Doubts Cast in Gilad Shalit/Palestinian Prisoner Swap

Today, we woke up to find the exchange of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and 477 Palestinian prisoners.

As news services around the world covering the exchange highlight Gilad Shalit’s ordeal of being held for five years in virtual incommunicado detention and the story of the Palestinian prisoners being released – some having been held for decades – one thing is glaringly obvious – this whole episode highlights the need for the humane treatment of all detainees – whether Palestinian or Israeli.

Amnesty International released a press release this morning that said:

“This deal will bring relief to Gilad Shalit and his family after an ordeal that has lasted more than five years. Many Palestinian families will feel a similar sense of relief today when they are reunited with their relatives, many of whom have spent decades under harsh conditions in Israeli detention,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

“However, more needs to be done to protect the rights of thousands of others who remain in detention. The Israeli authorities, the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank must seize this opportunity to ensure respect for the rights of all prisoners and detainees in their custody.”

Amnesty is concerned about the violations of prisoner rights in both the case of Gilad Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners as well as problems concerning the swap itself.

Amnesty International has long worked for the humane treatment of Gilad Shalit while detained by Palestinian armed groups as well as for the rights of Palestinian prisoners detained by the Israeli authorities. Amnesty has also repeatedly called on both sides not to use prisoners as bargaining chips.

Areas of concern regarding the swap itself include the fact that a good number of the Palestinian prisoners being released are from the West Bank, but are being sent to the Gaza Strip where they will be entirely cut off from their families with no possibility of visits. While under the Oslo Accords and international humanitarian law the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip are recognized as a single territorial unit, Israel maintains a highly restrictive closure regime on the strip that rarely, if ever, allows Palestinians living from Gaza access to the West Bank or vice versa.

Also, 41 prisoners, including one woman, will be exiled abroad. And although it is unclear whether they are being exiled permanently or will be allowed to return to their homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) at some point in the future – this act contravenes the Geneva Conventions.

The Geneva Conventions prohibit an occupying power from forcibly transferring or deporting people from an occupied territory; in this case, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. In the event that those prisoners being exiled abroad or transferred to Gaza from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have not given their consent, Israel would be violating its obligations under international humanitarian law.

Both Israel and Hamas have used ‘security’ as an excuse to justify the harsh treatment of prisoners to ‘explain’ their actions, but security can never be used to justify violating an individual’s basic human rights.

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52 thoughts on “Doubts Cast in Gilad Shalit/Palestinian Prisoner Swap

  1. I am in complete agreement with Amnesty International, but my agreement does not effect the way in which Israel feels it can do what is necessary, necessary for them, not others.
    The Geneva Convention has been completely ignored or disregarded, in the name of 'safety", this safety is for the Government of Israel, not the Palestinians. As long as many countries in the West show support for Israel and their flagrant abuses of Human Rights, this type of behavior will continue.

  2. I emailed about 20 reporters, NGOs and activists about this very topic. That is, the exiled prisoners and the "paroled" to Gaza prisoners. I got one response by Hussein Ibish…"Why don't you ask Israel or Hamas?" There seems to be little interest in this detail, though I find it incredibly significant. In a sense, the "paroled to Gaza" group are being reimprisoned in the largest open air prison in the world.

    Also, I find it interesting that most of the prisoners are older…that is, the youngest is in his mid-20s. Where are all the child-prisoners? Wouldn't they be released first? Since they are CHILDREN?

  3. Reports like that one is the reason that Amnesty is so irrelevant on this conflict.

    The deportees was supposed to stay on jail for the rest of their lives, and to be cut of their families. There is no reason in the world that make me feel sorry for them for their conditions now. They came out of the Israeli jail in great health condition, with academic degrees (by the sponsorship of the Israeli tax payer) and with their regular social skills.

    Gilad Shalit sat on a dark room, without sufficient food, without seeing anybody neutral (including The Red Cross and Amnesty), but it seemed not to concern you for more than five years.

    Biased reports like this one is the reason that you have no real influence on what happen there, and indirectly cause more suffering for both sides.

    I don't care. Keep helping the Palestinians gain these minor victories over Israel. No wonder the Palestinians are in so bad situation and I live in a prosperous state. We didn't turn crying and yelling our professionals. We build our future by real actions, not small propaganda victories.

  4. Vicki,

    In addition to Amnesty Int'l, the organization Addameer, Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution based in Ramallah and Jerusalem that focuses on human rights issues specifically concerning Palestinian prisoners. You might want to check out their website as well – http://www.addameer.org/index_eng.html. It is a member of the PNGO – Palestinian NGO network – and is well respected.

    I know this morning when I was watching different media sources, Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer, was the only one I heard talking about obligations under international law or concerns with current prisoner treatment or aspects of the release. (Just one example – Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/18/headlines#

  5. Isaiah – au contraire. It's statements like the one issued by Amnesty International that keeps peoples' attention from being distracted by extraneous details.

    While everyone is bickering over who treats who worse and what the ratio of 1:1000 means and all the (in the long run) meaningless political shenanigans that transpire around events like this – it is organizations like Amnesty who say – no – there is a certain standard of behavior as outlined by international law and ALL prisoners – whether Israeli or Palestinian – should be treated humanely and both sides are failing in their obligations.

    It is a fact that Hamas did NOT abide by their legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions and Gilad Shalit suffered for it. It is also a fact that Israel also ignores their obligations under international law and the Palestinian prisoners suffer for it.

    Amnesty is there to advocate for their basic rights: not to be ill-treated or tortured, not to be made to suffer under harsh conditions or be held under administrative detention. We advocate on behalf of the prisoner whether they are black, white, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, speak an indigenous tongue or belong to the 'wrong' political party.

    Each human has basic human rights that states should not violate based on rule of law and individuals cannot possibly justify based on selective data or personal sympathies.

  6. Vicki,

    In addition to Amnesty Int'l, the organization Addameer, Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution based in Ramallah and Jerusalem that focuses on human rights issues specifically concerning Palestinian prisoners. You might want to check out their website as well – http://www.addameer.org/index_eng.html. It is a member of the PNGO – Palestinian NGO network – and is well respected.

    I know this morning when I was watching different media sources, Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer, was the only one I heard talking about obligations under international law or concerns with current prisoner treatment or aspects of the release. (Just one example – Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/18/headlines#

  7. Vicki,

    In addition to Amnesty Int'l, the organization Addameer, Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution based in Ramallah and Jerusalem that focuses on human rights issues specifically concerning Palestinian prisoners. You might want to check out their website as well – http://www.addameer.org/index_eng.html. It is a member of the PNGO – Palestinian NGO network – and is well respected.

