HRW: Palestinian authorities ‘systematically mistreating and torturing’ detainees

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian man in Jerusalem on 28 February 2022


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised Palestinian authorities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in its recent report for systematically torturing critics in detention, which could amount to crimes against humanity.

Entitled “Palestine: Impunity for Arbitrary Arrests, Torture”, the international rights group called for donor countries to cut off funding to Palestinian security forces that commit such crimes and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate.

The report found that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas both “commonly use positional abuse or shabeh, where officers placed detainees in painful stress positions for many hours at a time, using a mix of techniques that often left little or no trace on the body.”

“This tactic, which parallels years of Israeli practice against Palestinians, can amount to torture when it constitutes deliberate infliction of severe harm,” the report added.

HRW’s report comes a year after the death of Nizar Banat, a 43-year-old activist who was a stern critic of the PA and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. His family says he died after security forces stormed his residence in the middle of the night and beat him with metal batons and has accused the PA of trying to cover up the details.

Protests over Banat’s death were responded with extreme violence by PA security agencies.

READ: If the detention of an Israeli soldier is a war crime, what about the thousands of Palestinian civilians?

“More than a year after beating to death Nizar Banat, the Palestinian Authority continues to arrest and torture critics and opponents,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at HRW. “Systematic abuse by the PA and Hamas forms a critical part of the repression of the Palestinian people.”

The report includes a list of Palestinians who had been arbitrarily arrested in the aftermath of Banat’s death.

Hamza Zbeidat, 38, told HRW that PA police forces arrested him as he arrived at a planned August 2021 protest about Banat’s case. Prosecutors later charged Zbeidat with insulting “higher authorities”, “unlawful assembly” and inciting “sectarian strife”.  He said he spent three nights in an overcrowded, tiny cell without proper ventilation and tested positive for Covid-19 several days after his release, with charges outstanding.

Meanwhile, HRW said security forces were not held to account for the alleged torture they imposed, which included the use of “solitary confinement and beatings, whipping their feet, painful stress positions for prolonged periods and hoisting their arms behind their backs with cables or rope.”

Palestine is part of the Convention Against Torture, which requires members to work to prevent torture.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians, Detain Five Internationals, Near Hebron

On Friday, Israeli soldiers injured many Palestinians and detained five international peace activists during a nonviolent procession against the ongoing illegal colonialist activities in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian, accompanied by Israeli and international peace activists, marched under the slogan “No to a new Nakba in Masafer Yatta.”

Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the National and Popular Committees against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in southern Hebron, said the soldiers assaulted the nonviolent protesters in the Ein al-Baida area and the al-Jawaya community in Masafer Yatta.

Jabour said the soldiers also fired gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, cuts, and bruises, and detained five international peace activists.

The procession was held in areas facing constant violations and the threat of illegal Israeli annexation for the benefit of the illegal colonies built on stolen Palestinian lands in a direct violation of International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and various United Nations resolutions.

They also constitute war crimes under International Law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.”

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Dozens Of Palestinians In Kufur Qaddoum

On Friday, Israeli soldiers injured dozens of Palestinians, including seventeen who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, during the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

Dozens of residents held the weekly procession and marched from the town’s center while chanting for liberation and calling for ending the illegal Israeli occupation and its colonialist activities.

The Palestinians also marked the twelfth year since the nonviolent processions started, and raised Palestinian flags before the soldiers assaulted them near the town’s closed main road.

The soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades at the protesters, wounding seventeen and causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Palestinians have been holding weekly processions in Kufur Qaddoum for the last eighteen years, demanding the army to reopen the village’s main road the soldiers blockaded to allow easy access to the illegal colonizers driving to and from Kedumim illegal colony built on stolen Palestinian lands.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers injure Many Palestinians In Beita And Beit Dajan

On Friday, Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly processions in Beita and Beit Dajan, south and east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and injured many Palestinians.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Emergency Department at the Nablus branch of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said the soldiers caused twelve Palestinians to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation in Beit Dajan.

Jibril added that the soldiers also shot a young man with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the back and caused four to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation in Beita.

The Palestinians marched while raising Palestinian flags and chanting against the illegal Israeli occupation, its escalating violations, and the ongoing illegal colonialist activities.

