Arabic daily, was arrested in 1973. He was taken by Israeli soldiers and two plain-clothes agents from his home to Ramallah prison where he was held fifty days. During this time he was neither interrogated nor accused. He was denied any contact with his family or a lawyer. On the fiftieth day, Ghassan Harb was taken with a sack over his head to an undisclosed place. Here he was subjected to sustained beating: “Fifteen minutes, twenty minutes beating with his hand across my face.”
Stripped naked and a bag placed over his head, he was forced into a confined space. He began to suffocate. He managed by moving his head against the “wall” to remove the bag and found himself in a cupboard-like compartment some 2 feet square and 5 feet high [60 cm. and 150 cm. Respectively].
He could neither sit down nor stand up. The floor was concrete with a set of stone spikes set at irregular intervals. They were “sharp with acute edges,” 1.5 centimeters high. Ghassan Harb could not stand on them without pain. He had to stand on one leg and then replace it continuously with the other. He was kept in the box for four hours during the first session.
He was then made to crawl on his knees on sharp stones while being beaten for an hour by four soldiers. After being interrogated, Ghassan Harb was returned to his cell and the routine was repeated: beatings, stripping, forced to crawl into a dog kennel two feet square and then the “cupboard.” While in the cupboard at night he heard prisoners pleading, “Oh my stomach. You are killing me.”
Ghassan Harb was released two-and-a-half years later, never having been charged with a crime or brought to trial. His lawyer, Felicia Langer, succeeded in taking the matter of his maltreatment to the Israeli Supreme Court. No full statements were taken or admitted into the court hearing; no witnesses were called. The court dismissed out of hand all charges of torture.
The Case of Nader Afouri
Nader Afouri was a strong, vital man, the weight-lifting champion of Jordan. When he was released in 1980 after his fifth imprisonment, he could neither see, hear, speak, walk nor control his bodily
functions. Between 1967 and 1980, Nader Afouri was held ten and a half years as an administrative detainee. Despite the brutal treatment and torture inflicted upon Nader during five imprisonments, the Israeli authorities could neither extract a confession nor produce any evidence with which to bring Nader Afouri to trial.
The First Imprisonment-1967-1971:
“I was arrested initially in 1967, the first year of the occupation. They took me from my home in Nablus, blindfolded me and hanged me from a helicopter. All the people of Beit Furik and Salem villages near Nablus witnessed this.
“They brought me to Sarafand, the most harsh prison, a military prison. I was the first man from the West Bank or Gaza to be brought there. When they set the helicopter down, they pushed me out and ordered me to run. I heard gunfire and ran as they were shooting at me.
“They took me to a large room full of red, yellow and green lights. I could hear screams and the sounds of beatings. I heard a man yell: ‘You’ll have to confess.’ Then I heard a man confessing. Soon, I discovered this was a recording meant to intimidate me.
“Then they took me to the interrogator. They tied me with chains to green doors. Each door had a pulley. They opened the doom, spreading my hands and legs, then wound the pulleys till I fell unconscious.
“They made me get up on a chair, tied my hands to chains hanging from a window and slowly removed the chair. My muscles tore as the weight of my body pulled on my hands. The pain was terrible.
“There were five or six men. They all beat me. They hit me with blows on the head. They chained me to a chair. One would beat me and some of the other men in the room would say ‘Stop.’ Then they would change from one to the other, each hitting me in turn. I was kept chained in that chair and never allowed to stand up.
“They kept torturing me. An interrogator sucked on a cigarette. When it was red, he placed it on my face, chest and genitals – all over.”
“One shoved a pen refill up my penis while the others watched. As they did this they asked me to confess. I started to bleed from my penis and was taken to Ramle Prison Hospital but was soon brought back again to Sarafand for further interrogation.”
“I was in Sarafand twelve-and-a-half months and was interrogated continuously. No one can endure twelve-and-a-half months. On four occasions my friends in the other prisons were informed officially that I had died.”
“The first month in Sarafand, I was always blindfolded and had chains on my hands and legs. After one month they removed the hand chains and blindfold. But I wore leg chains for twelve-and-a- half months. Day and night I had chains on my legs. The marks are still on my ankles.”
“This was the routine: They would beat me, interrogate me, then throw me in the cell. I would rest awhile; then they would take me again.”