    I know this morning when I was watching different media sources, Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer, was the only one I heard talking about obligations under international law or concerns with current prisoner treatment or aspects of the release. (Just one example – Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/18/headlines#

  8. I am in complete agreement with Amnesty International, but my agreement does not effect the way in which Israel feels it can do what is necessary, necessary for them, not others.
    The Geneva Convention has been completely ignored or disregarded, in the name of ‘safety”, this safety is for the Government of Israel, not the Palestinians. As long as many countries in the West show support for Israel and their flagrant abuses of Human Rights, this type of behavior will continue.

  9. I find it hard to blame Israel mostly as you do. The detainees who were deported most likely were the most violent ones. I do not know why West bank detainees were sent to Gaza, but probably similar reasons. The Israeli soldier was in wrong place at wrong time, some of the Palestinian detainees were terrorists and murdered people.Most were not.Also 1000 for 1 is significant

  10. I emailed about 20 reporters, NGOs and activists about this very topic. That is, the exiled prisoners and the “paroled” to Gaza prisoners. I got one response by Hussein Ibish…”Why don’t you ask Israel or Hamas?” There seems to be little interest in this detail, though I find it incredibly significant. In a sense, the “paroled to Gaza” group are being reimprisoned in the largest open air prison in the world.

    Also, I find it interesting that most of the prisoners are older…that is, the youngest is in his mid-20s. Where are all the child-prisoners? Wouldn’t they be released first? Since they are CHILDREN?

  11. Reports like that one is the reason that Amnesty is so irrelevant on this conflict.

    The deportees was supposed to stay on jail for the rest of their lives, and to be cut of their families. There is no reason in the world that make me feel sorry for them for their conditions now. They came out of the Israeli jail in great health condition, with academic degrees (by the sponsorship of the Israeli tax payer) and with their regular social skills.

    Gilad Shalit sat on a dark room, without sufficient food, without seeing anybody neutral (including The Red Cross and Amnesty), but it seemed not to concern you for more than five years.

    Biased reports like this one is the reason that you have no real influence on what happen there, and indirectly cause more suffering for both sides.

    I don’t care. Keep helping the Palestinians gain these minor victories over Israel. No wonder the Palestinians are in so bad situation and I live in a prosperous state. We didn’t turn crying and yelling our professionals. We build our future by real actions, not small propaganda victories.

  12. The large number of Palestinian prisoners who were incarcerated for murdering civilians should be happy to have received their freedom under any conditions. In fact should be happy to be alive. Criticizing the details of their release seems quite petty to me.

  13. Edith:
    You wrote "Israel also ignores their obligations under international law"

    Now that statement of yours is a just a wee bit of an exaggeration would you not say?

    source:

    International Committee Of the Red Cross,
    Israel and the occupied territories: 18-03-2011 Operational Update
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/updat

    “Visiting detainees and helping families keep in touch with their loved ones”

    By conducting regular visits, ICRC delegates monitored the overall situation of some 8,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention. The delegates were particularly attentive to the needs of women and minors, and also of Gazans, who are currently affected by the suspension of family visits between Israel and Gaza. After its visits to places of detention, the ICRC shares its findings and recommendations confidentially with the authorities.

    In 2010, the ICRC made arrangements for around 124,000 people from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and from the occupied Golan to visit their relatives held in Israel. “Since June 2007, some 780 families in Gaza have been prevented by Israel from visiting their relatives in Israeli prisons,” said Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, in charge of the ICRC’s family visit programme. “To mitigate the effects of this measure, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to maintain family links by delivering over 12,500 written and 700 oral messages between detainees and their families. However, this does not replace face-to-face visits.”

    Time Magazine:

    “Every month, says Anne-Sophie Bonefeld, an ICRC spokeswoman in Jerusalem, her organization arranges the bus rides and bureaucratic paperwork that enable more than 20,000 Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israeli prisons each month. The Palestinian family-visitation program, which has been going on since 1967, is “the largest of its kind anywhere in the world,” she says”

  14. Isaiah – au contraire. It’s statements like the one issued by Amnesty International that keeps peoples’ attention from being distracted by extraneous details.

    While everyone is bickering over who treats who worse and what the ratio of 1:1000 means and all the (in the long run) meaningless political shenanigans that transpire around events like this – it is organizations like Amnesty who say – no – there is a certain standard of behavior as outlined by international law and ALL prisoners – whether Israeli or Palestinian – should be treated humanely and both sides are failing in their obligations.

    It is a fact that Hamas did NOT abide by their legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions and Gilad Shalit suffered for it. It is also a fact that Israel also ignores their obligations under international law and the Palestinian prisoners suffer for it.

    Amnesty is there to advocate for their basic rights: not to be ill-treated or tortured, not to be made to suffer under harsh conditions or be held under administrative detention. We advocate on behalf of the prisoner whether they are black, white, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, speak an indigenous tongue or belong to the ‘wrong’ political party.

    Each human has basic human rights that states should not violate based on rule of law and individuals cannot possibly justify based on selective data or personal sympathies.

  15. Edith:
    You wrote "Israel also ignores their obligations under international law"

    Now that statement of yours is a just a wee bit of an exaggeration would you not say?

    source:

    International Committee Of the Red Cross,
    Israel and the occupied territories: 18-03-2011 Operational Update
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/updat

    “Visiting detainees and helping families keep in touch with their loved ones”

    By conducting regular visits, ICRC delegates monitored the overall situation of some 8,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention. The delegates were particularly attentive to the needs of women and minors, and also of Gazans, who are currently affected by the suspension of family visits between Israel and Gaza. After its visits to places of detention, the ICRC shares its findings and recommendations confidentially with the authorities.

    In 2010, the ICRC made arrangements for around 124,000 people from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and from the occupied Golan to visit their relatives held in Israel. “Since June 2007, some 780 families in Gaza have been prevented by Israel from visiting their relatives in Israeli prisons,” said Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, in charge of the ICRC’s family visit programme. “To mitigate the effects of this measure, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to maintain family links by delivering over 12,500 written and 700 oral messages between detainees and their families. However, this does not replace face-to-face visits.”

