Palestine Update 294
Prison conditions in Israel violate every civilized standard
Israel is admired for several reasons around the world. To some it is the only remaining bastion of democracy in the Middle East. This is a comical claim because it is one and only thing- a racist-apartheid state that does not qualify to be included in the community of nations. With each passing day, it heightens its levels of barbaric behaviour towards the Palestinian populace with acts of cruelty that would shame any previous dictatorship or fascist regime in history.
The Third Geneva Convention protects prisoners of war. It defines their rights and sets out parameters for their treatment and release. International humanitarian law also protects other people deprived of their liberty in connection with armed conflict. Israel is in contravention and, for that reason, must be handed severe penalties by the international community. To isolate Israel is not an option anymore; it is an urgent international obligation. And Israel can ask for re-inclusion only when it fully abandons its brutal practices.
The stories of abuse and lunacy by prison authorities, all of which are sanctioned by the political class, cannot persist uncontested. Israel must feel the pinch. But it is naïve to imagine and trust that governments, especially in western countries, will seriously confront Israel. They have neither the political vision nor courage to take on a country whose people they once persecuted. And, besides, blood is thicker than water, which means they will side with the European Jew rather than with the Palestinian Arab. Nor can the rest of the Third World muster up anything other than voting numbers to win votes in the United Nations.
It is then for the human rights community, conscience-filled citizens, trade unions, the progressive Left, justice activists and movements, farmers, workers, indigenous people, faith-based movements to form coalitions of the oppressed and fill streets with protesters in an ever growing movement. History has numerous examples of how people have dislodged powerful regimes from power. Dislodging Israel from its cruel methods will need a special strategy because of how well it has camouflaged its political brutality and featured itself as the ‘victim’.
The blatant Israel falsehood be exposed. Public opinion must compel governments to put the weight of political pressure on Israel to transform or face isolation of sanctions, and divestments, and boycotts.
As Israel invents new ways of oppressing prisoners, and further worsens the sub-human conditions in prisons, it becomes a valid point of advocacy to challenge the occupation and its colonialist intentions with an intensity which brings tangible change.
Prisoner Heba Labadi: “I will continue until the end or I shall die”
Hunger striking Palestinian political prisoner Heba Labadi has detailed shocking torture at the hands of Israeli interrogators who told her she would “rot in prison” after her arrest last month. She was detained on August 20 as she crossed from Jordan to attend a wedding in the occupied West Bank with her mother. Her lawyer explained that she was stripped naked as soon as she was arrested and placed in handcuffs and leg chains before being blindfolded and transferred to the Bitah-Tikva detention centre. While there she was interrogated for 20 hours a day for the first 16 days of her detention, with only two breaks for meals.
Israeli interrogators used “the dirtiest words” to insult her, she explained and she was subjected to 35 straight days of “verbal, physical and psychological abuse and torture. “They also insulted Islam and Christianity and said that I am an extremist,” she said. “They told me that they had arrested my mother and sister and they would put me under renewable administrative detention for seven-and-a-half years and then release me to the West Bank and put me under 24-hour surveillance.” Ms Labadi is suspected of meeting with Hezbollah members during a trip to Beirut, which she and her family have denied.
She started a hunger strike after she was handed a five-month administrative detention order, meaning she can be held indefinitely without charges or trial. According to Jerusalem-based NGO B’Tselem, at the end of August 413 Palestinians were being held under administrative detention in Israeli prisons. Authorities ordered Ms Labadi to end her hunger strike, but she insisted that she will continue until her administrative detention order is cancelled. “I will continue until the end or I shall die,” she said.
‘I’m the Man Who Killed Your Husband’: Palestinian Women describe cruelty under interrogation
This is a story of Shin Bet barbarity in the only so-called democracy in the Middle East. Have the Jews learned nothing about cruelty? Or have they memorized what happened to them only to replicate that and worse?
For weeks, a team of 13 Shin Bet men (modern day barbarians) interrogated women suspected of social activities linked to Hamas. Three filed torture complaints to the Justice Ministry after hundreds such cases were closed without charges.
This description appears in one of the 31 paragraphs that spell out the manner and methods of the interrogation of Karmi, as explained in a complaint also sent to Rabia Hino of the Justice Ministry unit examining complaints by interrogees. The complaint was also sent to the military advocate general and the National Prison Wardens Investigations Unit, due to the aggressive arrest by the soldiers and the wardens’ treatment of her.
Read full narrative in Haaretz
Amazon, Israel, and the occupation of Palestine
Besides Amazon’s dealings with Israeli companies supporting and profiting from the Occupation, many more questions remain. The most troubling of these questions surround to how Amazon Israel will deal with realities on the ground in its operations. Will Amazon deliver to customers in illegal settlements? Will Amazon sell products manufactured or grown on Palestinian land seized by armed settlers and considered illegal by the UN and the international community? Will Amazon give Palestinian and Israeli sellers equal access to its platform?
On September 22nd, Amazon quietly launched its operations in Israel, offering local delivery from a number of Israeli brands, with a Hebrew-language version of its Israel platform coming soon. Consumers in Israel now have faster and broader access to the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace, yet questions remained unanswered about Amazon’s ties with Israeli military, financial, and technology companies involved in the Occupation of Palestine as well as accusations of anti-Palestinian bias against the platform and its founder Jeff Bezos.
Though Amazon Israel was launched barely two weeks ago, Amazon’s business operations with Israel go back much further. As early as 2015, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) began servicing Amazon’s fleet of cargo planes, and now services 80% of Amazon’s aircraft.
Read full account in opednews
Palestinians face torture in Israeli Administrative Detention
On August 20, Heba Ahmed al-Labadi fell into the dark hole of the Israeli legal system, joining 413 Palestinian prisoners who are currently held in so-called administrative detention. Heba and seven other prisoners have now declared a hunger strike to protest their unlawful detention and horrific conditions in Israeli prisons. Administrative detention is Israel’s go-to legal proceeding when it simply wants to mute the voices of Palestinian political activists, but lacks any concrete evidence that can be presented in an open, military court.Not that Israel’s military courts are an example of fairness and transparency. Indeed, when it comes to Palestinians, the entire Israeli judicial system is skewed. But administrative detention is a whole new level of injustice.
Read the full narrative in antiwar.com