According to the Israeli news site Yedioth
Internet, the “IDF [IOF] has started constructing a temporary detention
center designed to hold the Lebanese prisoners that will be captured during
army operations in Southern Lebanon…. The fact that the army was granted
special permission from the Chief Military Rabbinate to continue with construction
works throughout Saturday attests to the urgency attributed to the project.”
In other words, the abduction and torture of Lebanese Shi’a (who
are all considered members of Hezbollah) has received the imprimatur of the
highest religious authority in Israel. How these people sleep at night is a
During the last occupation of southern Lebanon, Israel used the Khiam
prison to warehouse and torture Lebanese, a direct violation of the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
an agreement Israel is party to.
“Since the facility opened in 1985, hundreds of Lebanese have been arbitrarily
detained in Khiam without charge for indefinite periods of time. Many of the
detainees, including women, have been tortured during interrogation and subjected
to abysmal conditions of confinement,” reported Human
Rights Watch in 1999, a year before Hezbollah kicked the IOF out of Lebanon.
No doubt Israel’s new “detention facility” will mirror the
torture chambers at Khiam.
“The prisoners’ testimonies and the cells bear witness to what
went on inside,” explains Arjan
El Fassed, writing for Electronic Intifada. “Prisoners were crammed
into tiny, filthy spaces where they ate and slept. Those not in solitary confinement
were allowed out once a week for 15 to 30 minutes in the ’sun room’
and open space surrounded by walls.”
Prisoners have been routinely tortured, three times a day. Torture included
beatings, being prodded with electrical cables in sensitive parts of the body
and being hung from painful positions….
Detainees were given inadequate food rations and beaten when they prayed
until a riot in 1989, during which two prisoners, Bilal al-Salman and Ibrahim
Abu ‘Azz, were killed….
Among the prisoners were Lebanese journalist Cosette Ibrahim, kidnapped while
reporting in southern Lebanon. Some of the detainees were children, like 15-year-old
Ali Tawbeh, who with his parents was dragged from his home by the Israeli
occupation forces in 1997. Other hostages, like Abdeh Malkani, were over seventy
years old. Hussein Awada, 65 years old, had been detained since June 1999.
He had serious heart problems and could only move with the help of a stick….
Between 1987 and 1995 prisoners in Khiam were not allowed access to their
families. They were denied the right of prompt judicial review of the lawfulness
of their detention. A number of detainees have died in Khiam, some of them
after torture, others because of lack of medical treatment. Other prisoners
have been released after years of torture and incommunicado detention with
serious physical or mental illnesses.
In regard to the journalist Cosette Ibrahim, the Center
for Media Freedom wrote: “On 2 September 1999, during a sweep in Rmeish,
a village located near the Israeli-occupied South Lebanon zone, the South Lebanese
Army (SLA) arrested Cosette while she was visiting her parents. She was arrested
with her brother-in-law, De Gaulle Abu Tass, and another man, Samir Khiam. No
official reason was given for the arrest. Reports by Lebanese human rights groups
indicate that Cosette was arrested for refusing to collaborate with the pro-Israeli
South Lebanese Army of General Antoine Lahad. Other reports attest that Cosette
was arrested for her articles attacking the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon….
Cosette … has not been given a trial [and] may be held hostage for the
purpose of negotiations with Hizbullah. This is illegal under Section 34 of
the Fourth Geneva Convention ratified by Israel.”
But then Israel and the United States don’t do the Geneva Conventions.
“The detention center will be based on the model of previous prisons
built in Israel such as Ktziot in the south and the Ofer base in Jerusalem,”
Ynet continues. “During the Lebanon War, thousands of Lebanese detainees
were incarcerated at the al-Hiyam [Khiam] prison located in Lebanese territory.
Defense officials explained to Ynet that setting up a detention center on such
a scale is proof of the Israeli government’s plans for an extensive operation
that may last for months.”
In 2002, a Palestinian named Abed
Khalil told the Inter Press Service Newswire about his stay in the Ketziot
Ketziot was a prison in the middle of the desert. It was in southern Israel,
toward the Egyptian border. No one could get there. Visitors were not allowed.
Not even lawyers could go there because the prisoners were called administrative
detainees, which means they were held without a trial and without being charged.
The soldiers used bulldozers to push the dunes up like mountains around it.
The sun there felt like someone was pouring fire on you. It was a place with
no buildings, only tents with cells.
I was 14 when they sent me to Ketziot. They put me there during the first
intifada for 6 months because I threw stones at the soldiers who came into
our camp. I don’t think you can dream a worse nightmare.
The floors of the cells at Ketziot did not sit on concrete but directly on
the desert. At night when you slept, the scorpions and black snakes came in
through the sand. There were no lights so you could not watch to kill them.
The cell was small so you could not move away from them.
If you did not give information about people in your camp, the soldiers beat
you. If you did give information, they said it proved you were a terrorist,
so they kept you longer. And they beat you.
In testimony provided to Al-Haq
(part of the Executive Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network),
Ofer prison was described as follows:
This prison is located in Betounya just a few kilometers to the West of Ramallah.
It is originally a military camp at which a detention center has been formed.
It is estimated that 720 Palestinian detainees are held in this prison. Eighty-five
of them are administrative detainees. Several others are Palestinians holding
Conditions in this prison are not better than those in Ansar 3 [Ketziot].
Prisoners are held in tents distributed on sections. Many harsh beatings have
been reported in this prison. Overcrowding, poor food, terrible sanitation
services, widespread insects and reptiles are common features of this prison.
Prisoners are also in need of changes of clothes, especially underwear.
Additionally, there are some sick prisoners in this prison. These prisoners
are deprived of medical care. In an affidavit given by detainee Murad Abu
Gharbeyyeh he mentioned that he suffered from psychological instability after
his wife had been killed in front of him. He lost his conscious many times.
The doctor of the prison diagnosed his case, but he was not given appropriate
In short, Israel plans to invade southern Lebanon again, kidnap Lebanese, and
feed them into an illegal detention and torture system based on the notorious
Khiam prison and torture camps where Palestinians are imprisoned for resisting
In Israel, with racist and sociopathic Zionists at the helm, it will
be business as usual in regard to the Lebanese people, who are considered little
more than untermenschen.
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