    Time Magazine:

    “Every month, says Anne-Sophie Bonefeld, an ICRC spokeswoman in Jerusalem, her organization arranges the bus rides and bureaucratic paperwork that enable more than 20,000 Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israeli prisons each month. The Palestinian family-visitation program, which has been going on since 1967, is “the largest of its kind anywhere in the world,” she says”

  16. Edith:
    You wrote "Israel also ignores their obligations under international law"

    Now that statement of yours is a just a wee bit of an exaggeration would you not say?

    source:

    International Committee Of the Red Cross,
    Israel and the occupied territories: 18-03-2011 Operational Update
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/updat

    “Visiting detainees and helping families keep in touch with their loved ones”

    By conducting regular visits, ICRC delegates monitored the overall situation of some 8,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention. The delegates were particularly attentive to the needs of women and minors, and also of Gazans, who are currently affected by the suspension of family visits between Israel and Gaza. After its visits to places of detention, the ICRC shares its findings and recommendations confidentially with the authorities.

    In 2010, the ICRC made arrangements for around 124,000 people from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and from the occupied Golan to visit their relatives held in Israel. “Since June 2007, some 780 families in Gaza have been prevented by Israel from visiting their relatives in Israeli prisons,” said Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, in charge of the ICRC’s family visit programme. “To mitigate the effects of this measure, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to maintain family links by delivering over 12,500 written and 700 oral messages between detainees and their families. However, this does not replace face-to-face visits.”

    Time Magazine:

    “Every month, says Anne-Sophie Bonefeld, an ICRC spokeswoman in Jerusalem, her organization arranges the bus rides and bureaucratic paperwork that enable more than 20,000 Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israeli prisons each month. The Palestinian family-visitation program, which has been going on since 1967, is “the largest of its kind anywhere in the world,” she says”

  17. Vicki,

    In addition to Amnesty Int’l, the organization Addameer, Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution based in Ramallah and Jerusalem that focuses on human rights issues specifically concerning Palestinian prisoners. You might want to check out their website as well – http://www.addameer.org/index_eng.html. It is a member of the PNGO – Palestinian NGO network – and is well respected.

    I know this morning when I was watching different media sources, Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer, was the only one I heard talking about obligations under international law or concerns with current prisoner treatment or aspects of the release. (Just one example – Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/18/headlines#0)

  18. I find it hard to blame Israel mostly as you do. The detainees who were deported most likely were the most violent ones. I do not know why West bank detainees were sent to Gaza, but probably similar reasons. The Israeli soldier was in wrong place at wrong time, some of the Palestinian detainees were terrorists and murdered people.Most were not.Also 1000 for 1 is significant

  19. The large number of Palestinian prisoners who were incarcerated for murdering civilians should be happy to have received their freedom under any conditions. In fact should be happy to be alive. Criticizing the details of their release seems quite petty to me.

  20. Edith:
    You wrote “Israel also ignores their obligations under international law”

    Now that statement of yours is a just a wee bit of an exaggeration would you not say?

    source:

    International Committee Of the Red Cross,
    Israel and the occupied territories: 18-03-2011 Operational Update

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/2011/palestine-israel-update-2011-03-18.htm

    “Visiting detainees and helping families keep in touch with their loved ones”

    By conducting regular visits, ICRC delegates monitored the overall situation of some 8,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention. The delegates were particularly attentive to the needs of women and minors, and also of Gazans, who are currently affected by the suspension of family visits between Israel and Gaza. After its visits to places of detention, the ICRC shares its findings and recommendations confidentially with the authorities.

    In 2010, the ICRC made arrangements for around 124,000 people from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and from the occupied Golan to visit their relatives held in Israel. “Since June 2007, some 780 families in Gaza have been prevented by Israel from visiting their relatives in Israeli prisons,” said Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, in charge of the ICRC’s family visit programme. “To mitigate the effects of this measure, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to maintain family links by delivering over 12,500 written and 700 oral messages between detainees and their families. However, this does not replace face-to-face visits.”

    Time Magazine:

    “Every month, says Anne-Sophie Bonefeld, an ICRC spokeswoman in Jerusalem, her organization arranges the bus rides and bureaucratic paperwork that enable more than 20,000 Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israeli prisons each month. The Palestinian family-visitation program, which has been going on since 1967, is “the largest of its kind anywhere in the world,” she says”

  21. Larry – Amnesty International does not ‘blame’ a party, but documents actions. Here we have documented violations by both Hamas and Israel and note our concerns about the release and the use of prisoners as bargaining chips by both sides.

    Amnesty does not take sides on a political situation – we are a human rights organization. We DO hold all parties to the same standard and document when the parties violate international humanitarian and/or human rights law or fail to adhere by their legal obligations under international law.

    And while it is true that some of the Palestinian detainees were ‘convicted’ for crimes involving violence against civilians – which Amnesty International NEVER condones under any circumstances – there have been longstanding concerns about trials in Israeli military courts as they fall short of international standards for fair trials. And for those convicted years ago, when torture was more widespread, there’s heightened concern that some of the convictions based on confessions were extracted under duress.

    As I said in the blog and repeat – Amnesty urges all parties to ensure humane treatment of prisoners and respect for human rights of all persons. As of August 31, 2011, B’Tselem, a well-respected Israeli human rights organization, reported there were some 5200 Palestinian “security” prisoners detained in Israeli prisons; 272 under administrative detention where they are held without charge or trial. Even after the prisoner swap is completed, thousands remain detained as “security” prisoners and 269 under administrative detention in Israeli territory. These, along with other prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, must be protected.

    Dennis – No one can truly understand the pain felt by the families who have lost loved ones to violence, but the media has done an injustice by not including all the facts concerning the release. A little over half of those released were sentenced to long sentences which signifies a serious offense. Although some of this group were involved in offenses against civilians, many others were convicted of other offenses or for attacks on military targets and of these, the majority have completed 10 or more years of their sentence.

    For those convicted of offenses against civilians – although Amnesty cannot say that ALL were convicted in unfair trials – there have been longstanding concerns about trials in Israeli military courts which fall short of international standards for fair trials. And for those convicted years ago, when torture was more widespread, there’s heightened concern that some of the convictions based on confessions were extracted under duress.

    Also, pointing out where a party’s legal obligations are not being met is not 'petty'. Most principles contained in international humanitarian and human rights law were put in place to protect the individual, especially civilians, and were derived from the aftermath of World War II – specifically principles established during the Nuremburg trials. It is never ‘petty’ to hold parties to their obligations to protect a human being – especially one who may not have anyone else to speak for him or her except the rule of law.

    Judo – No. Listing accommodations that Israel makes for the ICRC and those detained does not negate the fact that Israel is in violation of international law – on the contrary.

