4 Palestinian women arrested at Al-Aqsa Mosque as Israel marks Hanukkah

Israeli occupation arrest 4 Palestinian women after attacked them in Bab Al-Rahma in Al-Aqsa Mosque 

Four Palestinian women have been arrested after being attacked at the Al-Aqsa Mosque this morning, while settlers stormed the mosque, according to local news agency Ma’an.

The Jerusalem Department of Islamic Religious Endowments, Awqaf, in Jerusalem said in a statement, “Around 130 Jewish settlers have entered the compound today,” through Mughrabi Gate to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

Right-wing Israeli groups have called for large-scale incursions into the holy site during the Hanukkah festival, an eight-day Jewish holiday that marks the “rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem”.

Under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces, the groups of settlers lit the menorah (a Hanukkah candle) at the Mughrabi Gate.

READ: More than 400 Israel settlers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque last week

Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli soldiers attacked and detained Fatima Khader, Asma Shiyoukhi, Elham Abu Sobeih and Um Anan Ghorab, from the Bab Al-Rahma area in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the official media agency of the Palestinian Government, worshippers, students and Al-Aqsa Mosque guards intervened to defend the Muslim holy site by chanting “Allah Akbar” and hampered the settlers’ access to some areas of the site.

Days of Palestine@DaysofPalestine  

Israeli occupation arrest 4 Palestinian women after attacked them in Bab Al-Rahma in #AlAqsa Mosque moments ago.

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Palestinian worshippers reopened Al-Rahma Gate earlier this year after Israeli authorities closed it 15 years ago. Israeli settlers and officials pass through Al-Rahma Gate almost every day when they raid Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Since 2003, the Israeli occupation police have been allowing and protecting Israeli settlers who raid Al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis. They enter the site through the Mughrabi Gate.

Most recently, 407 Israeli settlers raided the Islamic holy site last week, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 war. It later annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital in a move never recognised by the international community.

READ: UK’s Prince Charles to visit the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Oldest Palestinian prisoner in Israel jails slams PLO, Fatah

The oldest Palestinian being held in Israeli jails, Major General Fuad Al-Shobaki who turned 80 in March 2019

The oldest Palestinian being held in Israeli jails, Major General Fuad Al-Shobaki who turned 80 in March 2019

Palestinian prisoner General Fuad Al-Shobaki has slammed members of PLO’s Central and Executive Committees as well as members of Fatah’s Military and Revolutionary Councils for ignoring the issue of prisoners being held in Israeli jails, the Shehab News Agency reported today.

In a letter leaked from his cell, Al-Shobaki wrote: “I am addressing you personally and as humans, asking if you still have a conscience… Days, months and years proved that you lost your conscience.”

He said that he supported them at the times of crises and he was the “brother of everyone during peace and war”.

“I am addressing you because I am the son of this country and it is my right to have you standing beside me,” he wrote, stating that he is “stubborn” and has not disclosed “any piece of information” about them to investigators.

“Now, I am over 80 years and I have only some days left of life,” he wrote. “So I would like to remind you that I have sacrificed myself for this country, which has been under the occupation, and I chose the country over my family.”

READ: Palestinian prisoner has a child through smuggled sperm

“Today,” he continued, “I feel sad that you do not even mention my name in your meetings. Is there anyone from the leadership who is asking about me or calling on popular or international movements to release me?”

Concluding his letter, Al-Shobaki wrote: “I am not begging you, but I am telling you that you have failed me and so you are failing the country in order to maintain your temporary gains. I am telling you that I am the next prisoner martyr … Shame on you to be sitting on chairs that you do not deserve.”

Al-Shobaki is the oldest Palestinian prisoner being held in Israeli jails. He was a senior military general in the Palestinian Authority, as well as a senior Fatah leader and acted as the financial consultant of late Fatah, PLO and PA President Yasser Arafat.

In 2002, he was arrested by the PA and sent to the notorious Jericho Prison and was kept there under British and American observation, Shehab said. He was investigated over claims of financing a weapons ship called “Karen A” which had been seized by Israel.

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped him from the PA’s prison in March 2006 and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. He has been held in Askalan and Hadarim Prisons.

