Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Israel Shooting and Electric-Shocking
By Stephen Lendman
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 25, 2010
Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine Section
(DCI/Palestine) "is a national section of the international non-government
child rights organisation and movement (dedicated) to promoting and
protecting the rights of Palestinian children," according to international
Two earlier articles addressed their work, accessed
though the following links:
Both covered Israel's systematic, institutionalized use of torture of
Palestinian children as brutally as against adults. DCI/Palestine's latest
September Bulletin adds more, saying:
"For the first time....three
(documented) cases of children reporting being given electric shocks by
Israeli interrogators (occurred) in Ari'el Settlement." Each was accused of
stone throwing. Electric shocking extracted confessions although the boys
maintain their innocence.
DCI and PACTI (the Public Committee
Against Torture in Israel) demanded Israel investigate reports that a Gush
Etzion settlement interrogator "attached car battery jump leads to the
genitals of a 14-year old boy in order to obtain a confession to stone
The August 5 incident involved four boys walking near a
road used by settlers when an Israeli jeep approached. "Just for fun," one
boy waved. The jeep turned, was joined by others, and chased the boys. They
were seized, blindfolded, painfully shackled, detained, and taken to the
Zufin settlement, then to the Ari'el settlement where one boy, Raed, was
Though innocent, "Threat of electrocution" made him
confess to stone throwing, after which his head was slammed against a
cupboard. He was also punched in the stomach, and a second interrogator
shocked him with a handheld device, making him dizzy and shiver. He then
signed a confession in Hebrew he couldn't understand, was transferred to
Salem Interrogation and Detention Center, after which he was taken to
Megiddo Prison, in violation of Fourth Geneva's Article 76, pertaining to
the rights assured protected persons detained under occupation.
second incident involved a 17-year old boy, Malek, falsely accused of
throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. About 30 soldiers arrested and
brutalized him like Raed before transferring him to Ofer Prison. On arrival,
he was painfully struck on the head, then interrogated and threatened with
physical violence and rape if he didn't confess. "He denied both
accusations" during a two hour interrogation.
On September 15,
13-year old Khalil was arrested and accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail.
At 1AM, Israeli soldiers smashed windows of his family's home, searched it,
and took him to Ma'ale Adumin settlement. Though innocent, he was threatened
with rape and intimidated to confess. He signed a six page document in
Hebrew he didn't understand and has been detained at Ofer prison.
earlier incident involved 16 year old Moatasem, arrested on March 20. He
remains in administrative detention without charge or trial, at best hoping
for a December release. Like the others, from arrest to detention, he was
brutalized. During interrogation, he was asked about a plot involving a
riot, bullets and weapons with no further explanation, something he knew
nothing about and said so. On March 25, he was ordered administratively held
for six months, then extended three more on September 26.
average, from January 2008 - September 2010, Israel held over 300
Palestinian children captive, about 10% of them aged 12 - 15. Usually when
complaints or requests for investigations into child arrests and
mistreatment are submitted to the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAG),
responses aren't forthcoming or issued raised are denied.
Children Collecting Building Gravel
reported on 12 incidents from May 22 - October 14, 2010, involving children
aged 13 - 17, collecting gravel near Gaza's border fence with Israel. Under
siege, Israel banned construction materials, forcing hundreds of men and
boys to scavenge for what they can find, collecting gravel, placing it in
sacks, loading it on donkeys, then selling it to builders for concrete.
In border watch towers, Israeli soldiers at times shoot and kill donkeys.
They also target workers, usually shooting at their legs. In recent
DCI/Palestine-documented cases, children reported being shot while working
from 50 - 800 meters from the border.
In addition, a UN January 2009
- August 2010 study reported at least 22 Gazan civilians killed and 146
injured by live fire adjacent to Israel's border, including 27 children.
Of DCI's 12 documented cases, nine "were on, or outside the 300 metre
exclusion zone unilaterally imposed by the Israeli army when they were
shot." Under all circumstances with no exceptions, international law
prohibits targeting noncombatant civilians. Israel, of course, flouts all
international laws with impunity.
On November 10 and 11,
DCI/Palestine in cooperation with DCI's International Executive Council and
DCI International Secretariat, Geneva, will conduct an International
Children's Conference titled, "Protective Environment - Active
Participation," under the motto - "Together We Build and Change."
