227 Palestinian Prisoners Released from Israel is a ‘Good-Will Gesture’?

Posted: 16 December 2008 by Little Alex in International Affairs, Palestine-Israel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I mentioned in an earlier post of Israel’s delay of the agreed release of 230 Palestinans in their custody. CNN reports the release of 227 yesterday as “a long-debated good-will gesture to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.”

Oh, really?

This same article also reports that Israel is holding over 10,000 Palestinians for “security reasons” — an article from a press that is not free to cover Gaza.

An article from a press not free to cover Gaza by Israel — a country that tortures and terrorizes everyday Palestinian prisoners, while humiliating children and women at checkpoints and in confinement:

Attorney Hala Gores: “[An Israeli official] took off my top. I helped to take off my pants and didn’t really say much of anything. And she had me turn around. She felt my legs; my behind. So there I was as a ten-year-old, in this little room, just about completely naked, and knew that I could not challenge what was happening and I just complied. It just feels, sitting here as an adult, that as a child I really shouldn’t have had to go through that.”

“Sometimes mothers and children are strip-searched together, at other times little girls are taken from their parents and strip-searched alone. Women are required to remove sanitary napkins, sometimes with small daughters at their side. Sometimes women are strip searched in the presence of their young sons.”…

Maysoon alHayek in testimony to B’Tselem: “…my husband told the soldiers that we wanted to get into Nablus to get to Rafidia hospital because I was in labor. Initially, the soldiers refused to let us through, but I told them I was in severe pain and about to give birth. Then, a soldier told me to uncover my belly, to make sure I was really pregnant. I uncovered my belly because of the pain I was in and so that they would let through. The soldier let us enter Nablus, this after the searches, examinations and arguments which lasted for about an hour.

We drove about 300 meters and got to a large ditch that had been dug in the main road where we were travelling very slowly. 30 meters past the ditch, heavy gunfire was opened toward the front of the car. It lasted for about five minutes. My husband received a direct hit to the neck, and more hits to the upper body.Abdullah alHayek, my husband’s father, was also hit in the upper body. I was hit by shrapnel and glass from the broken window which spread in the car. I lay down on the back seat. After the Israeli soldiers stopped shooting, the place became completely silent. I spoke to my husband, asking him to answer me. When he didn’t answer me, I realized he was in a bad condition. His father couldn’t speak either. I started to scream and cry. The soldiers came toward me from in-between the houses. They examined me and tried to give me first aid. They examined my husband, Muhammad, and his father and told me that they wanted to take him to hospital in Israel because his condition was severe. As for me, the soldiers called the DCO, I think, and called a Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance for me from Nablus. The ambulance took me to Rafidia hospital in Nablus. I was completely naked, because the soldiers took my clothes off to check if and where I had been hurt. After the examination, they left me naked.”…

“Sworn Statement, Maysoun Saleh Nayef Halek, 29 yrs: “My father-in-law was screaming in pain and the labour pains grew stronger. I saw a lot of soldiers in front of me. I called out at them using the word ‘baby’ which I think some understood. They started to talk to me in Hebrew as they pointed the guns towards me. They used signs and gestures. I understood that they wanted me to show them how pregnant I was which I did. One soldier asked me to take off my robe, which I did. But it was not sufficient and he asked me to remove the T-shirt and the trousers. I had no choice and I was ready to go as far as that in order to get to the hospital before it was late. He asked me to take off my underwear which I did. After this humiliation, they fetched a stretcher from one of the tanks. I was naked. I was carried to a tank and was given intravenous glucose into my arm. A few minutes later, they brought my father-in-law inside the tank. They drove for almost half an hour. I was thinking they were taking me to a nearby hospital but it turns out they were taking us back to the Huwwara checkpoint. We were taken out of the tank and were laid nude on the stretchers for almost one hour.”…

Manal continued: ‘I can not describe what happened to the students! They were forced to strip naked collectively in one of the rooms after women soldiers intimidated them.’ She added, ‘The female soldier asked me and my friend to enter the room for inspection, but we refused. She said that we can enter separately to be strip searched, and when we refused again she screamed at us and called us al kind of swear words. Then we got detained inside one of the room at the checkpoint, and after a number of phone calls to human rights organizations my friend and I were allowed to leave the checkpoint.’

Manal added that ‘On this particular day men were not inspected, but only women. This confirms that the Israeli authorities had serious intentions to humiliating us’. The young Palestinian lady also noted that, ‘if there were security reasons for this inspection, why not search all the people? Anyhow, don’t the Israeli authorities refuse to grant permission for Palestinians who have security records to cross at this checkpoint? Apart from this we had already entered a number of checkpoints unscathed before this strip search; all these factors raise suspicions’….

“While men have also reported forms of sexual torture in jail, women prisoners are particularly vulnerable to this as a form of humiliation by their captors. Women are forced to strip naked in front of guards, many of whom are male, and subjected to brutal body searches. Many women prisoners have detailed sexual assault by Israeli military and prison staff. On some occasions women are detained as a way of threatening or putting pressure on a male member of the family.”…

“Sworn Statement, Amneh Jawad Ali Mona, 29 yrs: “Then the guard Sireet came and inspected me in front of all the jailers while my hands and feet were tied and my head and nose were bleeding. She opened my blouse from the front and also my pants. They insulted me using very bad words and then left.”

Israel is a country where a member of its legislature suggested Palestinian prisoners be used as “human shields” near Gaza. Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister and prime minister candidate, Tzipi Livni said that her policies would allow her to “approach the Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs, and tell them, ‘your national solution lies elsewhere.'”

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian territories, said in a statement last Tuesday:

that the UN must “implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity”….

Falk said it would seem “mandatory” that the UN’s International Criminal Court investigate Israel’s policies in regard to the Palestinians.

“[The court could] determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law,” he said.

The Israeli government has faced a level of criticism by “normally cautious UN officials” not seen since the “the heyday of South African apartheid,” Falk said.”And still Israel maintains its Gaza siege in its full fury, allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease.”

Two days after this article:

The Israeli government held UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk for over 20 hours at a Tel Aviv airport, before eventually putting him on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. UN officials complained of the envoy’s treatment, saying “one doesn’t expect a UN special rapporteur to find himself in that position.”

But Israel defended the action, with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declaring that Falk, a Princeton professor who condemned the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, was “unwelcome in Israel.” A later statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Professor Falk of “legitimizing Hamas terrorism.” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem condemned the move, saying that barring the entry of the professor was “an act unbefitting of democracy.”

Of course, Israel has little-to-nothing to fear when they’re coddled by the US, who has absolute veto power on the UN Security Council — and has seldom been shy to use it in defense of Israel.

I’m sorry if don’t stand up and cheer at Israel’s recent “long-debated good-will gesture” to Palestine until I hear how long Israel debates before committing atrocities on mankind.

  1. […] 227 Palestinian Prisoners Released from Israel is a ‘Good-Will Gesture’? […]

  2. […] 227 Palestinian Prisoners Released from Israel is a ‘Good-Will Gesture’? […]

  3. […] What about the 10,000+ currently detained in Iraq? If human rights will be protected by the incoming Obama administration, what about Mr. Obama’s Zionism, establishment-cabinet, and pledged support for Israel detaining 10,000+ Palestinians? […]

  4. […] Israel kidnapped nine more Palestinians in the West Bank after reportedly kidnapping more than 260 in May. More than 11,500 Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel without charges for “security reasons”. […]

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