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Google exposes US airbase in Pakistan used to launch drones February 20, 2009

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John Byrne
Raw Story
Thursday, Feb 19, 2009

Instead of blanket-wiretapping Americans, maybe the Bush Administration’s intelligence agencies should have spent a little more time with Google Earth.

Until recently, Google Earth prominently displayed an image of a clandestine US airbase that housed unmanned Predator drones in Pakistan. An image appeared to show three drones outside a hangar at the end of a runway, which was then confirmed to be an airfield by a British newspaper.

The newspaper then cited intelligence sources as saying the CIA had been using the base to attack and observe al-Qaeda and Taliban militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The photograph appears to confirm a seeming slip-of-the-tongue by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who said that the US was launching strikes on Pakistani territory from inside Pakistan (”As I understand it, these [drones] are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said). Feinstein’s spokesman later asserted she was only repeating something she saw in The Washington Post, but intelligence sources used the opportunity to confirm that the US had indeed been using Pakistani bases.

American and Pakistani officials have repeatedly denied that the US has launched strikes from within Pakistan.

“The Google Earth image now suggests that the US began launching Predators from [the Shamsi airbase] — built by Arab sheiks for falconry trips — at least three years ago,” the Times of London’s Jeremy Page reported. “The advantage of Shamsi is that it provides a discreet launchpad within minutes of Quetta — a known Taleban staging post — as well as Taliban infiltration routes into Afghanistan and potential militant targets farther afield.”

“Google Earth’s current image of Shamsi — about 100 miles south of the Afghan border and 100 miles east of the Iranian one — undoubtedly shows the same airstrip as the image from 2006,” Page added. “There are no visible drones, but it does show that several new buildings and other structures have been erected since 2006, including what appears to be a hangar large enough to fit three drones. Perimeter defenses — apparently made from the same blast-proof barriers used at US and NATO bases in Afghanistan — have also been set up around the hangar.”

A military spokesman at the US Embassy in Islamabad and Pakistan’s chief military spokesman declined or was unavailable to comment on the revelations.

Despite the latest Google expose, the California-based company has becoming increasingly compliant to government requests to block purportedly sensitive information — including images of Tibet, military installations and even a General Electric research plant — according to a report prepared by the Open Source Center for the Bush Administration’s Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and reports circulated online about areas Google has blocked or blurred.

The research report was not approved for public release but was leaked to Secrecy News. It is prepared entirely on public information — so called “open source” intelligence. But it paints a picture of an increasingly pliant global communications juggernaut, willing to do business with authoritarian regimes and US government agencies at the expense of transparency.

China, for instance, has an “online geographical information security management and coordination group” which regularly browses online mapping sites.

“When problems are discovered, they are either raised with Google’s China headquarters or through diplomatic channels,” the report says.

“Google has been very cooperative in the course of communications,” a Chinese spokesman remarked.

Among the areas Google blurs out in China includes, not surprisingly, Tibet/Xinjiang Province. Other areas of Asia that have been clouded include northern areas of Pakistan — it’s unknown why or who might have requested the omission.

Google also censors certain sites in India. India may also be taking measures to hide their facilities from satellites. According to the report, “India’s army announced that it had taken evasive measures against the ‘intrusive photographs of strategic installations.’”

Google sometimes uses older images to replace existing ones to erase, say, the movement of troops in Iraq. After a January 2007 report that terrorists were attacking British bases based on Google Earth imagery, Google replaced images of these sites with photographs taken before the war. The report also claims that al Qaeda militants used Google Earth to target oil facilities in Yemen.

[source]

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Hamas says captured two Israeli soldiers January 4, 2009

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GAZA, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Hamas said it captured two Israeli soldiers during fighting in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and was holding them hostage.

But the Israeli army said it had no knowledge of any of its soldiers falling into Hamas’s hands.

“Two soldiers were captured,” Hamas radio and television said.

The capture of Israeli soldiers by Hamas could have a large impact on public support in Israel for the Gaza offensive, in which 470 Palestinians have been killed since Dec. 27.

Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Negotiations brokered by Egypt to secure Shalit’s release have foundered.

[source]

BOYCOTT ISRAELI & JEWISH PRODUCTS – STARTING FROM NOW December 29, 2008

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NOTE:  A New blog ‘ BOYCOTT ISRAEL TODAY ‘ has been created (http://boycottisraeltoday.wordpress.com/) – All updated information will be posted on the new site.  Please do visit.

