A CHRONICLE OF ISRAELI PRISON BRUTALITY IN KETZION PRISON/LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT
Screenshot from video about prison brutality in Ketzion prison, revealed by Haaretz
HEBREW EDITION OF THE HAARETZ WITH PICTURES OF THE MISTREATMENT
YOUTUBE FILM ABOUT THE MISTREATMENT
Underlying letter I wrote recently to the members of the Dutch parliament about thestructural mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.Here a ghastly example of prisoner mistreatment, revealed by the Israeli newpaperthe Haaretz
SEE THE HEBREW EDITION OF THE HAARETZ, WHERE THE PICTURES HAVE BEEN PUBLICIZED
Below the English translation of my letter to the Dutch parliament
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT,
SEE THE DUTCH LETTER
TREEDT OP TEGEN MISHANDELING PALESTIJNSE GEVANGENEN/BRIEF AAN TWEEDE KAMERLEDEN
[English translation:STAND UP AGAINST MISTREATMENT OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS/LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT]
Subject:Israeli violent conduct against Palestinian prisoners
[This mail has been sent to all your collegue members of parliament, except forthe parties, The Party for Freedom, Forum for Democracy, the Reformed Political Party and JA21, concerning their pro Israel views
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you’ll probably know, I write you regularly about the injustice concerning the Middle Eastern conflict and about other cases, concerning human rights. Often I refer extensively to international law aspects 
However, in this case I try to make it short[er], because the case is simple here:This concerns a shocking case of abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners and I demand you to use your influence, as fae as possible, to stop this!Here and now!
SCHOKKENDE BEELDEN/MISHANDELING PALESTIJNSE GEVANGENEN
The news reached me about the shocking mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prison Ketziot  and the pictures were publicized by the Israeli newspaper the Haaretz in its Hebrew edition. 
Mij bereikte het bericht over de schokkende mishandeling van Palestijnsegevangenen in de Israelische gevangenis Ketziot  en de beelden daarvan werden gepubliceerd door de Israelische krant de Haaretz in zijnHebreeuwse editie See also the Youtube images! 
What you see is obvious.Prisoners are dragged over the ground, thrown in a heap and beaten.What you see is unacceptable!
The case, dating from 2019 , revealed by the Haaretz [which I appreciate], was ”investigated”I write ”investigated” with quotation marks, because there was noreal investigation, but it was ”swept under the rug” 
In an editorial article The Haaretz writes:
”It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug. 
”It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.” 
Although this incident in itself is serious enough, itdoes not stand alone.No, this violent behaviour against Palestinian prisonersis structural!Amnesty International writes in its review from 2020 among else:””The Israeli authorities arbitrarily detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity.” 
This is a very serious matter!You must act against this, dear members of parliament, because I don’t have to explain to you, that yet apart from the humanity, those violent acts are contrary with the International Treaties! 
YOUR EFFORT AND MORAL DUTY
I expect from you, members of the Parliament, that you stand up againstthis structural violence against Palestinian prisoners, which also includes torture by violence. Use your political power by posing questions in the Parliament and makinga plea for the suspension of the EU Israel Association Agreement, that includes a human rights clausule , in case Israel doesn’t listen.
Too long this injustice had its chance and you can’t walk away from it!You swore an Oath or did a promise on the Dutch Constitution, which states in article 90:”The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order.” 
I count on your efforts.
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe Netherlands
THOSE ARE THE POLITICAL PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES I WROTE TO, EXCEPT FOR THOSEI MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION
WIKIPEDIALIST OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE NETHERLANDS/GENERAL OVERVIEW
WIKIPEDIALIST OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE NETHERLANDS
ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND PALESTINIAN RIGHTS/LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENTASTRID ESSED4 FEBRUARY 2019
SEE ALSO IN DUTCH
ISRAELISCHE BOMBARDEMENTEN OP GAZA IN MEI 2021/TERREUR IN OOST-JERUZALEM EN DE WESTBANK/BRIEF AAN TWEEDE KAMERLEDEN/STOP ISRAELISCHE TERREUR!/STOP DE BEZETTING!ASTRID ESSED18 MEI 2021
[TRANSLATION: ISRAELI BOMBINGS ON GAZA IN MAY 2021/TERROR IN EASTERN JERUSALEM AND THE WESTBANK/LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OFPARLIAMENT/STOP ISRAELI TERROR/STOP THE OCCUPATION!]