DCI explains that "Child participation is one of the four basic principles
of the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Under occupation, involving
them is especially important to address their collective needs, interests,
and concerns. The upcoming conference thus encourages children to
participate and facilitates it "by finding the spaces for them to carry it
Some Final Comments
On October 19,
palestinethinktank.com published a wide-ranging interview with Khaled
Mesh'al, since 1996, Chairman of Hamas' Political Bureau. Exiled in
Damascus, he became the movement's overall leader after Israel assassinated
Abdul 'Aziz Rantisi in 2004. His comments below are based on a July
published interview in Jordan's Arabic language Al-Sabeel newspaper.
(1) Negotiating with Israel
Calling it a thorny and sensitive issue,
he stressed that it's "not absolutely prohibited....from a legal or
political perspective," but must be subject to "equations, regulations,
calculations, circumstances, contexts and proper management...." Otherwise,
"it becomes a negative and destructive tool."
Currently, he calls it
the wrong choice, given the imbalance of power favoring Israel, saying it
"refuses to withdraw from the (seized) land, and does not recognise
Palestinian rights." Negotiations under such conditions are fruitless.
Israel demands but won't give. On equal fair terms, negotiations are very
(2) Recognizing Israel
As things now stand, he
believes recognition means legitimizing occupation, "aggression,
settlement(s), Judaization, murders, arrests, and other crimes and
atrocities against our people and our land." Recognition must be earned, not
demanded or given, based on equity for both sides. Israel shows no sign of
(3) Suggesting Israel and international insistence on
recognition a sign of weakness, not stength
"Without a doubt, the
enemy is concerned about (its) future....no matter" its regional strength.
"The demand for recognition is certainly a sign of weakness, an expression
of....inferiority, (and) a feeling that it is illegitimate and still
rejected" by regional states "as alien" intruders.
superiority feelings also come into play, or in other words, the way
"Western nations deal with third world countries," believing they alone
dictate terms from a position of strength, including negotiating
(4) Why Israel and the international community reject
Hamas' proposed long-term truce
First, "the logic of power." Second,
"they see Arab and Palestinian parties making (better) offers." Third,
Israeli and Western experience suggests pressure works best, forcing
adversaries or counterparties to succumb.
(5) Hamas' resistance
It's "a natural and authentic part of the experience of the
Palestinian struggle" for liberation and ending the occupation.
Hamas and international relations
First, the "conviction that the
Palestine battle (is for) humanity against Israeli injustice and oppression.
Second, "the necessity of promoting (the) legitimate right to resist
occupation and aggression." Third, the importance of using the world stage
to address injustice. Fourth, concern for developing relations at all
levels. Fifth, doing it begins in the region, "the plant (to) harvest (in)
(7) Hamas and Jews
"We do not fight the Zionists
because they are Jews; we fight them because they are occupiers," and commit
crimes against the Palestinian people. The struggle isn't about religion.
(8) Hamas and women
"Women in the Islamic concept of thought,
jurisprudence, mandate and role are - indeed - one half of society, and
(have) been given (their) prestige and respect. However, there is a huge
difference between respect and appreciation for women and (their) rightful
role (on the one hand), and abusing (them) and presenting (them) as cheap
commodit(ies) as is done in the Western civilization (on the other)." In
Palestine's struggle for liberation, women play a distinctive role,"not only
as mothers, wives and sisters," but as activists, teachers, fighters, and
providers of logistical assistance.
(9) Zionism's future
"has no future in the region." It's in decline, and except for attacking
Beirut in 1982, Israel hasn't won a war since 1967. "This is an important
indicator of the Zionist project's ability....In my estimation, the 'Greater
Israel' project has come to an end, simply because the Zionist enemy is no
longer able to accomplish it, and because Israel continues
(self-destructively) on the same path as did apartheid South Africa."
(10) Israel's role as a regional strategic asset
It's no longer so,
especially after the Goldstone Report and Gaza Flotilla massacre. As a
result, "Israel is falling morally, and its true ugly face is being exposed.
This is a very important development." It signifies "premature aging of this
enterprise....In short, the Zionist project, like all other" forms of
occupation, colonizations, and aggression, "has no legitimacy because it is
alien to our region and lacks the elements of survival." It will end like
all the others.
(11) The region's future
It's very much in
flux with years before better resolution. However, we're "confiden(t)
and hop(eful) that the future will be to the benefit of the nation and the
Palestinian resistance and cause....Our reading is not fanciful, and is
certainly not defeatist." It's realistic and achievable.
"We are a
great nation, proud of ourselves, our religion, our land, our history, our
culture and identity." Palestine and Jerusalem as one is "our beating heart
and an indicator of our life and survival."
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