Human rights groups urge global action to end ‘severe’ torture by Israeli authorities

israeli tank palestinian child rock stone

File photo of Palestinian child throwing stones at an israeli occupation tank

Three human rights groups urged the international community to take action to end Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children, on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26).

In a joint statement, Adalah, Al Mezan, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel say that the Israeli authorities continue, with no accountability, to subject Palestinian prisoners and civilians from the Occupied Territory to torture and ill-treatment.

Israel ratified the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 1991, but to this day, has “no legislation that criminalizes torture and ill-treatment”, and continues “to use these practices against Palestinian civilians, prisoners and detainees, including children, in violation of its obligations.”

Last month, the UN Committee Against Torture issued more than 50 recommendations to end Israel’s lack of compliance with the UN CAT. These include to “end administrative detention, prohibit the solitary confinement of children, refrain from force-feeding hunger striking prisoners, and investigate cases of suspected unlawful killings.”

The human rights groups demand international action to end the “severe acts of torture and ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, as well as “transparency and accountability” so that “perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment are brought to account and that future violations are prevented.”

The joint statement includes personal testimonies, such as that of 14-year-old Mohamed.

IN SEPTEMBER 2015, MOHAMED CROSSED THE BORDER FENCE FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL AFTER FINDING THAT THE BARBED WIRES HAD BEEN CUT AND THAT SEVERAL YOUNG DEMONSTRATORS WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE. ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN JEEPS SOON FIRED AT THE GROUP AND SURROUNDED THEM. THE SOLDIERS DEMANDED THAT MOHAMED STRIP NAKED, AND WHEN HE REFUSED, THEY KICKED HIM, THREATENED TO SHOOT HIM, AND FORCEFULLY UNDRESSED HIM. THE SOLDIERS THEN WENT ON TO HIT AND KICK HIM FOR 10 MINUTES, INCLUDING WITH THE BUTT OF A GUN. MOHAMED’S TOOTH WAS BROKEN AND HE VOMITED BLOOD BEFORE PASSING OUT.

WHEN MOHAMED REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, HE FOUND HIMSELF INSIDE A MOVING VEHICLE BEING TAKEN TO A MILITARY SITE. UPON ARRIVAL, MOHAMED WAS BLINDFOLDED AND MADE TO SIT ON THE FLOOR WITH HIS HANDS TIED, WEARING ONLY UNDERWEAR. MOHAMED WAS INTERROGATED FOR THREE DAYS, DURING WHICH THE INTERROGATORS TRIED TO MAKE HIM CONFESS THAT HE WAS A MEMBER OF A MILITANT FACTION. THE INTERROGATORS HIT AND KICKED HIM INCLUDING WITH A SHARP OBJECT ON HIS SHOULDER. THEY CURSED AT HIM WHILE SOLDIERS NEARBY LISTENED TO MUSIC AS HE WAS BEING BEATEN. WHEN HE WAS ASLEEP, THE SOLDIERS POURED COLD WATER OVER HIM TO WAKE HIM UP. AT ONE POINT, MOHAMED ASKED FOR WATER BUT WAS GIVEN WINE INSTEAD. ANOTHER TIME, A SOLDIER TOLD MOHAMED TO SMOKE A CIGARETTE, AND WHEN MOHAMED REFUSED, THE SOLDIER PRESSED THE CIGARETTE ONTO HIS FOOT.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

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The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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