READ: Remembering Ahed Tamimi’s arrest

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Israeli Forces Storm West Bank Town, Palestinians Resist and Suffocate on Tear-Gas

Dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear-gas inhalation during confrontations with Israeli forces in the town of Beit Ummar, south of the city of Hebron, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

Mohammed Awwad, a media activist, said that Israeli forces stormed the town, in the southern occupied West Bank, and fired tear-gas canisters directly towards Palestinian resident’s homes.

Many local Palestinian residents resisted the invasion, until the tear-gas caused dozens to suffer the effects of tear-gas, and were treated at the scene.

According to wikipedia, 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile; chemical formula: C10H5ClN2), a cyanocarbon, is the defining component of tear gas commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent.

Exposure to this compound causes a burning sensation and tearing of the eyes to the extent that the subject cannot keep his or her eyes open, as wells as a burning irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat, resulting in profuse coughing, nasal mucus discharge, disorientation, and difficulty breathing, partially incapacitating the subject.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Addameer Collects Hard Evidence on Torture and Ill-Treatment Committed against Palestinian Detainees at Israeli Interrogation Centers

By Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support And Human Rights Association: Since its creation, the occupying state developed and enforced laws and practices that led to both the systematic use of torture and to absolute impunity for the perpetrator of this crime. There has never been any individual or agency held accountable for the well-documented crimes of torture and ill-treatment at Israeli prisons and interrogation centers.

The occupation authorities, in particular, the Israeli intelligence agency “Shabak” resorts to torture and ill-treatment as standard operating procedure in a systematic and wide-scale approach against Palestinian detainees. Over the past three months, the intelligence agency subjected a number of detainees at Israeli interrogation centers to severe physical and psychological torture without any form of monitoring and protection.

Addameer has hard evidence on the crimes of torture and ill-treatment committed against a number of detainees held at interrogation centers since late August 2019. Addameer was banned from publishing any of the details of torture prior to this date, due to a gag order issued by the Israeli Court of First Instance in Jerusalem.

On 10 September 2019, a gag order was issued on a number of cases under interrogation at al-Mascobiyya interrogation center. Hence, preventing the public, including Addameer the legal representative, from publishing any information regarding these cases.

The gag order was issued based on a request from the Israeli intelligence agency and Israeli police and was renewed multiple times. Despite the gag order, Israeli media outlets and the Israeli intelligence agency published information to the public about some of those cases. This inconsistent enforcement of the gag order, where the Israeli sources exercised the freedom to publish, can only be understood as a means to influence public opinion.

Most importantly, the issuance of this gag order is an attempt to hide crimes committed against the detainees and prevent the public and the legal representatives from exposing the details of the crimes of torture and ill-treatment that were committed against the detainees in question throughout the past months.

Torture at Israeli interrogation centers

According to Israeli military laws, a detainee can be held in interrogation for a total period of 75 days without receiving any official charges. According to these same laws, a detainee can be banned from meeting his/her lawyer for a total period of 60 days. Those detainees, in particular, were held for extremely long periods of interrogation, and were also banned from lawyers’ visits and legal consultation.

The periods of the ban on meeting the lawyers ranged from 30 to 45 days in some cases. During the interrogations, the detainees suffered from different forms of both physical and psychological torture. The methods used against them included, but were not limited to harsh beating, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, stress positions, the denial of basic hygiene needs, sexual harassment, threatening and intensive psychological torture including the use of family members and/or other detainees.

The used threats included threats of rape, torture, and revocation of residency. The severe torture and humiliation these detainees suffered from, led to injuries, broken bones, fainting, vomiting, bleedings from different parts of the body (nose, mouth, hands, legs[1] and genital area). In addition, the detainees also suffered from the false assessment made by doctors at the interrogation centers, whom almost in all cases stated that the detainees are qualified for interrogations denying the clear signs of torture.

A short description of some of the torture techniques:

  • Positional torture (stress positions): Israeli intelligence officers forced the detainees into a number of stress positions such as the banana position,[2] the frog position, sitting on an imaginary chair, squatting and many other different positions. Almost in all of these stress positions, the detainees would lose their balance and fall on the ground, which would lead to a harsh beating by the officers and then forcing the detainee back into the stress position. Other used stress positions included standing on their toes while their hands were shackled above their heads to a wall. Another position included sitting on a chair while handcuffed to the back, where the hands were positioned on a table behind the detainee’s chair. A third position involved the detainee laying on the ground with his/her hands chained to each other with iron cuffs and positioned behind his/her back. This position also includes officers sitting on the detainee to place pressure on his/her body while beat him/her ferociously.
  • Harsh beatings: Israeli occupation intelligence officers used extreme methods of beatings against the detainees using their hands, legs, knees and even their fingers. The officers hit, slapped, punched, poked (using their fingers), and kicked the detainees. These methods resulted in severe and life-threatening injuries that included broken ribs, inability to walk, brutal bruises, swelling marks on the skin, ulcer wounds…etc. The officers, who exceeded five in number in some cases used to blindfold the detainees’ eyes so they would not expect the beating or know where it is coming from. Several of those detainees appeared in their court sessions with marks on their bodies, expressing severe pain, or in some cases arrived on wheelchairs. In one of the cases, the harsh beating was committed with the intention to kill the detainee, who was in fact transferred to the hospital in serious condition after around 30 hours of severe and extreme methods of beatings. In another case, the harsh beating aimed at injuries caused by a police dog during the arrest, the interrogators intended to target those previously obtained injuries, which were mainly on the detainee’s genital area causing the wounds to re-open twice. Also, in many other cases, the method of pulling the facial hair from its roots causing injuries and swelling marks was used.
  • Sleep deprivation: this technique was implemented through different methods, in some cases the detainees spent around twenty days sleeping from one to three hours a day. Even when those detainees were sent to their cells to sleep, they would be disturbed with loud and eerie sounds made by the prison guards, the voices of other detainees being harshly beaten or the sound of knocking on their cell doors. In some cases, sleep deprivation ranged from 30 to 60 continuous hours, where the detainee would not be sent to sleep at all during these hours and would be woken up if he/she falls asleep during the interrogation. Some detainees were harshly slapped on their faces to wake up, others were also splashed with water. Detainees described the slaps as extremely severe causing them to feel dizzy.
  • The use of family members (emotional blackmailing): psychological torture and ill-treatment were used on the majority of these detainees, focusing on threats against their family members, and loved ones. Israeli occupation forces used the policy of collective punishment through arresting and bringing in some of the family members mostly to al-Mascobiyya interrogations center and Ofer prison. Eight family members for seven different detainees were arrested, and another ten family members were brought in for questioning. Some of these relatives were kept for a number of days while others were kept for hours. In all the cases, family members and loved ones were mainly brought in to pressure the detainees themselves. The interrogators made the detainees assume that their relatives got arrested and will be tortured as well. Relatives included fathers, mothers, brothers, daughters, wives, etc.
  • Interrogation at Israeli secret prisons: at least one of the detainees Addameer has documented their cases have stated that they were taken to unknown centers. The detainee said that the interrogators at this center were all face-covered and wearing a different uniform than the known usual uniforms. It has been revealed in the past that Israel has secret prisons that are removed from maps and airbrushed aerial photographs.[3]

These detainees that were subject to torture and ill-treatment in the past months were around 50 detainees, almost half of them were subject to torture, and all of them suffered ill-treatment. The detainees included male and female detainees, they also included university students, union workers, human rights defenders, and a PLC member. Addameer’s lawyer began collecting hard evidence proving the torture and ill-treatment committed against these detainees from the very first day the lawyers were permitted to meet them.

Public International Law

Violations of Fair Trial Guarantees

Israeli military courts completely disregard the fair trial guarantees. The cases monitored in the last months are just another proof of the fact that the Israeli military court from its creation never met the minimum standards of a fair trial. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in all the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. [4] According to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, depriving a protected person a fair and regular trial is a grave breach.[5] Additionally, the right to a fair trial is set forth in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and in several other international instruments.[6] For example, the UN Human Rights Committee in its General Comment on Article 4 of the ICCPR stated that the principle of the fair trial cannot be derogated from.[7]

The fair trial guarantees basic principles that are systematically violated at the Israeli military courts include, but are not limited to the following; trail by an independent, impartial and regularly constituted court; presumption of innocence; information on the nature and cause of the accusation (right to be informed); necessary rights and means of defense (right to counsel); the presence of the accused at the trial; and compelling accused persons to testify against themselves or to confess guilt.[8]

As mentioned before, there was a gag order effective for a period of over three months, due to this gag order the court proceedings were not open to the public, and even preventing the family members from attending the court sessions. Thus, violating the right to public proceedings.[9] Also, the majority of the detainees who were included in the gag order were also banned from lawyers’ visits and consultation. Even in the court sessions that were conducted while the lawyers’ ban was effective, detainees were denied to see his/her lawyer. The period of the lawyers’ ban orders ranged from 30 days to around 45 days in some of the cases, depriving them of their right to counsel[10] in the most sensitive period of detention.