    The International Committee for the Red Cross is obliged to undertake "the largest" family-visitation program "of its kind anywhere in the world" exactly because Israel contravenes international law by transporting detainees from the Occupied Palestinian Territories to Israeli territory.

    Israel is in violation of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention by imprisoning Palestinians from the OPT inside Israel, processing them in an unfair judicial process (separate and different than used for Israelis inside Israel or the illegal Israeli settlers in the OPT) and suspending family visits for prisoners from Gaza in a punitive policy that penalizes both the detainees and their families.

    Also, Israel as the occupying power appears to be violating its legal obligations by 'transferring' prisoners from the West Bank/E. Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip and by exiling 41 of the prisoners, including one woman, abroad.

    Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions prohibits an occupying power from forcibly transferring or deporting people from an occupied territory.

    This is not an exaggeration; it is a fact.

  22. No, you are exaggerating Edie.

    It would be more correct to say Israel is not perfect and could do better in certain areas like most countries could but to say Israel flat out 'ignores" international law is just fanatic propaganda, Edie, and you discredit your case by being so extreme and one sided and blind to any reality that clashes with your foregone conclusions and you highly prejudiced ideology.

    Israel fully cooperates with the Red Cross to ensure every single Palestinian is visited many times a year by Red Cross personnel and/or family, that all prisoner's conditions are inspected, that all are accounted for and no one "disappears". This is the key, the central core provision, both of the letter and the spirit of the 1949 Geneva Convention with respect to Prisoners of War and Israel does a very credible job of fulfilling it's duties in this regard according to the ICRC.

    Is Israel "ignoring" international law in respect to prisoner's rights to Red Cross visitation ? The unbiased fair answer would be no.

    Furthermore, as you would of course know being an expert on the Geneva Convention, Israel was fully entitled under Article 68 to have executed the death penalty on well over half of the one thousand prisoners being released today.

    Article 68 of the 1949 Geneva Convention states:

    "the Occupying Power may impose the death penalty against a protected person in cases where the person is guilty of intentional offenses which have caused the death of one or more persons"

    Yet in fact Israel has no death penalty even though the Geneva Convention would permit it and because of that very fact, today hundreds of unrepentant heinous Palestinian war criminal murderers walked free, the slaughterers of Israeli women, crushers of little babies' skulls, sadistic killers of defenseless elderly Israeli civilians.

    So again in this respect, the lack of a death penalty, can Israel be fairly described as "ignoring" international law? Here again, Edie, a fair, unbiased and non-fanatical answer would be no.

  23. Larry – Amnesty International does not ‘blame’ a party, but documents actions. Here we have documented violations by both Hamas and Israel and note our concerns about the release and the use of prisoners as bargaining chips by both sides.

    Amnesty does not take sides on a political situation – we are a human rights organization. We DO hold all parties to the same standard and document when the parties violate international humanitarian and/or human rights law or fail to adhere by their legal obligations under international law.

    And while it is true that some of the Palestinian detainees were ‘convicted’ for crimes involving violence against civilians – which Amnesty International NEVER condones under any circumstances – there have been longstanding concerns about trials in Israeli military courts as they fall short of international standards for fair trials. And for those convicted years ago, when torture was more widespread, there’s heightened concern that some of the convictions based on confessions were extracted under duress.

    As I said in the blog and repeat – Amnesty urges all parties to ensure humane treatment of prisoners and respect for human rights of all persons. As of August 31, 2011, B’Tselem, a well-respected Israeli human rights organization, reported there were some 5200 Palestinian “security” prisoners detained in Israeli prisons; 272 under administrative detention where they are held without charge or trial. Even after the prisoner swap is completed, thousands remain detained as “security” prisoners and 269 under administrative detention in Israeli territory. These, along with other prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, must be protected.

    Dennis – No one can truly understand the pain felt by the families who have lost loved ones to violence, but the media has done an injustice by not including all the facts concerning the release. A little over half of those released were sentenced to long sentences which signifies a serious offense. Although some of this group were involved in offenses against civilians, many others were convicted of other offenses or for attacks on military targets and of these, the majority have completed 10 or more years of their sentence.

    For those convicted of offenses against civilians – although Amnesty cannot say that ALL were convicted in unfair trials – there have been longstanding concerns about trials in Israeli military courts which fall short of international standards for fair trials. And for those convicted years ago, when torture was more widespread, there’s heightened concern that some of the convictions based on confessions were extracted under duress.

    Also, pointing out where a party’s legal obligations are not being met is not ‘petty’. Most principles contained in international humanitarian and human rights law were put in place to protect the individual, especially civilians, and were derived from the aftermath of World War II – specifically principles established during the Nuremburg trials. It is never ‘petty’ to hold parties to their obligations to protect a human being – especially one who may not have anyone else to speak for him or her except the rule of law.

    Judo – No. Listing accommodations that Israel makes for the ICRC and those detained does not negate the fact that Israel is in violation of international law – on the contrary.

    The International Committee for the Red Cross is obliged to undertake “the largest” family-visitation program “of its kind anywhere in the world” exactly because Israel contravenes international law by transporting detainees from the Occupied Palestinian Territories to Israeli territory.

    Israel is in violation of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention by imprisoning Palestinians from the OPT inside Israel, processing them in an unfair judicial process (separate and different than used for Israelis inside Israel or the illegal Israeli settlers in the OPT) and suspending family visits for prisoners from Gaza in a punitive policy that penalizes both the detainees and their families.

    Also, Israel as the occupying power appears to be violating its legal obligations by ‘transferring’ prisoners from the West Bank/E. Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip and by exiling 41 of the prisoners, including one woman, abroad.

    Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions prohibits an occupying power from forcibly transferring or deporting people from an occupied territory.

    This is not an exaggeration; it is a fact.

  24. Dear Madam,
    I have been a longtime supporter of Amnesty International and certainly will remain so. That said, I find your article to be one-sided since the focus is set on Palestinians being released in unfair conditions (so you say) and but a half-second is spent mentioning the fate of Gilad Shalit.
    I would have appreciated that you remind your readers of the following facts:
    - Gilad Shalit was taken hostage by the Hamas
    - the very fact that the Hamas would agree to a "prisoner swap" is in itself a slap in the face of every human right activist. They should have released him 5 years ago under no conditions.
    - Gilad Shalit was detained for 5 years in in-humane conditions
    - the Palestinians who have committed or plotted crimes in Israel were rightly condemned by independant courts.
    - as prisoners in Israel, they have benefitted from humane treatment such as access to education and visits by relatives, all this under international supervision and ONG intervention.
    Respectfully,
    Serge

  25. No, you are exaggerating Edie.

    It would be more correct to say Israel is not perfect and could do better in certain areas like most countries could but to say Israel flat out ‘ignores” international law is just fanatic propaganda, Edie, and you discredit your case by being so extreme and one sided and blind to any reality that clashes with your foregone conclusions and you highly prejudiced ideology.