“The cell was 3 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet high [1 meter by 1.3 meters by 1.3 meters]. My height is 5 feet 6 inches [1.7 meters]. I slept crouched with my legs up against my stomach. There were no windows in the cell and no furnishings, only a pot for shitting. I had two blankets.”
“The stones on the floor were very sharp. They punctured my feet when I walked. They began to bring other prisoners. They gave us army clothes with numbers on the back. I was number one. They would only call me by my number, never by my name. They were always insulting me, yelling ‘Maniuk (Faggot), I will fuck you.’ When we were chained outside they brought savage dogs. The dogs jumped at us, grabbed our clothing and bit us.”
“Over thirty people were arrested after my own detention and all underwent the same torture. All, however, broke down under torture and wrote confessions and are in prison for life. I didn’t confess. The torture destroyed my penis and I could only urinate drop by drop. I could not walk for three-and-a-half months when I finished the interrogation. But I did not confess. I never spoke a word in twelve- and-a-half months.”
Nader Afouri was sent to Nablus Prison where he began a hunger strike demanding his freedom. He took only water and a little salt. After ten days he was promised his release. Ten days later when Nader Afouri had not been released, he renewed the hunger strike for yet another week. Again the Administrative Vice-President of Nablus Prison promised to release him. When there was still no action after twenty-five days, Nader Afouri announced another hunger strike.
“I was sent to the cells of Ramle prison after twenty-two days of this hunger strike. Dr. Silvan, the director there, brought several soldiers with him. They beat me on the head. I passed between life and death. They chained my hands and forced a tube in my nose. It was like an electrical shock. I began to shake. I became hysterical when the food reached my throat and began to scream constantly. They gave me an injection in the hip and I relaxed. When this torture failed to make me talk I was placed in the Prison Hospital at Ramle and then sent back to Nablus Prison.”
Each time a confession was extracted from another prisoner incriminating him, Nader Afouri would be called for interrogation. Often he did not even know the people who spoke against him. But still he did not confess, nor was he brought to trial.
Nader Afouri was well respected in Nablus and became a leader of the prisoners. When Abu Ard, an informer, accused him of leading the other prisoners, Nader Afouri was sent to Tulkarm prison.
“Fifteen soldiers came in and beat me on the head with a chair. I fell unconscious. They put my shirt in my mouth and beat me more. I became hysterical as I was gagging. They gave me an injection and I fell unconscious. I awoke alone in the corridor. I couldn’t see. All Tulkarm Prison went on strike and the prisoners met with the Director to speak about me. He promised he would release me the next day if they stopped their strike.”
“The Director came the next day and shook hands with me and said: “I swear by my life that you are a man.” They brought me socks and a jacket and promised me a private visit with my family.”
Nader Afouri was not freed. Instead he was sent to Bet Il prison from which he was eventually released in 1971. His four years of imprisonment were without trial and labelled administrative detention.
Only a few months lapsed before Nader Afouri was detained again. His second imprisonment lasted from 1971 until 1972 and a third from November 1972 until 1973.
The Fourth Imprisonment: Nov. 1973 – Nov. 1976:
“Hebron, Moscobiya, Ramallah and Nablus: I stayed three months in a cell in each of these four prisons and the interrogation and torture continued.”
“It was snowing during the interrogation in Hebron. They stripped me and put me outside in the cold. They tied me with chains to a pole and poured ice water over me. They let me down and brought me to a fire to warm up only to bring me outside again for the ice water treatment.”
“Iron balls were put into my scrotum and squeezed against the testicles. Pain just enveloped me. “One of the investigators, Abu Haroun, said he would turn my face into a bulldog’s. He was scientific. He hit me with rapid punches for two hours. Then he brought a minor and said: ‘Look at your face.’ I did indeed look like a bulldog.”
“In Nablus they burned me with cigarettes and again pressed the metal balls against my testicles-squeezing the egg against the iron. They used pliers to pull out four of my teeth.”
“I was detained three years administratively. During that time as an act of revenge, they also dynamited my house.”
The Fifth Imprisonment: November 1978 – 1980:
“They arrested me again in November 1978 and sent me directly to Hebron. They greeted me, sneeringly, declaring: ‘We will make you confess from your asshole.’ I told them I speak from my mouth, not my asshole.”