Moreover, according to the Israeli military law, a detainee can be held without any charges for a total period of 75 days that is subject to renewals. In those cases, in particular, the military prosecution pressed lists of charges after a period of interrogations that ranged from 50 to 60 days in some of the cases. One of the detainees spent more than 100 days at al-Mascobiyya interrogation center without knowing all of the charges brought against him. Thus, violating detainee’s right to be informed[11] of the nature of the accusations brought against them without delay. In other cases, the intelligence agency published accusations against individuals to the public before presenting them with their list of charges at the court. The published statements were for a mere political motive as the actual charges pressed against the same detainees at the military court are not in line with the published accusation.

Furthermore, according to the court sessions’ protocols, detainees have shown and expressed their need for urgent medical care by emphasizing that they were tortured. Some of the detainees attended their sessions in a wheelchair and one was not able to attend a number of his sessions due to his medical situation. Still, the judge at the military court in all of the cases extended the detention periods for the detainees for the purposes of interrogations. In fact, in the past three months, Addameer’s lawyers made several appeals to the Israeli military courts of appeals on the detention periods and many petitions to the Israeli High Court on the orders that ban the detainees from meeting their lawyers. All the petitions submitted to the Israeli High Court were rejected and around 95 percent of the appeals made to the Israeli military court of appeals were also rejected. This shows how the military court and High Court are not independent, impartial and regularly constituted courts[12] as they prioritize the requests and needs of the Israeli intelligence agency without any consideration of the detainees’ rights. Most importantly, the insistence of the Israeli judges at both courts to extend the interrogation periods with the knowledge of the committed torture shows the complicity of this legal system in the committed crimes. In fact, the judges also obstructed the documentation of torture by attempting to delay the obtaining of medical reports and pictures of the bodies of those tortured detainees, rather than monitoring and preventing torture, which is their legal obligation. Only in one of the cases, the judge ordered the detention center’s doctor to document the body of the detainee by taking pictures.

Finally, almost all of those detainees were forced to give confessions under torture. The intensity of the interrogations and severity of the physical and psychological torture forced the majority of the detainees to testify against themselves, against others, and confess guilty.[13] At the Israeli military court, those confessions are used as the main tool to indict those detainees, in complete disregard of all international norms that assert on the inadmissibility of all confessions obtained under torture.

Prohibition of Torture in Public International Law

Prohibition against torture is one of the most fundamental norms of international law that cannot be derogated from. The protection against torture under all circumstances is enshrined in both Treaty[14]  and Customary International Law.[15] Despite the absolute and non-derogable prohibition against torture, enshrined under article (2) of the International Convention against Torture and ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991, torture against Palestinian detainees is systematic and widespread in Israeli occupation prisons and interrogation centers. In fact, torture has been sanctioned by a series of Israeli High Court decisions. In High Court decision number 5100/94 in 1999,[16] the High Court made permissible the use of “special means of pressure” in the case of a “ticking bomb” scenario, where interrogators believe that a suspect is withholding information that could prevent an impending threat to civilian lives as stated in Article (1)34 of the Israeli Penal Code of 1972. This exception constitutes a grave legal loophole that legitimizes the torture and cruel treatment by the Israeli intelligence interrogators against Palestinian detainees and also protects interrogators who are granted impunity for their crimes.

Moreover, the Israeli High Court, in the Tbeish case number 9018/17 in 2018,[17] issued a ruling which expanded the concept of a “ticking bomb” scenario to include cases that are not imminent security threats. In this case, the judge based his ruling on previous decisions and broadened the element of immediacy not to be limited with a time frame. The Israeli occupying state alleges that the “special measures” they use with Palestinian detainees are part of their security measures. However, those practices amount to torture and ill-treatment, and even if the Israeli allegations were accurate, torture is absolutely prohibited in all circumstances including those of security-related measures. Furthermore, torture is committed in Israeli interrogation centers regardless of the classification of a “ticking bomb situation/special measures” torture is used with cases that even include the right to affiliation and organize politically.[18]

