Crimes Against Humanity
Aug 12, 2012 | Stephen Lendman
Israel commits daily crimes against humanity. Intermittently, crimes or war are committed.
For decades, Palestinians have been ruthlessly persecuted and denied justice.
Dozens of incidents occur daily. Media scoundrels suppress or ignore them.
On July 30, Israel placed 10 International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
activists in administrative detention uncharged. ISM resists Israeli
Activists are frequently arrested, detained, mistreated, then deported. Israel considers supporting right over wrong illegal.
Palestinian Authority (PA) officials enforce Israeli lawlessness.
Collaborationist leaders betray their people. Maliciously they accuse
internationals of anti-PA incitement.
said the PA’s “persistent disregard for international law, combined
with recurring abuses committed by several Palestinian security agencies
in the West Bank have done nothing to appease the frustrations of
Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad lack legitimacy. So do those
around them. “Palestinians have come to expect little more than the
suppression of freedom of expression, arbitrary arrest and even worse
from their governing authority.”
They collaborate with Israel’s illegal occupation. They derive
special benefits for services rendered. Palestinians have no confidence
they’ll end land theft, settlement expansions, Gaza’s siege, Israel’s
separation wall, and numerous other daily abuses.
They enforce and replicate Israel’s worst policies. They attack
peaceful protesters violently. They imprison Palestinians for political
reasons. They crush dissent. They ignore rule of law principles and
judicial rulings. They’re disgraceful puppets serving Israeli interests.
On July 9, solidarity activists were arrested near Jenin. They were
protesting Israeli land theft. Villagers participated with them. Israeli
security guards and settlers harassed them. Internationals through
their lawyer were told they’d be deported.
On July 10, six peace activists were arrested near Nablus. Detention
followed. They helped villagers remove illegal roadblocks. Four
internationals await deportation. Two Israeli citizens were released
On July 15, detained activists began hunger striking in protest.
Multiple strip searches followed. A Canadian national was beaten.
Following a July 17 hearing, Judge Nissim Yeshaya ordered six
activists deported the same day. Their request for delay to appeal was
Two Swedish nationals remained imprisoned. They petitioned Israel’s
Supreme Court for redress. Deportations were delayed but requests for
bail were denied.
ISM activists are prime targets. Israel’s Interior Ministry says they
threaten state security. They “hamper the security activities of the
(IDF) and sometimes even endanger the safety of soldiers.”
Their “goal….is to thwart the activity of the security forces in the territories and impede their work of preventing terrorism.”
Israel considers peaceful protests threatening. Palestinians and
internationals are targeted, arrested, mistreated, detained, and
deported if they don’t reside in Palestine or Israel.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) discussed four Palestinian patients. They also described a “system that denies medical care.”
Israel denied four Palestinians access to badly needed treatment.
They live in Gaza. Facilities there can’t provide it. Their condition is
critical. Their request for West Bank or East Jerusalem medical care
was rejected. Their lives hang in the balance.
Israel’s bureaucracy is Kafkaesque. Patients go through extensive
interrogations. Permit permission is needed. PHR-I petitions on their
behalf. Usually it falls on deaf ears. Lives are lost because care
unavailable in Gaza can’t be accessed elsewhere.
Abusing Palestinian Prisoners
On August 7, PHR-I, Addameer and Al-Haq reported jointly on four Palestinian political prisoners. They’re on open-ended hunger strikes. Their health keeps deteriorating.
Administrative detainees Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi continue
protracted strikes. Israeli Prison Service (IPS) officials mistreat them
On August 5, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad visited both men. On August
2, PHR-I’s doctor saw them. On August 10, Al-Barq went without food for
80 days. It followed a previous 30-day fast.
On July 31, Israeli special forces (Nahshon) transfered him from
Ramleh prison to Ofer military court. They’re known for brutalizing
prisoners en route. Al-Barq was ordered to walk.
Weak and unable, his legs were maliciously beaten. A wheelchair
eventually arrived. Soldiers refused to help. He crawled, got on it best
he could, and wheeled himself.
On August 10, Safadi reached 50 days without food. Previously he
fasted 71. He was also abused. On July 30, five Israeli soldiers raided
his room. Insults followed, then a severe beating “all over his body.”
One leg was injured.
Safadi also said his room is violently searched three or four times daily. He’s held in isolation “with only his clothes.”
He and Al-Barq now share the same cell. It measures about 1.5 by 1.8
meters. It’s windowless with no ventilation. It’s too tiny to
accommodate wheelchairs both men need for virtually all daily
Both men protested. In response, guards beat them. PHR-I’s doctor
said they refuse vitamins, minerals and other treatment. They call it a
last resort against humiliation and violence.
Since Ramadan began on July 20, they only drink water at night. They
also refuse blood tests during the period. IPS officials denied PHR-I’s
request to examine both men privately. Doing so violates Israeli
Patients Rights Law.
PHR-I’s doctor said both men were fully conscious when he visited.
Al-Barq suffers weakness and general pain. He received emergency Assaf
Harofeh Hospital treatment for a slow pulse.
He was released with no recommendation for further care. He’s slowly dying but hospital authorities didn’t care.
Safadi suffers from vertigo. Attempting to stand especially affects him. He also experiences pain on his left side and rib cage.
PHR-I’s doctor expects their health to keep deteriorating. Their
condition requires close monitoring and attention. He also said regular
examinations are needed by “impartial” doctors with no restrictions such
as court orders.