CORONAVIRUS BEREIKT LESBOS/POLITIEK, EVACUEER OVERVOL VLUCHTELINGENKAMP MORIA OP LESBOS!/BRIEF AAN TWEEDE KAMERLEDEN
22 MAART 2020
CORONAVIRUS IN LESBOS/POLITICAL LEADERS, ECAVUATE THE
CROWDED REFUGEE CAMP MORIA AT LESBOS/LETTER TO
THE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT]
SEE NOTE 1
HEBREW EDITION OF THE HAARETZ WITH PICTURES OFISRAELI VIOLENCE AGAINST PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
YOUTUBEFROM INSIDE OF AL NAQBA PRISON
””De beelden dateren uit 2019 en zijn naar buiten gebracht door de Israëlische krant Haaretz in zijn Hebreeuwse editie. Ze tonen de mishandeling van een kleine zestig Palestijnse gevangenen door zo’n vijftien gevangenisbewaarders in de C-vleugel van de Ketziot-gevangenis in de Negev/Naqab in Israël.”
[TRANSLATION:The images are from 2019 and have been revealed by the Israeli paperHaaretz in its Hebrew edition. They show the mistreatment of about 60 Palestinian prisoners by about 15 jailers in the C wing ofthe Ketziot prison in the Negev/Naqba in Israel”’
ARTICLE FROM THE RIGHTS FORUM
THE RIGHTS FORUMSCHOKKENDE BEELDEN VAN MISHANDELING PALESTIJNSE GEVANGENEN IN ISRAELISCHE GEVANGENIS
[TRANSLATION]SHOCKING IMAGES OF MISTREATMENT PALESTINIAN PRISONERS IN ISRAELI PRISON]11 JUNE 2021
TEXT [IN DUTCH]
Tientallen gevangenen worden geboeid over de grond gesleurd, op een hoop gegooid en afgeranseld. De zaak verdween in de doofpot, en dat is geen uitzondering.
De beelden dateren uit 2019 en zijn naar buiten gebracht door de Israëlische krant Haaretz in zijn Hebreeuwse editie. Ze tonen de mishandeling van een kleine zestig Palestijnse gevangenen door zo’n vijftien gevangenisbewaarders in de C-vleugel van de Ketziot-gevangenis in de Negev/Naqab in Israël. De gevangenen worden geboeid over de betonnen vloer gesleept, boven op elkaar gegooid, geschopt en met wapenstokken geslagen. Vijftien gevangenen raakten zodanig gewond dat ze in het ziekenhuis belandden. De beelden roepen herinneringen op aan de mishandeling van Iraakse gevangenen door Amerikaanse militairen en CIA-medewerkers in de Abu Ghraib-gevangenis bij Bagdad in 2004.
In zijn redactioneel commentaar schrijft Haaretz dat het geweld kennelijk een wraakactie was voor het neersteken van een bewaarder elders in het gevangeniscomplex – volgens Wikipedia het grootste detentiecentrum van Israël en zelfs ter wereld. De Israel Prison Service maakte destijds bekend dat veiligheidstroepen op de bewuste dag ‘een opstand van gevangenen onder controle hadden gebracht’. Op de beelden is van een opstand echter niets te zien.
De zaak is door de autoriteiten in de doofpot gestopt, schrijft Haaretz. De Prison Service ‘keek de andere kant op’ en de onderzoeksafdeling van de Israëlische politie – de National Prison Investigation Unit – volstond met het ondervragen van één gevangenisbewaarder. Hoewel die toegaf zich schuldig te hebben gemaakt aan ‘onnodig geweld’, werd geen vervolging ingesteld. De zaak werd gesloten onder het mom dat ‘de dader onbekend is’.
De politie ‘veegde de zaak onder het tapijt’, concludeert Haaretz, en ook de openbaar aanklager kwam niet in actie. ‘Het is moeilijk voor te stellen dat het zo zou zijn gelopen als de gevangenen Joden waren geweest’, voegt de krant daaraan toe. In dit geval ging het echter om ‘terroristen en veiligheidsgevangenen die lid waren van Hamas’.