International legal standards affirm the absolute prohibition of torture under all circumstances. For example, the Council of Europe outlined guidelines on human rights and fighting terrorism which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 11 July 2002. The guidelines stated: “The use of torture or of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is absolutely prohibited, in all circumstances, and in particular during the arrest, questioning and detention of a person suspected of or convicted of terrorist activities, irrespective of the nature of the acts that the person is suspected of or for which he/she was convicted.”[19]

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, stated: “The ban on torture and ill-treatment was one of the most fundamental norms of international law and could not be justified in any circumstances.”[20] He added in the same statement speaking about the American prison at Guantanamo Bay that, “By failing to prosecute the crime of torture in CIA custody, the U.S. is in clear violation of the Convention against Torture and is sending a dangerous message of complacency and impunity of officials in the U.S. and around the world.”[21] The Israeli occupying state is an outrageous example of complicity and absolute impunity for perpetrators of the crimes of torture and ill-treatment.

Conclusion: Impunity for a war crime

This Israeli illegal occupation has violated all the legal elements of an occupation under international law. The Israeli legal system and practices are just one example of this violation that aims for suppressing and dominating the Palestinian protected population. Crimes of torture and denial of a fair trial for Palestinian detainees are not limited to one perpetrator. In fact, the agencies complicit in those crimes include the intelligence agency, military court, military prosecution, Hight Court, and even the medical staff that were involved in providing medical care and assessment for those detainees subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

According to various human rights organizations fighting against the crimes of the occupation, there are no effective domestic mechanisms of accountability for the crimes of torture, ill-treatment and the deprivation of a fair trial. In point of fact, Addameer, in the last ten years, has annually submitted tens of complaints of torture, and only one of them, a sexual harassment case, was open for investigation. However, rather than pressing a list of charges against the perpetrators, in this case, it was closed without indictment. Furthermore, according to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), about 1,200 complaints of torture during Israeli interrogations have been filed since 2001. All the cases were closed without a single indictment.[22]

Finally, Addameer affirms that the Israeli occupying state with all of its agencies continues to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the Rome Statute, the denial of a fair and regular trial is a war crime (Article 8 (2)(a) (vi)). Additionally, torture is a war crime (Article 8 (2)(a) (ii)) and if committed in a systematic and wide-scale approach it also amounts to a crime against humanity (Article 7 (1)(f)).[23]

Addameer calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its war crime and crimes against humanity and to put an end to its sanctioned absolute impunity.

[1] The hands and legs of those detainees suffered great injuries mainly due to the cuffs used to chain them for long hours.

[2] The banana position is a position in which the detainee’s legs cuffed to the lower part of a chair (the back of the chair is positioned to the side) and his hands cuffed to each other and pressured by the interrogators to the lower part of the chair. This position would mean that the detainee’s body would form an arch. Usually, when the detainee is forced into this position, the interrogators beat the detainee harshly on the chest and stomach. Interrogators put a blanket or a pillow on the floor behind the chair, since detainees usually fall with the chair to the floor, due to the intensity the body is exposed.

[3] For further information check the written article on https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/nov/14/israel2

[4] First Geneva Convention, Article 49; Second Geneva Convention, Article 50; Third Geneva Convention, Articles 102–108; Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 5 and 66–75; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4); Additional Protocol II, Article 6(2).The principle of the right to fair trial is also provided for in Article 17(2) of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.

[5] Third Geneva Convention, Article 130; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 147; Additional Protocol I, Article 85(4)(e).

[6] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(1) (ibid., § 2796); Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 40(2)(b)(iii) (ibid., § 2802); European Convention on Human Rights, Article 6(1) (ibid., § 2795); American Convention on Human Rights, Article 8(1) (ibid., § 2797); African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 7 (ibid., § 2801).

[7] UN Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 29 (Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) (ibid., § 2998).

[8] For further information check rule 100 of the customary international law at: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule100

[9] Third Geneva Convention, Article 105; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 74; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4)(i); ICC Statute, Article 64(7); ICTY Statute, Article 20(4); ICTR Statute, Article 19(4); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(1).

[10] First Geneva Convention, Article 49; Second Geneva Convention, Article 50; Third Geneva Convention, Article 84, and Article 96; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 72, and Article 123; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4)(a); Additional Protocol II, Article 6(2)(a). Also, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(3).

[11] Third Geneva Convention, Article 96, and Article 105; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 71, and Article 123; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4)(a); Additional Protocol II, Article 6(2)(a). Also, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(3)(a); Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 40(2)(b)(ii).