“At first they spoke nicely to me because they knew torture wouldn’t work. Then they brought the men in charge of interrogation: Uri, Abu Haroun, Joni, the Psychiatrist, Abu Nimer who has a finger missing, Abu Ali Mikha and Dr. Jims.”
“They chained me to a pole and concentrated their beatings on my chest. They lay me down on the floor and jumped high in the air landing on my chest. Uri did this seven or eight times. It was savage, unending torture for seven days. They smashed their boot heels on my fingernails, breaking my fingers.”
“It was snowing so they poured ice water on me. They handed me a paper and gave me two hours to confess. I said I knew nothing. They chained me to a chair. All of them began to beat me with their hands and feet. I fell down. My head was on the floor. I saw Uri fly through the air and I felt his karate chop on my head. This was the last memory I had for two years. “I have been told that I was dragged back to the cell. The other prisoners had to feed me, clean me and turn me over. I was incontinent and shat on myself. I could not move my hands or walk. I could not hear. I could not recognize anyone. Only my lips could move and I would swallow whatever was put in my mouth. People had to move my head. They had to move my limbs from under my body. My weight fell to 103 pounds [47 kilos].”
“Two years later, I woke up in a mental hospital. I had five fractures in my hips and I couldn’t walk.” His friends were able to arouse public concern throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories. Israeli officials and journalists wrote that Nader Afouni was “feigning” and that he was an excellent “actor.”
But the prisoners who had taken care of him and the journalists and sympathizers who visited him when he was finally transferred from prison to a hospital, as well as the hospital staff that eventually treated him, bore witness to his condition. Nader Afouni became a cause celebre for the Palestinian people, a symbol of the torment inflicted upon them and of the heroic dimension of their resistance.
The Case of Dr. Azmi Shuaiby
Azmi Shuaiby, a dentist, was an active member of the El Bireh City Council in the West Bank and an elected representative to the National Guidance Committee. Since 1973, Dr. Shuaiby has been arrested, brutally tortured and imprisoned seven times. Between 1980 and 1986 he was forbidden to leave the limits of El Bireh and was confined to his house after 6 p.m. In 1986, he was again imprisoned and then deported from the West Bank.
He has never been accused of armed actions or of promoting violence. But Dr. Shuaiby refuses Israeli demands that he collaborate. He has written articles against the occupation and settlements and in favor of an independent Palestinian state.
In 1973, when first arrested at the age of twenty, Azmi was told: “We have been watching you. You were first in your class at the University. We can make you a very rich and powerful man in the West Bank. You must cooperate with us and join the Village Leagues.” Upon his refusal, the series of arrests and savage torture began. Dr. Shuaiby described the methods of torture, both physical and psychological to which he was subjected.
“They used heavy batons. They put my legs between chair legs so I couldn’t move. Then they beat the soles of my feet.
My feet swelled. After one minute I could no longer feel my legs. The pain was excruciating. I was unable to stand. They would stand behind me. I couldn’t tell if anyone were there. Suddenly, the interrogator clapped his hands over my ears with great force. It caused sudden, terrible pressure in my nose, mouth, and ears – a loud ringing which went on for five minutes. I lost my balance and hearing.
They used a giant guard to punch me constantly. He said: “You are a dentist? Which hand do you use? If we break your hand you will no longer be a dentist.” Then he beat my hand until I felt it break.
They tied my hands behind my back and suspended me on a hook. They spread my legs and beat me on the testicles with sticks. Then they squeezed my testicles. I cannot describe the agony produced by squeezing the testicles. You feel stabbing pain in your stomach, in all your nerves.
You want to faint.
They put me outside in the winter, naked and fully exposed, with my cuffed hands suspended from hooks. I was hung this way from 11 p.m. at night until just before sunrise. Then I was returned to my cell. They had put water on the cell floor so that I couldn’t sleep. They told me I must collaborate with them and that when I did I must tell neither the Red Cross nor anyone else that I was working for them. I replied: “OK, I will tell them that you said I must not tell anyone you want me to work for you.” I refused to collaborate. They beat me endlessly.”
In 1980, the Israelis introduced new techniques. Dr. Shuaiby designates these methods “psychological torture”; he found them harder to endure than the physical torment. “Your brain is affected.”
