Press Release - December 12, 2000
Israeli Occupation Authorities escalated it’s continuing wide spread arrest campaign that started since the beginning of the latest Intifada. While the arrest campaign was mainly concentrating on arresting Palestinians, accused in taking part in the last events, on checkpoints and crossing it is now characterized by it’s systematic raids on houses of Palestinians residing in areas under full Israeli control and in Jerusalem.
Raids by large groups of Israeli military forces and special military units masked on Palestinian houses usually happen after midnight and in many cases like the case of raids in Beit Fourik near Nablus and Al Mughayer near Ramallah are accompanied with trained police digs that are sent into the houses before military forces storm the house.
The arrest campaign reached in addition to arrests on checkpoints and crossings the villages of Beit Fourik, Al Mughayer, Ras Karkar, Beit Dajan, Salem, Arroub Refugee Camp, Senjil and areas of occupied Jerusalem as well as other areas.
In one case in Beit Fourik the Israeli military authorities forced Sajed Mleitat to undress completely outside his house and directed searchlights on him before they arrested him and transferred him to administrative detention before he was moved to interrogation three days later.
During these raids and arrest campaigns many Palestinian had been arrested among them are the following cases: Nael Al Haj Mohammad from Beit Fourik, Hassaan Ishtaieh, 32 years old from Salem, Mohammad Al Bes, 18 years old from Aroub Refugee Camp, Hamed Khader Abu I’layah, 21 years old and As’ad Jaber Abu I’layah, 18 years old from both from Al Mughayer and each of Sulaiman Al Fuqaha, 30 years old, Khaled Masaalmah, 35 years old and Mohammad Kayed, 46 years old all from Senjil.
Many of the detainees are being severely beaten and kicked during their arrest by Israeli military forces as in the case of Mohammad Ali Ibrahim Al Bes from Aroub refugee camp who had been severely beaten by the back of guns, continuously kicked, socked with cold water and dragged along by soldiers during his arrest in the very early morning hours on Tuesday, 12 December 2000.
Addameer Association monitored the raids and arrest campaigns and registered these most common phenomena that accompany them:
- Raids on Palestinian houses come after midnight and end before daylight with huge numbers of military forces and special units taking part.
- All neighborhoods and houses of those targeted are surrounded at the same and exact time as the rest of those targeted in the neighborhood or the village.
- Trained police dogs are used in searching the houses before the Israeli military forces enter the house as in the cases of Beit Fourik and Al Mughayer.
- Intentionally causing damage to houses and property as turning upside down the furniture, breaking glass and kitchen stuff as in the case of raids on Ras Karkar, Senjil, Salem, Beit Fourik and Al Mughayer.
- Directing flashlight and forcing detainees to undress to search them from a distance as in the case of Sajed Abdel Latif Mleitat from Beit Fourik.
- Forcing residents to evacuate their houses (families of those being arrested) and families of their relatives and neighbors who happen to reside in neighboring houses and stay, in the cold and under the rain, outdoors for several hours during the raids and the search. In other cases families of those being detained are locked in one of the rooms in the house while soldiers search the rest of the house and beat the detainee as in the case of Mohammd Al Bes.
Arrest campaigns target Palestinians of all ages when children and youth and even elderly are being detained as in the case of Khalil Isa Ismail As’ad, 70 years old from Bethlehem who was arrested on the crossing with Jordan while he was heading to visit his sons and relatives. Khalil As’ad was detained in the interrogation center of Al Masqoubieh (Russian Compound) since 26 November 2000 and denied visits since then. Addameerr Association lawyer Sahar Fransis was denied repeatedly to visit Khalil since his arrest under the claim that there is an order preventing him from lawyer or family visits.
Addameer Association followed more than 45 cases of detainees being interrogated. During the follow up of these cases and the visits by Addameer lawyer to interrogation centers and meeting several of these detainees Addameer Association found out that despite the Israeli High Court decision in September 2000 banning torture the detainees are still being subject to torture while being interrogated. Nu’man Hamoudeh who is being detained in the interrogation center of ‘Asqalaan was subjected to more than one session of interrogation a day and is being put in Shabeh position on a very low chair while his hands are cuffed to the seat of the chair.
Most of the detainees are being denied lawyers visits and many of them for more than fifteen days and isolated in their cells from other detainees as in the case of the elderly Khalil As’ad.
Many of the detainees are being sent to chambers of collaborators where detainees are being forced to admit charges wither through threatening them of being killed or severely beating them or through other means.
Addameer Association expresses its deep concern about the continuous intentional neglect of detainees health conditions and the health care by prisons administrations or hospitals belonging to it.
Many of the detainees are in need for immediate treatment and health care as in the case of the detainees Khaled Masalmeh who is suffering from blood pressure problems and Mohammad Kayed who is suffering from breathing difficulty problems.
While some detainees need immediate treatment others need surgery as in the case of Amin Mohammad Ghazi Al Aghbar who is being detained in the hospital of Al Ramleh prison and is suffering from heart problems and in need for surgery for the last two years but being denied it.
Detainees requested that specialized physicians (Eyes, Nose Ears and Oral, Skin, Teeth, Bones, etc.) visit detainees where many of them suffer from specific diseases but every body is shown to general physicians.
Preventing families from visiting the detainees since the beginning of the clashes on the end of September is still in effect. The psychological effects on both the detainees and their families, especially during this tough period and in light of the escalations in the occupied territories, are getting worse and worse every day when detainees are being isolated from their families and are denied certain needs that they can only get through family visits. On the other hand detainees are still rejecting the suggestion by Israeli military and prisons authorities to limit family visits on parents only or wives and children under ten and to limit the permits to one day only in addition to prevent families from entering any of the detainees needs.
Lack of Food
Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons are suffering from critical decrease in the foodstuff since the beginning of the clashes at the end of September. This month as a result the decrease of food reached a critical point especially in the light of preventing any organization or association including the Red Cross from entering of the detainees needs of food stuff. Worth to mention that detainees rely on families in 45% of their food and on other organizations and association as well to supply them with their needs. Addameer Association considers that the ongoing arrest campaign and raids on Palestinian houses with what accompanies these raids and arrests of savagely damaging property and severe beatings form a complete unacceptable violation that are added to all other violations being practiced against the Palestinian people. In the light of this we demand:
- Immediate cease of torture being practiced during the arrest and during interrogation.
- Immediately allow families to visit detainees and allow lawyers to meet with the detainees.
- International community should immediately interfere to force Israeli to stop immediately all practices and violations and public punishment practices against Palestinian civilians.
- Immediately force Israel to abide with all International agreements and laws especially those related to International Human Rights rules.
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