[12] Third Geneva Convention, Article 84; Additional Protocol II, Article 6(2); Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(1); European Convention on Human Rights, Article 6(1).

[13] Third Geneva Convention, Article 99; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(4)(f); Additional Protocol II, Article 6(2)(f); ICC Statute, Article 55(1)(a); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 14(3)(g); Convention against Torture, Article 15.

[14] First Geneva Convention, Article 12; Second Geneva Convention, Article 12; Third Geneva Convention, Article 17; fourth paragraph (“physical or mental torture”) Article 87, Article 89 (“inhuman, brutal or dangerous” disciplinary punishment), and Article 32; Additional Protocol I, Article 75(2); Additional Protocol II, Article 4(2); ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(c)(i) and (ii); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7; European Convention on Human Rights, Article 3.

[15] For further details check Rule 90 at: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter32_rule90

[16] HCJ 5100/94, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel et al. v. Government of Israel et al., Judgment. An English translation of the Court decision is available at: http://www.hamoked.org/files/2012/264_eng.pdf [accessed 5 December 2019].

[17] HCJ 9018/17, Firas Tbeish et al. v. The Attorney General. An English translation of the Court decision is available at: http://stoptorture.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/F.-Tbeish-Ruling-Nov.-2018.ENG_.pdf [accessed 22 December 2019].

[18] Joint report: B’Tselem and HAMOKED (2010): Impunity: Israeli military policy not to investigate the killing of Palestinians by soldiers https://www.btselem.org/download/201010_kept_in_the_dark_eng.pdf

[19] Guidelines on human rights and the fight against terrorism adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 11 July 2002 at the 804th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies

[20] Miles, Tom. “U.N. Expert Says Torture Persists at Guantanamo Bay; U.S. Denies.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 13 Dec. 2017, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guantanamo-torture/u-n-expert-says-tortur….

[21] Ibid.

[22] Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Torture in Israel 2019: Situation Report,  it can be found here:  Situation Report 2019.

[23] For further information check the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalCriminalCourt.aspx

(Source / 23.12.2019) 


Occupied West Bank (QNN)- Israeli bulldozers demolished tents and residential structures in the village of Al-Ras al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley, displacing Palestinian families in the cold weather.

Aref Daraghmeh, a Human rights activist, told QNN that the occupation state has demolished and confiscated tents in the village, forcing local residents out.

Daraghmeh said that the Israelis arrested him and confiscated his vehicle as he was videotaping the demolition.

He said that the occupation state had demolished over 400 structures in the Jordan Valley and Jericho this year.

‘Israel’ has been systematically following a demolition and displacement policy in order to force native Palestinians to leave the area so that more settlement outposts could be built.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 


Occupied West Bank (QNN)- A new report by the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) has revealed that over 25 Palestinians, who were arrested during the recent months, were subjected to brutal torture in Israeli interrogation centers.

The association revealed in a press conference on Monday that 95% of those who were arrested have been subjected to different types of torture and that most of them had no relations to any military activities. They were accused of participating in non-violent political and social activities.

Addameer stated that the occupation state has been trying, through an integrated methodology, to go after all forms of political and trade union activities throughout Palestine.

In the same context, Addameer stated that Samer Arbid was evacuated to Hadasah hospital only a few hours after his arrest without informing his lawyer or family. However, the Israelis had to tell Arbid’s lawyer about his condition when his life became at risk.

Addammer confirmed that medical reports by the hospital revealed that Samer had kidney failure due to brutal beating. He also had 11 fractures and muscle decomposition. Moreover, he lost his toenails after being tortured using the “Shabeh” method, which entails shackling the detainee’s hands and legs to a small chair for prolonged periods, angled to slant forward so that the detainee cannot sit in a stable position.

The NGO assured that it managed to get Arbid’s medical file, but the doctors did not take photos of the signs of torture on his body, which proves that they are colluding with the Israeli Shin Bet.

In another case, Addameer revealed that Israeli soldiers had deliberately unleashed canines to attack sensitive parts of the body of Qassam Barghouthi during his arrest. Barghouthi had a surgery to treat the wounded parts later on, however, the interrogators kept kicking him on his wounded parts, causing him to bleed several times.

Barghouthi was also subjected to psychological torture when his mother, Widad Barghouthi, was arrested to extract his confessions forcefully.

