Occupation Harshness Belies Dead on Arrival Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks
by Stephen Lendman
So-called peace talks continue. They represent the greatest hoax in modern times. Israel deplores peace. So does Washington.
Palestine’s represented by longtime Israeli collaborators. Peace in our time won’t happen. Pretending otherwise is willful deception. Occupation harshness shows what Palestinians face.
Many examples explain. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Israel’s gulag. It’s one of the world’s worst. Torture is official policy. So is extreme harshness overall.
Mazen Natsheh is one of many victims. He’s been wrongfully imprisoned multiple times. On September 10, 1994, his ordeal began. He was administratively detained uncharged.
On June 8, 1995, he was released. On October 1997, he was rearrested. He was administratively detained uncharged for 10 months. On August 8, 1998, he was released.
On April 28, 1999, he was arrested again. He was wrongfully held uncharged until December 23, 1999.
On August 18, 2002, he was arrested for the fourth time. He was wrongfully charged with smuggling a cell phone into prison for another detainee. He was sentenced to one year imprisonment.
On March 9, 2004, a fifth arrest occurred. After nine months in prison uncharged, he was released on December 23, 2004.
On September 28, he endured a sixth arrest. He spent four years in prison uncharged. On June 8, 2009, he was released.
On October 7, 2009, he was arrested for the seventh time. He remained so until March 3, 2013.
On August 26, 2013, he endured an eighth arrest. He remains administratively detained uncharged.
He suffered 19 years of lawless harassment, intimidation, arrests, rearrests, and brutalizing gulag harshness. His crime was wanting to live free on his own land in his own county. He wanted to pray freely to the God of his choice.
He’s married with three children. They’re growing up without him. His wife must make do on her own.
Natsheh is Administrative Secretary for a charity supporting people with disabilities. He hold an Al-Quds University Islamic law bachelor’s degree.
Since 2002, he’s been studying on and off for his master’s degree. He’s working for one in Educational Administration. Repeated arrests and detention prevented him from completing his studies earlier. He manages best he can. He lacks three credits to graduate.
Since his first arrest, he represented himself with legal counsel Mahmoud Jabarin. December 21, 2010 was his last court hearing. His Israeli Court of Appeal petition was denied.
So-called “secret evidence” was used against him. Counsel is denied access to whatever it is. None whatever exists. Natsheh committed no crimes.
“The judge and the prosecutor claimed that a new ‘secret file’ is the reason for the refusal of my appeal,” he said.
“How can there be any new ‘secret evidence’ when I was imprisoned for most of the time this ‘secret file’ refers to? It’s “created just to keep me in prison.”
He languishes there wrongfully. It’s for acting responsibly. Rogue states operate that way. Israel’s one of the worst.
Health issues complicate Natsheh’s detention. Since 1990, he’s suffered from colitis. It’s a chronic large intestine inflammation. At times it’s acute.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping, urgency and bloating. They cause abdominal tenderness, weight loss, bowel abnormalities, fever, bleeding, and distention.
Natsheh requires proper treatment. He needs regular checkups. Lack of proper medical care makes things worse. It causes severe discomfort, diarrhea and bleeding. At times, anemia and dehydration follow.
Colitis patients require special diets. They need large amounts of fluids and fruit. Throughout years of imprisonment, Natsheh’s been systematically denied. He’s been grossly mistreated.
Prison authorities lie. They claim he’s healthy. He’s entitled only to painkillers, they say.
His wife, Fatima, hold a bachelor’s degree in medicine. She completed higher eduction work during years of her husband’s detention.
She’s a Hebron Gynacological Hospital general practice physician. From 1994 until last year, she was permitted one visit annually to see her husband. Since 2010, visitations were denied for “security reasons.”
Families suffer horrifically when their loved ones are imprisoned. Natsheh’s children were born while he was detained. They’re growing up without him. They’re rarely permitted to see him.
Fatima calls the burden of raising children, completing studies and working full time overwhelming. Doing it without her husband is devastating, she says.
“When the release date is deliberately not announced by the prison authorities, it gives us hope that his detention won’t be renewed, and yet in the early hours of the day he is to be released he is usually given a renewed detention order,” she said.
“Nevertheless, I prepare the boys for his possible arrival by dressing them in new clothes and preparing them to see their father, but unfortunately I know what the news will be.”
“The children often stay awake late, until they hear the full details of whether he has been released or not.”
“They can’t wait to see him, and it’s very hard for me to hide the details of (his) detention from them.”
“At the same time, I don’t want to give them false hope, but I also do not want for them to get accustomed to the fact that their father may never leave the prison.”
Virtually all Palestinian prisoners are behind bars for political reasons. International law permits resisting for freedom. Israel calls doing so terrorism.
Administrative detentions uncharged are unconscionable. Five Israeli authorities decide:
- the Israeli Security Agency (ISA);
- military commander;
- military’s prosecutor’s office; and
- military judges who adjudicate cases.
Brutalizing interrogations and torture precede their decisions. Military commanders decide whether to detain and for how long.
Each order permits three or six months. They can be renewed indefinitely. They can keep Palestinians detained as long as Israel wants them incarcerated.
Innocence is no defense. Nor is respect for international law. Prolonged uncharged arbitrary detention constitutes a serious breach.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
1. “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.”
Temporarily infringing the law is permitted “in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation.” Israel abuses the consistently. It does so in violation of Fourth Geneva’s Article 78, stating:
“If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.”
“Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention. This procedure shall include the right of appeal (decided on) with the least possible delay. (If it’s upheld), it shall be subject to periodical review….”
Administrative detention may never substitute for customary criminal proceedings. It’s only permitted as a temporary measure. It’s to prevent lawless acts.
Transferring protected persons to occupying power territory is illegal. For Israel, it’s policy.
A Final Comment
Israeli military orders deny Palestinians virtually all rights. Occupation harshness victimizes them.
They’re prisoners on their own land in their own country. Free movement is denied. Violating unconscionable rules risks prison.
Addameer advocates for human rights. It supports and defends Palestinian prisoners.
Israel prohibits its co-founder/chairman Abdullalif Ghaith from traveling abroad. He can’t enter the West Bank.
Israel wants him silenced. It wrongfully claims he threatens national security.
Israel repeats the canard often. Doing so doesn’t wash. Evidence is absent because there is none. His travel ban was renewed five times.
His newest expires on March 15, 2014. It states it’s necessary for order and security. It says West Bank entry permits will be cancelled.
Israel targets human rights champions ruthlessly. Ghaith’s been repeatedly harassed. He was arrested and detained administratively without charge or trial three times. On each occasion, he spent six months in prison.
He’s a marked man. It’s for supporting Palestinian rights. His treatment is further evidence of occupation harshness.
In October 2012, Addameer’s researcher, Ayman Nasser, was violently arrested and detained.
He was outrageously charged with supporting Palestinian prisoners and calling for their freedom.
He courageously said he’ll continue “support(ing) prisoner issues even if the cost is (his) freedom.”
In December 2012, Israeli forces stormed Addameer’s offices. They seized four laptops, a desktop, one hard disk, a video camera, legal files, photos, and other materials.
The office was ransacked and destroyed. Files and other materials were trashed and scattered. At the time, Addameer wasn’t sure about other property possibly confiscated or destroyed.
Israel trashed the offices of the other NGOs raided the same way. Numerous Palestinian organizations are treated this way.
So-called peace talks address none of these issues. Failure to do so exposes the sham process. It’s a convenient illusion. Palestinian liberation remains a distant dream. Maybe some day. Not now.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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