Geen uitzondering, maar regel
Overigens betekent dat niet dat de gevangenen daadwerkelijk lid waren van Hamas en een misdaad op hun geweten hebben. Afgelopen jaar besteedden wij in een brede analyse aandacht aan het oppakken van Palestijnen onder het mom van ‘betrokkenheid bij terrorisme’. Onder die noemer verdwijnen aan de lopende band Palestijnen uit de door Israël bezette gebieden in Israëlische gevangenissen. Het is onderdeel van ‘het intimideren en terroriseren van de bevolking door het Israëlische bezettingsregime’, concludeerden wij.
Daarop wijst vandaag ook de vooraanstaande Israëlische mensenrechtenorganisatie B’Tselem. In een persbericht schrijft het dat het ‘witwassen’ van de zaak door de autoriteiten geen uitzondering is, maar regel: de Israëlische overheersing van de Palestijnen is gebaseerd op geweld en het witwassen daarvan. De nu naar buiten gekomen zaak onderstreept volgens B’Tselem het belang van onderzoek en vervolging door internationale gerechtshoven als het Internationaal Gerechtshof en het Internationaal Strafhof in Den Haag:
Het Israëlische apartheidsregime is gebaseerd op constant, georganiseerd geweld tegen Palestijnen. Dat geweld is cruciaal voor zijn voortbestaan. Daarom is het regime noch bereid, noch in staat om degenen die het geweld plannen en uitvoeren te onderzoeken, laat staan te vervolgen. […] De zaak bewijst eens te meer dat Palestijnse slachtoffers van geweld van Israëlische veiligheidstroepen binnen het bestaande Israëlische systeem geen gerechtigheid kunnen krijgen, en alleen kunnen hopen op behandeling van hun zaken door internationale gerechtshoven.
Mishandeling schering en inslag
Het mishandelen en martelen van Palestijnse ‘verdachten’ en ‘veiligheidsgevangenen’ is in Israëlische ondervragings- en detentiecentra schering en inslag. Het Israëlische Hooggerechtshof staat echter ‘speciale ondervragingsmethoden’ toe als er sprake is van ‘bijzondere veiligheidsrisico’s’, en die bepaling biedt politiediensten, de Prison Service en de veiligheidsdienst Shin Bet een vrijbrief om verdachten te mishandelen zonder dat er een haan naar kraait. Het Israëlische Comité tegen Marteling (PCATI) diende tussen 2001 en 2020 circa 1300 officiële klachten wegens marteling door de Shin Bet in. Dat leidde in slechts één geval tot strafrechtelijk onderzoek, dat uitliep op seponering.
Het martelen van gevangenen is onder internationaal recht en de Universele Verklaring van de Rechten van de Mens strikt verboden en geldt in het oprichtingsverdrag van het Internationaal Strafhof – het Statuut van Rome – als een oorlogsmisdaad. Eerder dit jaar maanden zeven mensenrechtenexperts van de VN Israël zich aan het internationaal recht te houden en rigoureus een eind te maken aan de verboden praktijken. De autoriteiten dienen alle wetten, voorschriften, beleidslijnen en praktijken die zulke misdaden mogelijk maken met spoed te herzien. Staten zijn verplicht marteling en mishandeling te voorkomen en, in het geval zulk wangedrag toch plaatsvindt, te bestraffen. Slachtoffers dienen gerehabiliteerd en gecompenseerd te worden.
END OF ARTICLE
”This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.”
A CHRONICLE OF PRISON BRUTALITY IN ISRAEL
The shocking video from Wing 3 of Ketziot Prison should have set off an earthquake in the Israel Prison Service, police and the State Prosecutor’s Office: Scores of Arab security prisoners were forcibly thrown down onto a concrete floor, sometimes on top of each other, as guards passed between them for long minutes, beating them with batons and kicking them randomly, without any resistance from their victims (as Josh Breiner reported Thursday).
The unrestrained violence is believed to have been carried out in revenge for the stabbing of a guard shortly beforehand near the wing. The guards’ act of revenge, which left 15 prisoners injured, was described by the Prison Service as “gaining control over a riot.” But the evidence clearly shows there was no riot, just the abuse of prisoners. The evidence was an open secret in the Prison Service: Top officials had viewed the video and knew exactly what occurred but acted as if nothing happened. The Prison Service knew that Ketziot’s officers turned a blind eye while at least 10 guards brutally beat the bound prisoners.
