Israel escalates arrest campaign in Al-Khalil in March

[ 04/04/2011 – 09:23 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) has issued a report documenting that 110 Palestinians were taken into custody, including 20 minors, as the Israeli army escalated arrest operations and house raids across Al-Khalil province in March 2011.

”A spirit of retaliation and frightening hostility emerged in the soldiers’ treatment of those arrested from the instance of arrest. Manifestations of extreme sadism emerged in the method of arrest, interrogation and treatment, as well as abuses contradicting the international humanitarian law and all humanitarian, moral and religious values,” the report states.

The group declared that it was one of the fiercest arrest campaigns carried out by the Israeli occupation forces, affecting the entire province, as the forces searched throughout the city and outlying villages using rifle butts and batons to assault civilians, and using a ”crush and blast” policy as they detained residents inside rooms and ravaged through houses in searches.

Some of those arrested had testified under oath to the PPS’s attorney that their hands were broken after they were beaten and dragged to the Karm Tsur settlement, where soldiers ”entertained themselves by torturing them”. One man said soldiers pushed the upper half of his body out of a military jeep and accelerated the car’s movement and began painfully beating him and his brother in the chest.

Prisoner Atta Saeed Abu Rumooz said he was blind-folded and cuffed for 48 hours as soldiers fiercely battered him and took his photograph as he was beaten.

Perhaps the worst scenario is what happened to Waheeb Samir Abu Marya. Soldiers beat him and crucified him as he was cuffed and terrorized him by placing near him a box of explosives. The soldiers also photographed Yousef Mahmoud al-Awadiwa as they left him to freeze in the rain for hours as they laughed in mockery. Another victim told the PPS that he has almost completely lost his hearing after an investigator slapped him.

The PPS said that most of the 20 minors of less than 18 years were arrested and taken to the Etzion settlement near Bethlehem, where investigators tried to elicit by force false testimonies that they were guilty of throwing stones.

The PPS accounted that several people suffering from various illnesses were arrested, beaten and dragged, including a paralyzed man. It highlighted that article 91 of the fourth Geneva convention protects the treatment and the freedom of ill people.

10 detainees from Al-Khalil were transferred to administrative detention during the month, the PPS reported.

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