Dr. Azmi Shuaiby was subjected to the following ordeal: Isolation: “No one was allowed to speak to me, not even the soldiers. The cell was 4.5 feet by 5.5 feet and 9 feet high [1.5m by 1.8m by 3m]. In one corner was a stinking hole used as a toilet. There was only a tiny window near the floor. I could never see the sky. The bare light was on day and night. I had nothing to read. I heard no voices. Food was put in the corner and the door opened very slightly. I had to strain to reach for it piece by piece.
“The bedding consisted of a plastic cover less than one half inch [1 cm.] thick. It was always wet. Once a week I was allowed to go out for a few minutes to air the bedding. No soldier was permitted to speak to me.
To maintain my sanity I collected small pieces of orange peel and made shapes with them. I would ask myself questions and then answer them. I also pulled threads from the blanket and knit them together.”
The Cupboard: “I was entombed for four days and nights, squeezed into a bent but standing position in a cupboard 20 inches by 20 inches [50cm. by 50cm.]. It was very dark. A filthy sack had been tied over my head. My hands were handcuffed behind my back with special cuffs. If I moved my hands in any way the cuffs automatically tightened. I was unable to move in the cupboard. I had to sleep while standing. I slept a minute at a time, awakening abruptly, convinced that I was suffocating.”
The Interrogators: “The interrogation and torture were carried out by a team. All were officers and captains, their names Gadi, Edi, Saini, Yacob and Dany. The interrogation room is their kingdom; no one can enter.
During the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the interrogation team was sent to Lebanon and a new staff brought to the West Bank prisons. The ‘new staff’ consisted of former torturers. One man had been an interrogator ten years before; now he was a businessman. ‘Captain Dany’ returned from Lebanon during my imprisonment. Captain Dany is a very tall, handsome man of thirty-five years. He is very crude, constantly yelling ‘Fuck your sister, fuck your mother.’ He would force my mouth open and spit in it. In 1973, he tried to force a bottle into my anus. When he saw me on his return from Lebanon, he said: ‘Oh, Azmi is here,’ and proceeded to tell me about the young children in Ansar. ‘I interrogate children 10, 11 and 12,’ he began, giving me accounts of their beatings.”
Dr. Azmi Shuaiby was imprisoned three times in 1982. Between December 7, 1981, and January 16, 1982, he was kept in isolation during the General Strike in the West Bank and the closure of Bir Zeit University. From April 1 to May 3, when the Israelis disbanded the West Bank City Councils, Azmi was placed in the “cupboard” and then again in isolation. He was kept in isolation throughout the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
“Recently they told me: “We will destroy your clinic by jailing you every alternate month. Our computer will determine when you are scheduled to be imprisoned again.” In 1986, Dr. Azmi Shuaiby was deported.
The Case of Mohammed Manasrah
Mohammed Manasrah was a trade union activist, secretary of the Bethlehem University Student Senate and is currently a writer and journalist. He was imprisoned three times for a total of four-and-a- half years and then placed on additional probation for two years. His torture during interrogation was unrelenting, resulting in sexual dysfunction and hearing loss. He also endured numerous additional briefer detentions as well as house arrest and town restrictions.
The First Imprisonment:
“I was nineteen years old in 1969 when I was arrested for the first time. I was taken with a group of people and held in the Moscobyia [the Russian Compound in Jerusalem] for six months, where I was interrogated about demonstrations, publications and organizations. “Moscobiya was barbaric. They took our clothes and covered our eyes. They cuffed our hands and chained ten of us in a row. We were stripped naked. They threw water on us. Then they beat us in turn, using sticks on our heads and on our sexual organs. They would alternate throwing water on us and beating us on our sexual organs. We would hear them filling the buckets and brace ourselves, but no matter how we tried, we could never prepare ourselves for the beatings.
“My friend, Bashir al Kharya, a lawyer, has been in prison since 1969. They beat his head with heavy sticks for three days. His head became green from mold and was infected with bacteria for five years. He is still held in Tulkarm Prison.”
The Second Imprisonment:
“In 1971, the authorities accused me of membership in both the P.F.L.P. (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and Fatah [Yasir Arafat’s group in the P.L.O.] even though one couldn’t be a member of both organizations.