Mais Abu Ghoush, a 20-year-old journalism student, was also tortured during interrogation. She was tortured using “Shabeh” and she was accused of taking part in student activities at Birzeit University.

Addameer accused Israeli courts of covering up the Shin Bet’s torture policy by preventing lawyers from visiting their clients for very long periods.

In one case, the lawyer of Waleed Hanatsheh filed a petition in the Israeli Supreme Court to allow him to visit Hanatsheh but the court rejected it after viewing a confidential file, which included details about the torture to which Hanatsheh was subjected. Addameer assured that it has several pictures, which prove that Hanatsheh was tortured.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 


Gaza (QNN)- The Israeli occupation army arrested a Palestinian young man after shooting him in southern Gaza on Monday.

the army claimed in a statement that the young man crosses the separation fence and tried to get into the occupied land holding a knife, which forced the soldiers to open fire at him.

The statement added that the young man has been arrested to be interrogated.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Netanyahu accuses ICC of anti-Semitism in pursuit of war crimes probe

Israelis claim that anyone or anybody criticises their crimes against the Palestinians must be anti-Semitic

Israeli Crime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused ICC of anti-Semitism on Sunday over its chief prosecutor’s plan to pursue war crimes probe in Palestinian Territories.

The extremist right-wing leader, who is fighting for his political life in a March election, made the allegation during the ceremony of lighting the Hanukah Holiday candle in beside the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Jews claim their own wall.

“New edicts are being cast against the Jewish people – anti-Semitic edicts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) telling us that we, the Jews standing here next to this wall … in this city, in this country, have no right to live here and that by doing so, we are committing a war crime,” he claimed.

“Pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said, raising an argument likely to strike a chord with many Israelis who believe that criticism, especially in Europe, of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians has its roots in anti-Jewish sentiment.

The Hague-based ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Friday she would launch a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as soon as the court’s jurisdiction had been established.

Israel occupied those areas in 1967 and withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip after fierce Palestinian resistance in 2005.

Bensouda’s announcement opens the possibility of charges being filed against Israelis or Palestinians.

Israeli media, however, largely portrayed it as a bid to subject Israeli leaders and military officers to arrest and trial if they travel overseas.

Netanyahu’s accusations appeared to be cantered on a scenario in which Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where the Western Wall stands within the walled Old City, could be viewed by the court as war crimes.

ICC prosecutors have said a preliminary investigation on the West Bank focused on “reported settlement-related activities engaged in by Israeli authorities”.

Israeli settlement and aggression on the Palestinians in the occupied territories is illegal according to the international law.

Netanyahu said on Friday the ICC had no jurisdiction to investigate events in the Palestinian Territories, arguing it could only examine petitions submitted by a sovereign state.

The ICC has the authority to hear cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the 123 countries that have signed up to it.

Israel has not joined the court but the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, has done so.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Hamas: US Insists On Covering Israel’s Crimes Against Our People

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The Hamas Movement has described the US opposition to the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate Israeli war crimes as “insistence on providing cover for the atrocities and violations that had been committed against the Palestinian people.”

In press remarks on Saturday, Hazem Qasem accused the US administration of encouraging the Israeli occupation state to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people, calling the administration of Donald Trump “ Israel’s accomplice”

On Friday, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor announced her intention to open an investigation into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 23.12.2019) 

Israeli Forces Kidnap 14 Palestinians In West Bank Raids

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Photos File

Israeli occupation forces detained 14 Palestinians in multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoners’ Society (PPS).

PPS confirmed in a press release that Israeli police detained seven Palestinians from Jerusalem district.

Among the seven detainees were four women who were detained from the vicinity of Bab al-Rahma inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They were detained purportedly for obstructing the course of a group of settlers who barged their way into the mosque compound.

Two of the seven detainees were identified as teens who were kidnapped by undercover Israeli forces, known as Musta’ribeen, from Silwan neighborhood.

In Ramallah district, PPS confirmed an Israeli military raid in Qalandia refugee camp, south of Ramallah, resulting in the detention of a Palestinian.

It said that a similar military raid was conducted in Nilin town, west of Ramallah, resulting in the detention of three others.

In Bethlehem district, Israeli military vehicles raided al-Azza refugee camp, where soldiers rounded up three teens.

Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 5,700 Palestinians – including numerous women and children — are currently languishing in Israeli detention facilities.

(Source / 23.12.2019)