The Palestinians have been holding ongoing processions on their lands in Sbeih Mountain in Beita, and in Beit Dajan, since May of last year after a group of illegal Israeli colonizers installed an outpost atop the mountain.

During these protests, the soldiers injured thousands of Palestinians and killed several others, including children.

The Mountain, owned by the Palestinians, has significant strategic importance, especially since if it is occupied by the colonizers the colony would lead to the annexation of 20 Dunams of Palestinian lands, and would also lead to the isolation of a large area of Palestinian lands.

(Source /01.07.2022)

WAFA: “Israeli soldiers attack a woman’s funeral in Beit Ummar”

HEBRON, Friday, July 1, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces today attacked a deceased Palestinian woman’s funeral in the town of Beit Ummar, in the southern West Bank province of Hebron, according to local sources.

Mohammad Awad, a local Palestinian activist, told WAFA that soldiers attacked the coffin of the deceased Palestinian woman as well as the pallbearers as the funeral passed through the main entrance to the town.

He said the attacking soldiers fired live shots into the air, kicked the pallbearers, and fired teargas canisters and stun grenades to disperse the funeral. No injuries were reported.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Eight Palestinians In West Bank

On Friday dawn and Thursday night, Israeli soldiers abducted eight Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including the occupied capital Jerusalem.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers invaded the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of the city, searched homes, and abducted Mos’ab Sho’eib Khdeirat and Mohammad Ahmad Khdeirat.

The soldiers also invaded many villages and towns in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin, searched homes, and abducted Azmi Salah Abu Hasan.

In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted former political prisoner Nihad Jihad al-Aqra’ from his home in Askar al-Jadid refugee camp, east of the city.

On Thursday night, the soldiers abducted a young man, Nitham Abu Ramouz, near the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem and a young man whose name remained unknown, from Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa, after attacking him while in his car in the Wadi ar-Rababa neighborhood.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Detainee Rayyan Continues Hunger Strike For 86th Day

Palestinian political prisoner, Raed Rayyan, held by Israeli under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial, is continuing the hunger strike for the 86th day, protesting his continued imprisonment.

Rayyan, from Beit Doqqo village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, is currently held at the infamous Ramla Prison Clinic, which lacks physicians and basic supplies, and is facing a serious deterioration in his health.

The Palestinian Detainees Committee said that Rayyan suffers a dangerous weight loss, dizziness, fatigue, repeated vomiting, and a dangerous deficiency in vitamins, proteins, and minerals, in addition to pain in various parts of his body.

The Committee added that the detainee is subject to repeated violations and attempts by the prison administration to force him to end the strike, but he remains determined to continue.

Israeli is holding captive at least 4600 Palestinians, including about 682 who are held under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, in addition to 7 Legislative Council Members, 170 children, and thirty-two women.

The Israeli occupation authorities have issued more than 54000 Administrative Detention orders against the Palestinian detainees since 1967.

There are also five hundred ailing detainees, including fifty in serious conditions requiring constant care and many with cancer, kidney diseases, and other conditions.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Israeli Army Fires At Farmers And Shepherds East Of Gaza

On Friday morning, Israeli soldiers fired many live rounds and gas bombs at Palestinian farmers and shepherds on their lands near the perimeter fence east of Gaza city.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the fence, fired a barrage of live rounds and gas bombs at the farmers and shepherds east of the Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza city,

They added that the attack did not lead to casualties but forced the Palestinians to leave their lands in fear of further escalation.

On Wednesday morning, Israeli soldiers invaded Palestinian farmlands in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The attacks are part of constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermenfarmersshepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and resulted in dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to severe property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

In March of 2021, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.

(Source / 01.07.2022)

Soldiers Invade Villages And Towns, In Jenin, Abduct A Palestinian

On Friday dawn, Israeli soldiers invaded many villages and towns in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin, searched homes, and abducted one Palestinian.

The soldiers invaded the al-Yamoun town, west of Jenin, searched a few homes, and abducted Azmi Salah Abu Hasan.

The soldiers also searched the home of Azmi’s brother, Raed, and his son Bassel; the army abducted them several months ago, and they are still imprisoned.

The invasions also targeted the Silat al-Harithiya town and the villages of Ta’nak and Rommana, west of Jenin.

(Source / 01.07.2022)