Two other Palestinian political prisoners also refuse food. As of
August 10, Ayman Sharawna and Samer Al-Issawi are on days 40 and 9
respectively. Both were released in last October’s Gilad Shalit prisoner
exchange deal. They were then lawlessly re-arrested.
PHI-I Israel, Addameer, and Al-Haq expressed outrage at how these men
are treated. They also noted regular violent attacks on most all
Palestinian prisoners. International community intervention isn’t
Mid-May promises Israel made were broken. Palestinians suffer
grievously. Hunger strikers are especially brutalized. Somehow they
courageously endure. How is hard to explain.
Discriminatory Laws Target Non-Jews
Israel only grants Jews rights. Increasingly, privileged ones alone
benefit at the expense of all others. Arab Israelis are marginalized and
treated like fifth column threats.
New bills and laws surface regularly. Some would make despots proud. Arab citizens lose land and freedoms.
Citizenship rights for non-Jews are considered privileges. Arab
citizens can hold Knesset seats without authority. They’re little more
than potted plants.
Political expression criticizing or questioning Zionist policies are
criminalized. Jews get most state resources. Arabs are denied adequate
amounts. Supreme Court ruling protections are largely ignored.
Discriminatory persecution is official Israeli policy. Palestinians suffer most.
Israel’s Supreme Court Obstructs Freedom of Worship
On August 7, Israel’s High Court ruled Gazan Christians can access Israeli and West Bank holy sites on holidays. Muslims were denied.
Six Muslim women were denied permission to pray at Jerusalem’s Al
Aqsa Mosque. Limited numbers of Christians, subject to age restrictions,
may worship at their holy sites.
Muslim petitioners argued that Israel is obligated to let them travel
freely from Gaza to pray. Each Friday during Ramadan, Israel lets
46,000 West Bank Muslims enter Jerusalem to do so.
In its ruling, Israel’s High Court rejected appellants’ argument that
religious belief can’t be used to deny access to holy sites. A
three-judge panel decided otherwise. Their ruling was convoluted and
They said discrimination is permissible because Gazan Christians “are
a minority group, and according to the respondents, their freedom of
worship is infringed upon under the Hamas regime in Gaza.”
Alleged religious discrimination is exaggerated. Islamic law isn’t
imposed. In contrast, Israeli discriminatory harshness is severe.
The Court accepted Israel’s argument that travel outside Gaza is
limited to “exceptional humanitarian cases.” Most claimants, in fact,
are denied. At the same time, about 4,000 Gazan football players,
merchants, wedding guests, and others get permission to travel to Israel
and the West Bank monthly.
Israel decides who will or won’t go. Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement’s legal director Nomi Heger said:
Israel’s “Supreme Court approved a policy discriminating between
Christian and Muslim worshippers for access to the holy sites of
Jerusalem, which are under Israeli control.”
We believe that people of all religions should be permitted to access
the sites holy to them within the territory controlled by Israel, by
balancing the principle of freedom of religion with security needs.”
“We also believe that Israel’s control over Gaza, in the past and the
present, imposes obligations to allow access in more than just
exceptional humanitarian cases.”
A Final Comment
On August 9, Addameer
headlined “Yet another Palestinian civil society leader targeted by
Israel: Addameer Chairperson Abdullalif Ghaith receives ban for leaving
Addameer advocates for human rights. It also supports and defends
Palestinian prisoners. Most are incarcerated for political reasons.
Gaith co-founded Addameer. For the past 20 years, he served on its
board. He’s well known for championing human rights and political
activism. Israel wants him silenced. He’s banned from traveling abroad.
Doing so is lawless. Israel doesn’t give a damn about fundamental law
and never did. Authorities in Jerusalem claim he threatens “state
Israel repeats the canard often. Doing so doesn’t wash. Evidence is
absent because there is none. Gaith’s restriction runs through January
31, 2013. Expect Israel to extend it on expiration.
Everyone championing human rights in Israel and Palestine faces
possible state persecution. Ghaith was targeted before. On October 11,
2011, he was prohibited from entering the West Bank.
Initially it was for six months. It was extended six more months. Israel can enforce restrictions ad infinitum.
Since becoming Addameer chairperson, Ghaith was arrested and detained
administratively without charge or trial three separate times. On each
occasion, he spent six months in prison.
Why? For supporting human rights, advocating for lawlessly imprisoned Palestinians, and opposing Israel’s illegal occupation.
He’s a marked man. So are others like him. Rogue states govern this
way. Israel is one of the worst. It mocks democratic freedoms. It
commits crimes of war and humanity unaccountably.
Torture is official policy. Children are treated like adults. All
valued parts of Judea and Sumaria are being stolen dunam by dunam.
Opponents of rogue policies are ruthlessly targeted.
Addameer calls human rights defenders “persons who work, peacefully,
for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of
Ghaith dedicated his life to them. He also works on behalf of
Palestinian political prisoners. He calls “every activity that tackles
Israeli violations of human rights a threat to state security.”
“Israel wants its occupation to proceed without any accountability.”
It’s not an individual issue, he says. It affects all Palestinians and
Israel can target them physically, emotionally, and other ways. It
can’t intimidate, discourage or deter their spirit, courage, or
They represent right over wrong. Their ideas are too powerful to
destroy. Victor Hugo once said “(n)o army can withstand” them. Activists
like Ghaith prove it daily.