Please promote the Boycott of Israeli & Jewish Products.

The easiest way to inform people in boycotting Israeli and Jewish products is by simply sending out an email to all you email contacts, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text/SMS messages to people in your mobile phone book, call people and tell them.

*** Latest Updates towards end of this article ***

click here for more detailed product information list

By buying products made by Israel & Jews you are contributing to their economy hence supporting the massacre and genocide of innocent Palestinians, who are surrounded and are being attacked by Air, sea and land.

A bar code starting with “729” indicates that this product is produced in Israel 729 Israeli Bar Code Association – EAN Israel. This is a modest, simple and effective way to support Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and ethnic crimes against human beings. Sometimes brands are misleading, a bar code never lies if it carries that 729


Below is a list of products that are made in Israel & Jews, the information was taken from a website www.boycottisraeligoods.org I will try keeping this list updated as I continue finding products made in Israel and by Jews. If anyone has more information then please comment with reference and I will update this post as soon as.

> >

Further Information

KIMBERLY-CLARK
In 1998 Mr. Robert P. Van der Merwe, chairman of Kimberly-Clark Europe received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

COCA-COLA
From 1966 onward Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel. Recently the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel.

NESTLE
Swiss food giant Nestle will set up a global research and development center for snack foods next year in Sderot, a town in Israel’s Negev desert, the Maariv newspaper reported on Sunday. Nestle owns 50.1 percent of Israeli food maker Osem Investments and the two together produce snack foods at a plant in Sderot.

INTEL
Intel is one of the biggest supporters of Israel. Their very first development center outside the US was opened in Haifa in 1974. Since then they have continued pouring investment in to Israel. By year 2000 they employed over 4000 Israelis. Exports from their Lachish-Qiryat Gat plant in israel total $3 million a day at peak capacity – approximately $ 1 billion a year. The Intel plant at “Qiryat Gat” is built on land Israel confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Iraq al Manshiya. Iraq al Manshiya was a village of 2000 people living in 300 houses with two mosques and one school. The original Palestinian inhabitants were terrorized out of the village and then the whole village was razed to the ground to prepare the way for the new Israeli settlement of Qiryat Gat. Today the remaining population from Iraq al Manshiya is still not allowed to return.

SARA LEE
In 1998, Mr. Lucien Nessim of Sara Lee Personal Products received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy

DISNEY
The Disney Company is owned by Jewish Mogul Michael Eisner. He owns a vast media empire that includes the ABC television network, numerous news dailies, national magazines, Hollywood film companies and a large number of radio stations. One radio station in Los Angeles, KABC 790 AM recently broadcast comments by Jewess Gloria Alred to the effect that the Islamic prisoners at Guantanamo should be tortured by having their “balls” extracted with pliers in order to make them talk. The news and commentaries made through Michael Eisner’s media octopus are extremely Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian.

[source]

A good tip for identifying the products to boycott from Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, France, Norwary and German. Every bar Coded product in the market contains its country code included in barcode digits. Please check the barcode of any product before you buy.

Check the first 3 digits from the LEFT.

Example, an Israeli product will have barcode like:

729 3453459070

The following list is given according the priority as the worst at top and then second worst is next.

729 Israel

570 – 579 Denmark (i.e. 570, 571… 579)

870 – 879 Netherlands (i.e. 870,871… 879)

300 – 379 France

700 – 709 Norway

400 – 440 German

..

*** UPDATED OCTOBER 2009 ***

Please find below a documentary published on Youtube, it is very important that this information is passed on to everyone, hence the boycott is revived in peoples minds.

Please also listen to George Galloway explaining how the Jewish state works in destroying Islamic values, also important information regarding the boycott.

*** UPDATED MAY 2010 ***

Jew’s against Israel:

For those who send me emails/comments relating to how Israel has every right to exist even with the ever growing evidence and facts of treatment of Palestinians, you need to watch the following videos available in the public domain to hear the truth (only if you can handle it).  Listen to their own people shout out AGAINST Israel.

The following video is amazing, especially how the Rabi tells how Jews and Muslims co-existed prior to the birth of Israel (it brought tears to my eyes after watching the speaker).

Please promote this article, copy the content or email the link to this article to all your email contacts.  The truth cannot be denied.

Isreal is a TERRORIST STATE – its official December 28, 2008

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Supporting Israel is supportung terrorism.