It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.
It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.
Now, when the evidence has been revealed to the public, the affair can no longer remain behind prison walls. The state prosecutor must immediately order a thorough investigation that includes all the guards alleged to have been involved, and bring indictments. Any other outcome will only prove that from the state’s viewpoint, security prisoners don’t deserve to be treated like human beings.
- ‘I don’t want anyone to experience what I did’: Arabs decry ‘brutal’ Israeli police op
- 16-year-old Palestinian is the latest target of brutality by one of Jerusalem’s top cops
- ‘Maybe you’ll kill some of them’: Netanyahu tells police to use ‘full force’ against Arab crime rings
The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.
END OF THE ARTICLE
”It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.”
HAARETZA CHRONICLE OF PRISON BRUTALITY IN ISRAEL
SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 7
”It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.”
HAARETZA CHRONICLE OF PRISON BRUTALITY IN ISRAEL
SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 7
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES 2020
ISRAEL AND OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES 2020
Israel continued to impose institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians living under its rule in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It displaced hundreds of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a result of home demolitions and imposition of other coercive measures. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force during law enforcement activities in Israel and the OPT. Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians, including nine children, in the OPT; many were unlawfully killed while posing no imminent threat to life. Israel maintained its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, subjecting its residents to collective punishment and deepening the humanitarian crisis there. It also continued to restrict freedom of movement of Palestinians in the OPT through checkpoints and roadblocks. The Israeli authorities arbitrarily detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity. The authorities used a range of measures to target human rights defenders, journalists and others who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syrian Golan Heights. Violence against women persisted, especially against Palestinian citizens of Israel. The authorities denied asylum-seekers access to a fair or prompt refugee status determination process. Conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned.
Israel held parliamentary elections in March, the third in just over a year. In May, the two largest parties in the Knesset, Likud and the Blue and White alliance, reached a power-sharing agreement that included an announcement that Israel would further annex territories in the occupied West Bank starting in July 2020. This followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement of his “deal of the century”, which included a formal extension of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank in exchange for land currently inside Israel. Israel postponed the annexation plans following diplomatic deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September. The parliament was again dissolved in December, triggering another round of elections in three months’ time.
Israel imposed lockdown measures in March and in September to contain the spread of COVID-19, triggering waves of protests calling on the Prime Minister to step down. The measures allowed the Israel Security Agency (ISA) to use surveillance capabilities usually reserved for Palestinians to trace COVID-19 infections. The Prime Minister’s trial on corruption charges began in May.
In February, the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad fired around 80 rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, causing minor injuries to over 20 people, after Israeli forces killed an Islamic Jihad operative. The Israeli army carried out multiple airstrikes in Gaza, injuring 12 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
In August and September, Israel launched artillery and airstrikes against Gaza in retaliation for incendiary balloons and kites launched from Gaza into Israel. Palestinian armed groups launched indiscriminate rockets into Israel in response.
In August, Israel launched airstrikes against Hizbullah targets in Lebanon after it said that shots were fired from Lebanon into Israel. Israel also launched airstrikes against Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria.
In July, a district court rejected a case to force the Ministry of Defense to revoke the export licence of spyware company NSO Group, dealing a blow to victims of unlawful and targeted international surveillance.
Forcible transfers, forced evictions and demolitions
Israel demolished 848 Palestinian residential and livelihood structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 996 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Israeli authorities said many of the demolished buildings lacked Israeli-issued permits, which are virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain, or were in closed military zones. The law of occupation prohibits such destruction unless necessary for military operations.
In other cases, Israel confiscated residential and livelihood structures, including some that were donated for humanitarian purposes. Israeli forces also punitively demolished at least six Palestinian homes, leaving 22 people, including seven children, homeless, according to B’Tselem. Punitive demolitions constitute collective punishment and are prohibited under international law.
On 5 March, Israeli forces demolished the homes of Walid Hanatsheh, in Ramallah, and Yazan Mughamis, in Birzeit, displacing six Palestinians, after an Israeli court rejected a petition by the families against the punitive demolition. On 11 March, Israeli forces punitively demolished the home of Qassam Barghouti in Kobar village near Ramallah. The three men are in prison in Israel for alleged involvement in an attack in August 2019 that killed an Israeli civilian and injured two others outside Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli settler organizations initiated, with the support of the Israeli authorities, forcible evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.