    Israel fully cooperates with the Red Cross to ensure every single Palestinian is visited many times a year by Red Cross personnel and/or family, that all prisoner’s conditions are inspected, that all are accounted for and no one “disappears”. This is the key, the central core provision, both of the letter and the spirit of the 1949 Geneva Convention with respect to Prisoners of War and Israel does a very credible job of fulfilling it’s duties in this regard according to the ICRC.

    Is Israel “ignoring” international law in respect to prisoner’s rights to Red Cross visitation ? The unbiased fair answer would be no.

    Furthermore, as you would of course know being an expert on the Geneva Convention, Israel was fully entitled under Article 68 to have executed the death penalty on well over half of the one thousand prisoners being released today.

    Article 68 of the 1949 Geneva Convention states:

    “the Occupying Power may impose the death penalty against a protected person in cases where the person is guilty of intentional offenses which have caused the death of one or more persons”

    Yet in fact Israel has no death penalty even though the Geneva Convention would permit it and because of that very fact, today hundreds of unrepentant heinous Palestinian war criminal murderers walked free, the slaughterers of Israeli women, crushers of little babies’ skulls, sadistic killers of defenseless elderly Israeli civilians.

    So again in this respect, the lack of a death penalty, can Israel be fairly described as “ignoring” international law? Here again, Edie, a fair, unbiased and non-fanatical answer would be no.

  26. Dear Madam,
    I have been a longtime supporter of Amnesty International and certainly will remain so. That said, I find your article to be one-sided since the focus is set on Palestinians being released in unfair conditions (so you say) and but a half-second is spent mentioning the fate of Gilad Shalit.
    I would have appreciated that you remind your readers of the following facts:
    - Gilad Shalit was taken hostage by the Hamas
    - the very fact that the Hamas would agree to a “prisoner swap” is in itself a slap in the face of every human right activist. They should have released him 5 years ago under no conditions.
    - Gilad Shalit was detained for 5 years in in-humane conditions
    - the Palestinians who have committed or plotted crimes in Israel were rightly condemned by independant courts.
    - as prisoners in Israel, they have benefitted from humane treatment such as access to education and visits by relatives, all this under international supervision and ONG intervention.
    Respectfully,
    Serge

  27. Agree totally with Ms Garwood's emphasis on israel's violations of international law by exiling or sending the prisoners to foreign lands or Gaza.

    Some of the freed prisoners were sent to Ramallah as well.

    Thousands of family members & people waited at Betunia terminal to greet them.

    Then the IDF attacked.

    It first FORCED the RED CROSS off the area.

    Then attacked the families & people with WASTE – WATER CANNON & TEAR GAS BOMBS.

    IDF said they WON'T allow ANYONE to GREET the prisoners !

    **** ****

    Why do 69 % Palestinians SUPPORT prisoner swaps ??

    Because THEY SEE NO OTHER WAY OUT of israel's Policy of ARBITRARY & BLANKET IMPRISONMENT of Palestinians.

    Which are regular violations by israel of international law & the 4th Geneva Convention.

    Adminstrative detentions, imprisonment WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, & IMPRISONMENT INSIDE ISRAEL which are ILLEGAL under the 4th Geneva Convention.

    **** *****

    Today there's a HUNGER STRIKE SWEEPING israel's prisons.

    Where an estimated 7,000 Palestinian prisoners languish.

    130 of them women.

    388 children.

    israel's imposed a BLACKOUT on all news of this HUNGER STRIKE.

    The prisoners are fighting the MYRIAD EVILS they suffer.

    Like routine torture.

    Prisons not meeting minimum international standards.

    Prisoners not given enough medical attention, treatment or medication so they catch CHRONIC DISEASES & SICKNESSES.

    Routine DENIAL OF VISITATION RIGHTS of family & lawyers.

    Collective punishments like shackling of hands & feet during visits !!

    The ever increasing HUMILIATION & DEGRADATION Palestinians suffer from israel's prison services ( IPS ).

    VAST MAJORITY OF PRISONERS HELD WITHOUT TRIAL.

    Trials when allowed NOT meeting international standards of fairness.

    Many kept imprisoned WITHOUT CHARGES.

    Their families deprived of earning members.

    DOZENS in israel's prisons HELD for 20, 25 YEARS …..OR MORE.

    THOUSANDS of prisoners , including WOMEN, CHILDREN & leaders, HELD IN ISOLATION CELLS.

    Some prisoners held in ISOLATION FOR 10 YEARS !!!

    The HUNGER STRIKE, begun LATE SEPT, calls international attention on ALL the above.

    Spread the word.

    HUNGER STRIKE ON !!!!

  28. Agree totally with Ms Garwood’s emphasis on israel’s violations of international law by exiling or sending the prisoners to foreign lands or Gaza.

    Some of the freed prisoners were sent to Ramallah as well.

    Thousands of family members & people waited at Betunia terminal to greet them.

    Then the IDF attacked.

    It first FORCED the RED CROSS off the area.

    Then attacked the families & people with WASTE – WATER CANNON & TEAR GAS BOMBS.

    IDF said they WON’T allow ANYONE to GREET the prisoners !

    **** ****

    Why do 69 % Palestinians SUPPORT prisoner swaps ??

    Because THEY SEE NO OTHER WAY OUT of israel’s Policy of ARBITRARY & BLANKET IMPRISONMENT of Palestinians.

    Which are regular violations by israel of international law & the 4th Geneva Convention.

    Adminstrative detentions, imprisonment WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, & IMPRISONMENT INSIDE ISRAEL which are ILLEGAL under the 4th Geneva Convention.

    **** *****

    Today there’s a HUNGER STRIKE SWEEPING israel’s prisons.

    Where an estimated 7,000 Palestinian prisoners languish.

    130 of them women.

    388 children.

    israel’s imposed a BLACKOUT on all news of this HUNGER STRIKE.

    The prisoners are fighting the MYRIAD EVILS they suffer.

    Like routine torture.

    Prisons not meeting minimum international standards.

    Prisoners not given enough medical attention, treatment or medication so they catch CHRONIC DISEASES & SICKNESSES.

    Routine DENIAL OF VISITATION RIGHTS of family & lawyers.