“The security services lacked any evidence but they gave me the choice of being charged with membership in an illegal organization and being sentenced to prison or voluntarily moving to Amman [Jordan]. I told them I would rather be imprisoned for a lifetime than be exiled. I confessed to membership in the United Student Council, the council of all student organizations which had been declared illegal. I was then imprisoned for one year in Ramallah and Nablus prisons.”
The Third Imprisonment:
“In 1975, they raided my house in Dheisheh camp and confiscated all my books. They brought me to Bassa Police Station where they beat me for two days. They asked no questions. One interrogator stood in front of me and another behind me. Suddenly the one behind would clap his hands with great force on both my ears. Blood flowed from my ears and mouth. I suffered brain damage. One prisoner, whom they were trying to terrify, fainted when they brought him to where I was being tortured. “They imprisoned me for three years. I was held in Hebron, Ramallah, again in Hebron, Farguna, Beersheba, again in Hebron and then again in Beersheba. They would transfer me for ‘security reasons’ as punishment after hunger strikes.” Torture in Hebron Prison: Mohammed Manasrah was taken to Hebron and tortured in many different ways: They tied me upside down and beat me endlessly on the feet with a piece of wood. You can’t imagine how much they hit me. My feet swelled to a huge size and turned blue. \ bled under the skin. They stripped me of my clothes and hung me by chains with my hands above my head and my feet barely touching the ground. They beat me constantly on the feet, always concentrating on my feet. Sometimes they would let me down and put my feet into a basin of filthy, stinking cold water. This would relieve the pain. Then they would hang me up again. I had to sleep chained up, with my hands above my head. This went on for fourteen days. Maisara Abul Hamdia was with me. For every blow I received, he got two.
Maisara would be hanging when I entered the torture room. Then Maisara would find me hanging when he was brought to the torture room. [Maisara was later deported to Jordan.]
After fourteen days, I would lose consciousness constantly. I was put in Cell #5. It was 5 feet 3 inches by 2 feet and 5 feet 6 inches high [160cm. by 60cm. by 168cm.]. It was as high as I am tall and its length was such that I had to put my legs on the wall when I lay down. The only sound I ever heard was that of the keys. I became terrified whenever I heard that sound. I don’t know exactly how long I was there. It was somewhere between five days and one week.
I was beaten all night when they transferred me from Cell #5 to Cell #4. They used wide sticks and beat me on the head and sexual organs. They pulled my hair and hit my head on the wall. I have a permanent problem with my sexual organs and have had many X-Rays taken of my head and sexual organs.
I was brought to the military courtroom early in the morning and made to wait all day. But there was no session. Instead, Abu Ghazal, the famous interrogator, came. He grabbed my hair and swung me around the room, smashing me against the wall. My hair was pulled out. He threatened to send me to Sarafand or “Akka” [a secret prison used in 1974 and 1975] if I didn’t confess within two days.
I was put in a cell and slept the entire time. I didn’t know if it were day or night, two days or ten. I still feel cold when I recall this period. I get chills in my legs. After two days, ten soldiers rushed into my cell and started to beat me. They dragged me along the floor to the torture room. They told me that my friends and comrades had confessed. I said: “Bring them to me.” I knew these were lies. They brought two types of people to me in order to make me confess: kind, weak people who couldn’t bear to see how I was being tortured and “asafir” [spies]. Now they initiated other methods – alternating between beatings and soft talk in the hope that I would crack and “confess.” They accused me of being a member of the P.F.L.P., Fatah and the Communist Party. They would change their accusation, but one thing remained constant: after each accusation-they would beat me savagely.
They brought two Majors to see me who lectured me for six hours – about the Soviet Union’s crimes against the Jews and China’s oppression of its national minorities. They accused me of being a communist because they found books on Marxism in my house. I told them there couldn’t be peace here without self-determination for the Palestinian people. They asked me to write this down and sign it and I did.
After forty-six days of interrogation and detention they sent me to a military court in Ramallah. I was accused of having carried out actions against the authorities. My lawyer, Ghozi Kfir, asked for specifics. The court responded: “This is a revolutionary and a deceiver.” Before the hearing my lawyer and the prosecutor had worked out a deal. I was to be released without charge if I did not speak in court about how I was tortured. But the judge ignored the agreement and sentenced me to five years. I served three years and was placed on probation for two.”
~ The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman; Chapter 10: The Prevalence of Torture.