OCHA estimated in December that around 200 Palestinian households in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, had eviction cases pending against them, placing 800 adults and children at risk of displacement.
Israeli authorities demolished at least 29 residential and livelihood structures that belonged to Bedouin citizens living in “unrecognized” villages in the Negev/Naqab, according to the Negev Coexistence Forum, an Israeli NGO.
Israel continued to discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in areas of planning, budget allocation, policing and political participation. According to the Adalah-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel maintains over 65 laws that discriminate against Palestinians.
Local Palestinian councils in Israel went on strike to protest against discrimination in the distribution of the state budget for local councils. The vast majority of Palestinians in Israel, comprising over 20% of the total population, live in around 139 towns and villages. They received only 1.7% of the state budget for local councils.
In August, Adalah and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of 10 local Palestinian councils and dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel against government policy discriminating against these communities in the distribution of housing, construction and land development benefits compared to neighbouring Jewish communities that enjoy higher socio-economic status and have access to such benefits.
Israel continued to deny Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza married to Palestinian citizens of Israel the right to nationality by enforcing the discriminatory Entry to Israel Law.
In December, the magistrate court in Krayot, near Haifa, rejected a petition for access to education by Palestinian citizens of Israel living in Karmiel, citing the discriminatory Nation State Law. The decision said that establishing an Arabic school in the town or funding transport for its Palestinian residents to study in Arabic schools in nearby communities would undermine the town’s “Jewish character”.
In December, the Israeli Health Ministry began the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that excluded the nearly 5 million Palestinians who live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Unlawful killings and excessive use of force
Israeli military and police used unnecessary and excessive force during law enforcement activities, including search and arrest operations, and when policing demonstrations.
Military and security forces killed at least 31 Palestinians, including nine children, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, according to OCHA. Many were unlawfully killed by live ammunition or other excessive force when posing no imminent threat to life. Some of the unlawful killings appeared to be wilful, which would constitute war crimes.
Israeli forces frequently used excessive force against protesters in Kufr Qadum who continued weekly protests against settlements and settlement expansion. According to OCHA, 214 protesters and bystanders were injured during the year.
On 15 February, Israeli forces shot and injured in the eye nine-year-old Malek Issa while he was returning home from school in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya. No clashes were recorded at the time, according to OCHA. Israeli forces were maintaining a violent and intense police operation in Issawiya as a form of collective punishment.
Israeli forces frequently opened fire on fishermen and farmers in Gaza. According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 12 fishermen and five farmers were injured.
Freedom of movement
For the 13th consecutive year, Israel continued its illegal air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the area, which continued to have a devastating impact on the human rights of Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants. Israel stopped the entry of construction materials and fuel into Gaza repeatedly. This shut down the only power plant in Gaza, leading to a further reduction in the supply of electricity, which had already been available for only about four hours a day. Israel also imposed a full maritime closure and repeatedly limited entry of goods to food and medicine only. The measures amounted to collective punishment at a time of increasing COVID-19 infections in Gaza.
On 2 February, following an exchange of attacks between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups, Israel cancelled the permits of 500 traders from Gaza that enable their holders to travel to Israel and the West Bank for business. The permits were reactivated on 18 February.
On 18 June, Omar Yaghi, a baby with a cardiac condition, died in Gaza after Israel denied the family a permit to enter Israel for a scheduled operation on 24 May at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan city.
In the West Bank, at least 593 Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks continued to heavily restrict the movement of Palestinians and access to rights, including health, education and work. Holders of Palestinian identification cards faced an ongoing bar on using roads built for Israeli settlers.
Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement continued to impede Palestinians’ access to health care, posing further threats to vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of access to hospitals and specialized clinics during the pandemic particularly affected Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Kufr Aqab and Shu’fat Refugee Camp, which are segregated from the rest of the city by military structures, including checkpoints, and the fence/wall.
Israeli authorities conducted hundreds of raids throughout the West Bank to arrest Palestinians, usually at their homes at night. Those arrested were detained in prisons in Israel, along with thousands of other Palestinians from the OPT arrested in previous years. This violated international humanitarian law, which prohibits the transfer of detainees into the territory of the occupying power.