    Collective punishments like shackling of hands & feet during visits !!

    The ever increasing HUMILIATION & DEGRADATION Palestinians suffer from israel’s prison services ( IPS ).

    VAST MAJORITY OF PRISONERS HELD WITHOUT TRIAL.

    Trials when allowed NOT meeting international standards of fairness.

    Many kept imprisoned WITHOUT CHARGES.

    Their families deprived of earning members.

    DOZENS in israel’s prisons HELD for 20, 25 YEARS …..OR MORE.

    THOUSANDS of prisoners , including WOMEN, CHILDREN & leaders, HELD IN ISOLATION CELLS.

    Some prisoners held in ISOLATION FOR 10 YEARS !!!

    The HUNGER STRIKE, begun LATE SEPT, calls international attention on ALL the above.

    Spread the word.

    HUNGER STRIKE ON !!!!

  29. A. Savage posted a bunch of childish make believe stories above so here are some quick corrections for just some of his many crackpot lies.

    source; B'tselem, recognized by Amnesty as a credible source. http://www.btselem.org/statistics/detainees_and_p

    At the end of August 2011, some 5,200 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli prisons.

    As of August 2011, 4,164 of the 5200, 78 % , have been convicted following trials in open court represented by their own attorneys. In any event, in most cases those convicted of nationalistic motivated attacks and murders quite willingly plead guilty as they are proud of their actions, even the killing of defenseless civilians, they know they will be eventually released in prisoner exchanges and they can expect to be treated as folk heroes by their own people once they are released.

    As of August 2011, 642 of the 5200, 11%, are still undergoing criminal proceedings.

    As of August 2011, 272 of the 5200, 5%, are being held under detention without trial, on average for less than one year.

    Very unfortunately, the Palestinian armed factions use child soldiers and have been condemned by Amnesty for doing so, and as a result of this, 30 minor children 16 years old or under were in Israeli custody as of August 2011, but are held in specialized juvenile facilities separate from the general prison population.

  30. A. Savage posted a bunch of childish make believe stories above so here are some quick corrections for just some of his many crackpot lies.

    source; B'tselem, recognized by Amnesty as a credible source. http://www.btselem.org/statistics/detainees_and_p

    At the end of August 2011, some 5,200 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli prisons.

    As of August 2011, 4,164 of the 5200, 78 % , have been convicted following trials in open court represented by their own attorneys. In any event, in most cases those convicted of nationalistic motivated attacks and murders quite willingly plead guilty as they are proud of their actions, even the killing of defenseless civilians, they know they will be eventually released in prisoner exchanges and they can expect to be treated as folk heroes by their own people once they are released.

    As of August 2011, 642 of the 5200, 11%, are still undergoing criminal proceedings.

    As of August 2011, 272 of the 5200, 5%, are being held under detention without trial, on average for less than one year.

    Very unfortunately, the Palestinian armed factions use child soldiers and have been condemned by Amnesty for doing so, and as a result of this, 30 minor children 16 years old or under were in Israeli custody as of August 2011, but are held in specialized juvenile facilities separate from the general prison population.

  31. A. Savage posted a bunch of childish make believe stories above so here are some quick corrections for just some of his many crackpot lies.

    source; B'tselem, recognized by Amnesty as a credible source. http://www.btselem.org/statistics/detainees_and_p

    At the end of August 2011, some 5,200 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli prisons.

    As of August 2011, 4,164 of the 5200, 78 % , have been convicted following trials in open court represented by their own attorneys. In any event, in most cases those convicted of nationalistic motivated attacks and murders quite willingly plead guilty as they are proud of their actions, even the killing of defenseless civilians, they know they will be eventually released in prisoner exchanges and they can expect to be treated as folk heroes by their own people once they are released.

    As of August 2011, 642 of the 5200, 11%, are still undergoing criminal proceedings.

    As of August 2011, 272 of the 5200, 5%, are being held under detention without trial, on average for less than one year.

    Very unfortunately, the Palestinian armed factions use child soldiers and have been condemned by Amnesty for doing so, and as a result of this, 30 minor children 16 years old or under were in Israeli custody as of August 2011, but are held in specialized juvenile facilities separate from the general prison population.

  32. A. Savage posted a bunch of childish make believe stories above so here are some quick corrections for just some of his many crackpot lies.

    source; B’tselem, recognized by Amnesty as a credible source.
    http://www.btselem.org/statistics/detainees_and_prisoners

    At the end of August 2011, some 5,200 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners were held in Israeli prisons.

    As of August 2011, 4,164 of the 5200, 78 % , have been convicted following trials in open court represented by their own attorneys. In any event, in most cases those convicted of nationalistic motivated attacks and murders quite willingly plead guilty as they are proud of their actions, even the killing of defenseless civilians, they know they will be eventually released in prisoner exchanges and they can expect to be treated as folk heroes by their own people once they are released.

    As of August 2011, 642 of the 5200, 11%, are still undergoing criminal proceedings.

    As of August 2011, 272 of the 5200, 5%, are being held under detention without trial, on average for less than one year.

    Very unfortunately, the Palestinian armed factions use child soldiers and have been condemned by Amnesty for doing so, and as a result of this, 30 minor children 16 years old or under were in Israeli custody as of August 2011, but are held in specialized juvenile facilities separate from the general prison population.

  33. Did anyone notice that all of the freed Palestinians – most of whom had committed multiple murders, and have no intention of retiring any time soon – were robust and well fed? And that Gilad Shalit is emaciated? If you had to spend a few years in a Middle East prison, which country would you pick?

  34. Did anyone notice that all of the freed Palestinians – most of whom had committed multiple murders, and have no intention of retiring any time soon – were robust and well fed? And that Gilad Shalit is emaciated? If you had to spend a few years in a Middle East prison, which country would you pick?

  35. Does anyone on this site have a conscience?
    Silly, and unfortunately for you, meaningless people you are.
    Understand that you chose to surrender your integrity just to feel a sense of commitment, contribution to some "righteous" cause.

  36. I would love for all of you AI folks to try an experiment with me.
    Are you ready…..see if you can utter these words with even a modicum of sincerity……..there is good and bad

  37. ghaddafi's death, by WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCES, is good.
    his life, and the resultant endless stife it caused, is bad.

    does anybody get this?

  38. israel's Deputy PM Avigdor Lieberman, recently, on the Palestinian prisoners :

    "It would be better to DROWN these prisoners, in the DEAD SEA if possible, since that's the lowest point in the world."