The Zionist entity doesn’t limit its thirst for cruelty to adults; Palestinian youths are targeted with brutality in equal measure. In 1983 Himsam Safieh and Ziad Sbeh Ziad, from the Galilee, committed the crime of raising the Palestinian flag on the first anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. As a result they were detained for six months, during which time they were stripped naked and left in a cold room. They were sprayed with cold water and beaten from head to toe, including their genitals. On top of this they were electrocuted – all in an attempt to extract false confessions. At the end of their detention, they were released without charge. During the first intifada in 1987, over 17,000 Palestinian youths were detained by Israel, many of whom were subjected to this kind of treatment.
In an attempt to crush the uprising (which consisted of mass strikes and demonstrations), Israeli soldiers roamed Palestinian villages and towns, terrorising the population. Youths as young as 13 years of age were taken from their homes, beaten senseless, and then buried alive. Some were subsequently dug up and rescued by villagers who had seen where they had been buried, others were not so lucky.
Israeli soldiers poured boiling water over a two-year-old infant, rendering her catatonic.
Israeli helicopters flew over towns, dropping an unknown green gas on the defenceless population. They fired canisters of the mysterious gas into homes and prevented the residents from leaving. Throughout the West Bank and Gaza, cases of miscarriages, vaginal bleeding, and asphyxiation occurred as a result. Needless to say, the gas was a gift from the U.S.A, bearing the markings: “560 cs. Federal Lab. Saltsburg, Pa. USA MK2 1988”.
What is most significant about these horrifying cases of torture and brutality is that they are not uncommon, nor are they the results of ‘rogue’ cops or soldiers. They are a direct result of Zionist policy. As discussed by Schoenman, the patterns of torture reported are “similar to those found in hundreds of testimonies published by Israeli lawyers, Felicia Langer and Lea Tsemel, by Palestinian lawyers Walid Fahoum and Raja Shehadeh, by Amnesty International and the National Lawyers Guild and the series of accounts this author documented from former prisoners.” Furthermore, it is worth reiterating the fact that Amnesty International has found the Zionist entity to be the world’s most prolific torturer.
Israel’s Shin Bet, the very group responsible for perpetrating the horrific torture outlined in the examples above, continues its savage practices to this day. From 2001 to 2009 inclusive, the Israeli State Attorney’s Office received over seven hundred complaints of torture carried out by the Shin Bet; the Zionist entity refused to investigate a single one of these cases(2).
In a recent example a Palestinian youth was held for six years by Israeli jailers, during which time he was held mainly in solitary confinement, and had boiling oil poured over him(3). As a result, Raf’at Bani Odeh now suffers from serious physical and psychological scars.
As brutal, vicious, and barbaric as these practices may be, it is difficult for one to be surprised. The usurping Zionist entity is literally built on lies, blood, and hate. Al Nakba, euphemistically referred to by historical revisionists of the negationist persuasion, as ‘The War of Independence’, was an orgy of violence levied at an innocent, defenceless indigenous population. Massacres of men, women, and children were committed in an attempt to terrorise the Palestinian population at large into flight. Hundreds of villages were razed to the ground so that their rightful residents could never return. ‘Israeli’ towns and villages took their places, with Hebrew names to supplant the Arabic. As ‘Israeli’ war criminal Moshe Dayan would say: “There is not a single community in the country that did not have a former Arab population”.
To this very day, Al Nakba continues in slow motion as Israel ‘Judaizes’ the entirety of Occupied Palestine and ethnically cleanses the rightful occupants from their land.
It is not enough to decry the ethnic cleansing, land theft, and occupation that afflicts the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza, whilst recognising ‘Israel’. The violent, racist, usurping Zionist entity occupies the entirety of Historic Palestine. What is happening to the West Bank and Gaza is simply a continuation of the very crimes that forged Israel’s existence: terrorism, massacres, extra-judicial murder, torture, ethnic cleansing, and land theft. Recognition of ‘Israel’ is tantamount to approval of these crimes against humanity, and such recognition is absolutely inexcusable on any level, moral, legal, or otherwise.
(1) ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’ by Ralph Schoenman, 1988.
(2) ‘Failure to investigate alleged cases of ill-treatment and torture’ – B’Tselem.
(3) ‘Family says Israeli jailers poured boiling oil on its son’ – The Voice of Palestine.