Israeli authorities used renewable administrative detention orders to hold Palestinians without charge or trial. Some 4,300 Palestinians from the OPT, including 397 administrative detainees, were held in Israeli prisons as of December, according to the Israel Prison Service. Many families of Palestinian detainees in Israel, particularly those living in Gaza, were not permitted entry to Israel to visit their relatives.
On 16 July, Israeli forces arrested Iyad Barghouti, an astrophysicist and professor at Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University, at a checkpoint near Jerusalem and placed him in administrative detention. He had previously been administratively detained in 2014 and 2016.
Israel held 157 Palestinian children in prison, including two in administrative detention, as of October. Defense for Children International Palestine said that children were interrogated without their parents present and placed with adults in prison. Under international law, detention of children should be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time.
Palestinian civilians, including children, from the OPT were prosecuted in military courts that did not meet international fair trial standards.
Torture and other ill-treatment
Israeli soldiers, police and ISA officers continued to torture and otherwise ill-treat Palestinian detainees, including children, with impunity. Reported methods included beating, slapping, painful shackling, sleep deprivation, use of stress positions and threats of violence against family members. Prolonged solitary confinement, sometimes lasting months, was commonly used as a punishment.
Israeli forces occasionally denied medical help for Palestinians injured during law enforcement activities.
Freedoms of expression and association
The authorities used a range of measures, including raids, incitement campaigns, movement restrictions and judicial harassment, to target human rights defenders who criticized Israel’s continuing military occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.
Israel continued to deny human rights bodies entry to the OPT, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the OPT.
On 30 July, Israeli forces arrested Mahmoud Nawajaa, a human rights defender and co-ordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the occupied West Bank, from his home in Ramallah. A prisoner of conscience, he was released without charge on 17 August.
On 13 November, the Jerusalem District Court rejected a petition by Amnesty International against the arbitrary and punitive travel ban imposed on its employee, human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad. For undisclosed reasons, Israeli security forces continued to bar him from entering occupied East Jerusalem and from travelling abroad through Jordan.
Rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants
Israel continued to deny asylum-seekers access to a fair and prompt refugee status determination process, leaving many without access to basic services. About 31,000 asylum-seekers were living in Israel.
Violence against women persisted in Israel, especially against Palestinian citizens.
At least 21 women were killed as a result of gender-based violence.
At least four Israeli conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned. Hillel Rabin spent 56 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli army citing oppressive policies against Palestinians.
END OF THE ARTICLE
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
BTSELEMTORTURE AND ABUSE IN INTERROGATIONhttps://www.btselem.org/topic/torture
In interrogating Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories, the Israel Security Agency (ISA, also known by the Hebrew acronyms Shin Bet or Shabak) routinely used methods that constituted ill-treatment and even torture until the late 1990s. In doing so, the ISA relied on the 1987 recommendations of a state commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau. The commission had held that, in order to “prevent terrorism”, ISA interrogators were permitted to use “psychological pressure” and a “moderate degree of physical pressure”. This permission was grounded, in the commission’s opinion, in the “necessity defense” laid out in Israeli Penal Law. In practice, the interrogation methods used by the ISA during that time went far beyond a reasonable interpretation of the term “moderate physical pressure”.This state of affairs persisted for years, despite the right not to be subjected to ill-treatment or torture – whether physical or psychological – being one of the few human rights that are considered absolute. As an absolute right, it may never be balanced against other rights and values and cannot be suspended or limited, even in difficult circumstances.In September 1999, following a series of petitions filed by human rights organizations and by Palestinians interrogated by the ISA, Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruled that Israeli law does not empower ISA interrogators to use physical means in interrogation. The justices ruled that the specific methods discussed in the petitions – including painful binding, shaking, placing a sack on a person’s head for prolonged periods of time and sleep deprivation – were unlawful. However, they also held that ISA agents who exceed their authority and use “physical pressure” may not necessarily bear criminal responsibility for their actions, if they are later found to have used these methods in a “ticking bomb” case, based on the “necessity defense”. Following this ruling, reports of torture and ill-treatment in ISA interrogations did drop. However, ISA agents continued to use interrogation methods that constitute abuse and even torture, relying on the court’s recognition of the “ticking bomb” exception. These methods were not limited to exceptional cases and quickly became standard interrogation policy.Several joint research reports published by