    ( Capitals mine. )

    ************

    Since ' 67, over 700, 000 Palestinians have been imprisoned illegally by israel for some period in their lives.

    That's half of all adult male Palestinians, & ' bout 20 % of the pop.

    This makes Palestinians one of world's most imprisoned peoples.

    But unlike the people of US or China, they're imprisoned by a foreign govt. !!

    ***************

    In Lord Yahweh's Promised Land,
    the laws are hard to understand !

    israeli military regulations rule EVERY ASPECT of Palestinian civilian life.

    There are over 1500 military regulations in the West Bank !!

    & over 1400 governing Gaza !!!

    Sometimes people don't even KNOW of new regulations til they "break" em !

    ***************

    Child prisoners ?

    What's your definition of "child" ?

    Under israeli military regulations, kids ( i mean Palestinian kids ) above 16 are ADULTS !!

    Even tho' israel signed UN Convention of Rights of the Child, by which 18's the age you reach adulthood.

    But all that's theory.

    It's even worse in practice !

    Kids from 12 – 14 years are tried in MILITARY COURTS …. & can be sentenced upto 6 months.

    But ABOVE 14, kids are treated as ADULTS AGAIN in these military courts !!

    There are NO JUVENILE COURTS !!!!

    Kids are OFTEN held with adults in detention centers.

    Between 2000 & Aug 2008, 6,700 kids were treated as adults & incarcerated illegally in israeli prisons !!

    & these kids were arrested in normal, everyday situations, in or around their houses …. not in "combat" or armed ….. unless you consider stones to be weapons !!

    **************

    Torture ?

    Violations pf the UNConvention Against Torture are commonplace in israeli prisons.

    Thousands of prisoners detail stories of relished sadism on the part of israeli torturers.

    A 1999 israeli High Court ruling lets the Knesset pass laws that'd give intelligence officers power to use torture techniques. Intelligence services have this court – awarded power to torture.

    The "ticking bomb" theory, used even on this blogsite by Judonimh when the issue of torture arose here some time ago, is also used by israeli security forces as giving threm carte blanche to abuse any prisoner in their power, children included.

    The Public Committee Against Torture in israel ( PCATI ) found the israeli Attorney General himself APPROVED EVERY CASE OF TORTURE as a NECESSARY SECURITY MEASURE.

    The whole culture's one of impunity extended by the israeli legal system, giving IDF & cops unconditional backing for ANYTHING they do in "security''s name.

    ****************

    What's so "childish"about any of this ?

    They're "normal" facts of life under ANY Occupation.

    ANY Society which Occupies Another DESCENDS to this state.

    If you know your own History, WHOEVER you are, on WHICHEVER side,you'll know this to be True.

    It happened to your ancestors.

    It's happening to us now.

  39. Does anyone on this site have a conscience?
    Silly, and unfortunately for you, meaningless people you are.
    Understand that you chose to surrender your integrity just to feel a sense of commitment, contribution to some “righteous” cause.

  40. I would love for all of you AI folks to try an experiment with me.
    Are you ready…..see if you can utter these words with even a modicum of sincerity……..there is good and bad

  41. ghaddafi’s death, by WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCES, is good.
    his life, and the resultant endless stife it caused, is bad.

    does anybody get this?

  42. israel’s Deputy PM Avigdor Lieberman, recently, on the Palestinian prisoners :

    “It would be better to DROWN these prisoners, in the DEAD SEA if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.”

    ( Capitals mine. )

    ************

    Since ‘ 67, over 700, 000 Palestinians have been imprisoned illegally by israel for some period in their lives.

    That’s half of all adult male Palestinians, & ‘ bout 20 % of the pop.

    This makes Palestinians one of world’s most imprisoned peoples.

    But unlike the people of US or China, they’re imprisoned by a foreign govt. !!

    ***************

    In Lord Yahweh’s Promised Land,
    the laws are hard to understand !

    israeli military regulations rule EVERY ASPECT of Palestinian civilian life.

    There are over 1500 military regulations in the West Bank !!

    & over 1400 governing Gaza !!!

    Sometimes people don’t even KNOW of new regulations til they “break” em !

    ***************

    Child prisoners ?

    What’s your definition of “child” ?

    Under israeli military regulations, kids ( i mean Palestinian kids ) above 16 are ADULTS !!

    Even tho’ israel signed UN Convention of Rights of the Child, by which 18′s the age you reach adulthood.

    But all that’s theory.

    It’s even worse in practice !

    Kids from 12 – 14 years are tried in MILITARY COURTS …. & can be sentenced upto 6 months.

    But ABOVE 14, kids are treated as ADULTS AGAIN in these military courts !!

    There are NO JUVENILE COURTS !!!!

    Kids are OFTEN held with adults in detention centers.

    Between 2000 & Aug 2008, 6,700 kids were treated as adults & incarcerated illegally in israeli prisons !!

    & these kids were arrested in normal, everyday situations, in or around their houses …. not in “combat” or armed ….. unless you consider stones to be weapons !!

    **************

    Torture ?

    Violations pf the UNConvention Against Torture are commonplace in israeli prisons.

    Thousands of prisoners detail stories of relished sadism on the part of israeli torturers.

    A 1999 israeli High Court ruling lets the Knesset pass laws that’d give intelligence officers power to use torture techniques. Intelligence services have this court – awarded power to torture.

    The “ticking bomb” theory, used even on this blogsite by Judonimh when the issue of torture arose here some time ago, is also used by israeli security forces as giving threm carte blanche to abuse any prisoner in their power, children included.

    The Public Committee Against Torture in israel ( PCATI ) found the israeli Attorney General himself APPROVED EVERY CASE OF TORTURE as a NECESSARY SECURITY MEASURE.

    The whole culture’s one of impunity extended by the israeli legal system, giving IDF & cops unconditional backing for ANYTHING they do in “security”s name.

    ****************

    What’s so “childish”about any of this ?

    They’re “normal” facts of life under ANY Occupation.

    ANY Society which Occupies Another DESCENDS to this state.

    If you know your own History, WHOEVER you are, on WHICHEVER side,you’ll know this to be True.

    It happened to your ancestors.

    It’s happening to us now.

  43. a.savage

    I am just wondering if you are being paid by Israel to pose as a lunatic who supports the Palestinians, or are you doing this service for Israel as a volunteer ?

  44. a.savage

    I am just wondering if you are being paid by Israel to pose as a lunatic who supports the Palestinians, or are you doing this service for Israel as a volunteer ?

  45. israel's torture of Palestinian POWs in their thousands has been reported by, among others —

    1. The US State Department.

    2. The Swiss League of Human Rights.

    3. The International League of Human Rights.

    4. The International Association of Catholic Jurists.

    5. The US – based National Lawyers Guild.

    6. Amnesty International.

    **********

    Does all this exposure of the regular torture of prisoners by israel have any effect ?

    Used to.

    Altho' israeli torture had been going on since the Occupation began in 1967, it wasn't until 1977, the Occupation's 10th anniversary, that London's Sunday Times made an investigation of the issue.

    An investigation lasting 5 months.

    The paper's report was detailed … & unusually careful.

    It blew the lid off what it described as the routine ill treatment & frequent torture of Palestinians by israel THROUGHOUT the years of the Occupation.

    For the first time, the world came to know of what we can now call israel's Abu Ghraibs.

    Prisoners are hooded & blindfolded, said the report.

    Hung by wrists for long periods.

    Sexually assaulted.

    Given electric shocks.

    One detention center specially constructed a cupboard.

    It was 2 feet square, 5 feet high.

    With concrete spikes set in the floor.

    When israel gave a reply to this report, the Sunday Times published the reply along with its own devastating point – by – point refutation.

    This report apparently had an effect.

    Perhaps because it was the first big one.

    Menachem Begin's government ( 1977 – 1983 ) lowered the levels of torture by israeli interrogators.

    In 1984, when Begin resigned, HR organizations reported an escalation of torture at once.

    A similar & sustained escalation has been reported in the middle of this decade ( the 2010s ).

    Tortures reported include prisoners being forced to stand without moving.

    For hours.

    Stripped naked & subjected to cold showers & air ventilators.

    One prisoner was beaten for 2 weeks.

    All over the body.

    Genitals included.

    With clubs & fists.

    The Occupation is the Mother of invention.

  46. A necessary self critique …. yet again.

    It was wrong of me to raise an old argument once made by Judonimh.

    How can people RISE ABOVE their previous positions, & MOVE ON & CHANGE & BECOME NEW, if i keep on raising old statements that pull them down ?

    For this wrong i did him, i offer my deepest apologies to Judonimh.

  47. Akram Mansour.

    Another Palestinian POW.

    Imprisoned since 1977.

    He has a BRAIN TUMOR.

    The israeli prison authorities are denying him medication & treatment.

    Which amounts to a long, slow death sentence for him.

    Tthe Palestinian Minister for Political Detainees is asking an israeli court for a hearing on Mansour.

    Including an appeal for his release.

    But the israeli military authorities holding the power of life & death over the Occupied refuse to give a date for the hearing.

    Considering his condition, the other prisoners are demanding his release as well.

    It's such issues that are driving the HUNGER FAST spreading thru israel's prison system NOW.

  48. israel’s torture of Palestinian POWs in their thousands has been reported by, among others —

    1. The US State Department.

    2. The Swiss League of Human Rights.

    3. The International League of Human Rights.

    4. The International Association of Catholic Jurists.

    5. The US – based National Lawyers Guild.

    6. Amnesty International.

    **********

    Does all this exposure of the regular torture of prisoners by israel have any effect ?

    Used to.

    Altho’ israeli torture had been going on since the Occupation began in 1967, it wasn’t until 1977, the Occupation’s 10th anniversary, that London’s Sunday Times made an investigation of the issue.

    An investigation lasting 5 months.

    The paper’s report was detailed … & unusually careful.

    It blew the lid off what it described as the routine ill treatment & frequent torture of Palestinians by israel THROUGHOUT the years of the Occupation.

    For the first time, the world came to know of what we can now call israel’s Abu Ghraibs.

    Prisoners are hooded & blindfolded, said the report.

    Hung by wrists for long periods.

    Sexually assaulted.

    Given electric shocks.

    One detention center specially constructed a cupboard.

    It was 2 feet square, 5 feet high.

    With concrete spikes set in the floor.

    When israel gave a reply to this report, the Sunday Times published the reply along with its own devastating point – by – point refutation.

    This report apparently had an effect.

    Perhaps because it was the first big one.

    Menachem Begin’s government ( 1977 – 1983 ) lowered the levels of torture by israeli interrogators.

    In 1984, when Begin resigned, HR organizations reported an escalation of torture at once.

    A similar & sustained escalation has been reported in the middle of this decade ( the 2010s ).

    Tortures reported include prisoners being forced to stand without moving.

    For hours.

    Stripped naked & subjected to cold showers & air ventilators.

    One prisoner was beaten for 2 weeks.

    All over the body.

    Genitals included.

    With clubs & fists.

    The Occupation is the Mother of invention.

  49. A necessary self critique …. yet again.

    It was wrong of me to raise an old argument once made by Judonimh.

    How can people RISE ABOVE their previous positions, & MOVE ON & CHANGE & BECOME NEW, if i keep on raising old statements that pull them down ?

    For this wrong i did him, i offer my deepest apologies to Judonimh.

  50. Akram Mansour.

    Another Palestinian POW.

    Imprisoned since 1977.

    He has a BRAIN TUMOR.

    The israeli prison authorities are denying him medication & treatment.

    Which amounts to a long, slow death sentence for him.

    Tthe Palestinian Minister for Political Detainees is asking an israeli court for a hearing on Mansour.

    Including an appeal for his release.

    But the israeli military authorities holding the power of life & death over the Occupied refuse to give a date for the hearing.

    Considering his condition, the other prisoners are demanding his release as well.

    It’s such issues that are driving the HUNGER FAST spreading thru israel’s prison system NOW.

  51. Akram Mansour.

    He proudly admits to hijacking a civilian bus from the civilian central bus station in Tel Aviv and cruelly murdering the civilian bus driver.

    Mansour was released last week in the prisoner exchange so your comment is out of date anyways.

    But did you say this self admitted cold blooded kidnapper and murderer of civilian hostages, who then got himself freed before his well deserved prison sentence was up through a further war crime act of illegal hostage taking of Gilead Shalit has brain cancer?

    Then there must be at least some justice in this world after all.

  52. Akram Mansour.

    He proudly admits to hijacking a civilian bus from the civilian central bus station in Tel Aviv and cruelly murdering the civilian bus driver.

    Mansour was released last week in the prisoner exchange so your comment is out of date anyways.

    But did you say this self admitted cold blooded kidnapper and murderer of civilian hostages, who then got himself freed before his well deserved prison sentence was up through a further war crime act of illegal hostage taking of Gilead Shalit has brain cancer?

    Then there must be at least some justice in this world after all.