B’Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, based on hundreds of affidavits and testimonials given by Palestinians who underwent ISA interrogations after the HCJ ruling, indicate that the ISA still routinely employs psychological and physical abuse in interrogations. While interrogators steer clear of the specific methods that the court disqualified, the rationale is the same: using isolation from the outside world and harsh incarceration conditions, in addition to the interrogation itself, to psychologically pressure and physically weaken the individual. This combined use of holding conditions and interrogation methods constitutes abuse and inhuman, degrading treatment, at times even amounting to torture. It is regularly employed against Palestinians in ISA interrogations, in blatant violation of international law and basic moral standards.According to the accounts of Palestinians who have undergone ISA interrogation, they are held in inhuman conditions, including narrow, windowless cells that are sometimes moldy and foul-smelling and are constantly lit with artificial lighting that is painful to the eyes. Some detainees reported being held in solitary confinement, completely cut off from their surroundings. Some reported exposure to extremes of heat and cold, as well as sleep deprivation. Many described abominable hygienic conditions; among other things, they stated that the prison authorities do not allow them to shower, change clothes, brush their teeth or even use toilet paper. The food is intentionally poor in quality and quantity, and detainees lose weight while in custody. In the interrogation room, they are forced to sit bound to a chair, without moving, for hours and even days on end. Interrogators threaten the detainees, including threats to harm their relatives, as well as shouting and employing violence against them.Most Palestinians who are physically or mental abused in interrogation have no way to complain until the interrogation is over. This is because Palestinian detainees are regularly denied the right to meet with counsel, and HCJ petitions against the denial of this right have been repeatedly dismissed. Also, they usually cannot use the opportunity of coming before a judge in a remand hearing to air their grievances: Most hearings are extremely cursory and, in some of them, detainees are not represented or are denied the opportunity to confer with the lawyer representing them. Most detainees are not aware of the fact that they may approach the judge on their own initiative. In any case, they shy away from sharing what they are undergoing with the judge for fear of reprisal back in the interrogation room. Even when detainees do come forward, the authorities take no action, as years of monitoring by human rights organizations reveal. Since 2001, not a single criminal investigation has been launched into a complaint against an ISA interrogator, despite hundreds of complaints being lodged with the relevant authorities. Although formal changes have been made to the apparatus charged with looking into these complaints – including the appointment of an Inspector of Complaints by ISA Interrogees inside the ISA, and the subsequent transfer of the position to the Ministry of Justice – they have done nothing to alter the situation: Hundreds of complaints, zero criminal investigations.This system of interrogation, which relies on a combination of holding conditions and interrogator conduct, was shaped by state authorities. It is not the personal initiative of any particular interrogator or prison guard, and the actions described here are not anomalies to be weeded out by the justice system. The cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees is inherent to the ISA’s violent interrogation policy. This policy is dictated from above, and not set by interrogators in the field.While the ISA runs the system, a broad network of partners collaborates to facilitate it. The Israel Prison Service (IPS) adapts prison conditions to match the interrogation plan designed to break the detainee’s spirit. Medical and mental health personnel greenlight the interrogation of Palestinians who arrive at the facility – including in cases of poor health – and even hand detainees back to the interrogators after caring for physical and mental injuries they sustained in interrogation, knowing full well that they would be subjected to measures of abuse and torture; soldiers and police officers abuse detainees while transporting them to the ISA, with their commanders turning a blind eye and the MAG Corps and State Attorney’s Office not bringing them to justice or holding them fully accountable. Military judges almost automatically sign off on motions for remand in custody and effectively sanction the continued abuse and inhuman conditions. The State Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General have thus far provided ISA interrogators with full immunity. Finally, HCJ judges regularly reject petitions seeking to overturn the denial of detainee’s rights to meet with legal counsel, clearing the way for continued abuse.All these are party, in one form or another, to the cruel, inhuman, degrading and abusive treatment to which Palestinians are subjected in ISA interrogations. By enabling the existence of this abusive interrogation regime, they all bear responsibility for the severe violations of interrogatees’ human rights and for the mental and physical harm inflicted on these individuals
END OF THE ARTICLE
Article 2 Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.EURO MEDITERRANEAN AGREEMENT establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part
Article 90 Promotion of the international legal order
The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDSChapter 5 Legislation and administration
SEE FOR THE WHOLE CONSTITUTION OF THE NETHERLANDS
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS
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