All living in Israel are equally responsible for Nazi like action in Palestine on innocent civilians.

Israel being a total terror state makes Al-Qaeda look like an infant baby.  Today’s Nazi Germany is Israel and the Jews are Palestinians.

The Palestinian struggle for Freedom continues, all great empires fall and once USA empire collapses and funding stops for Israel.  Israel will have to answer millions of Muslims and Christians in the Middle East who will be waiting at every possible exit routs in and out of Israel.  This is proven in history when great empires fall.

The evil Jews (in israel) Start the Killing Again December 27, 2008

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On the day when Shabbat of Chanukah is celebrated the Jews occupying Palestine ( israel) have decided to celebrate by returning to what they specialise in “MASS MURDER” and “MASSACRES”.

With the latest military equipment sponsored and payed by tax payers money, the Jews have used this with no controll on innocent people who have been already suffering by Jews taking away their freedom for the past 60 years.  People around the world have compared the Palestians civilian condition as a “the worlds biggest open air concentration camp” .

 Although no proof exists that Hammas or any other resistance party have launched any type of rockets or stones into territory occupied by Jews, the Zionist and Jewish regimes have made this false claim the central reason for this annihilation of ordinary people of Palestine, especially women and children.

 Infidel & Kafir Watch totally condemns this massacre innocent people.  The Jews in Palestine have continually lied on every step accusing Palestinians of firing rockets into Jews illegal occupied territory, the real truth is out there in depended blog’s of the real picture. 

The reality is that during the 6 months ceasefire between Hammas and Jews in Palestine, the Jews have used this time to continue the blockade of any type of necessity of basic requirements that a civilisation needs such as Fuel, medical supplies, electricity, food and humanitarian aid.  Imagine your community not having fuel, food, electricity and medical supplies for 6 months, further surrounded by a illegal wall and where you right are denied continually?

 History till present day has proved the biggest disasters (man made) around the world are all linked to Jews and Zionists.  Evil in today’s world is known as Israel.

I would like to provide evidence from no other than Jews themselves who have admitted that Israel is found on terrorism at a state level:

We’re not celebrating Israel’s anniversary

 

[source]

In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler’s genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.

In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in Haifa’s market square, Plan Dalet was put into operation. This authorised the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state. We will not be celebrating.

In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.

In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.

We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.

Seymour Alexander 
Ruth Appleton
Steve Arloff
Rica Bird 
Jo Bird
Cllr Jonathan Bloch
Ilse Boas
Prof. Haim Bresheeth 
Tanya Bronstein
Sheila Colman
Ruth Clark
Sylvia Cohen
Judith Cravitz
Mike Cushman
Angela Dale
Ivor Dembina
Dr. Linda Edmondson
Nancy Elan
Liz Elkind
Pia Feig
Colin Fine
Deborah Fink
Sylvia Finzi
Brian Fisher MBE 
Frank Fisher
Bella Freud
Catherine Fried
Uri Fruchtmann
Stephen Fry
David Garfinkel
Carolyn Gelenter
Claire Glasman 
Tony Greenstein
Heinz Grunewald
Michael Halpern
Abe Hayeem
Rosamine Hayeem
Anna Hellman
Amy Hordes
Joan Horrocks
Deborah Hyams
Selma James
Riva Joffe
Yael Oren Kahn
Michael Kalmanovitz
Paul Kaufman
Prof. Adah Kay
Yehudit Keshet
Prof. Eleonore Kofman
Rene Krayer
Stevie Krayer
Berry Kreel
Leah Levane
Les Levidow
Peter Levin
Louis Levy
Ros Levy
Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky
Catherine Lyons 
Deborah Maccoby
Daniel Machover
Prof. Emeritus Moshe Machover
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Mike Marqusee
Laura Miller
Simon Natas
Hilda Meers
Martine Miel
Laura Miller
Arthur Neslen 
Diana Neslen
Orna Neumann
Harold Pinter 
Roland Rance
Frances Rivkin
Sheila Robin
Dr. Brian Robinson
Neil Rogall
Prof. Steven Rose
Mike Rosen 
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead
Leon Rosselson
Michael Sackin
Sabby Sagall
Ian Saville
Alexei Sayle
Anna Schuman
Sidney Schuman
Monika Schwartz
Amanda Sebestyen 
Sam Semoff
Linda Shampan
Sybil Shine
Prof. Frances Stewart
Inbar Tamari
Ruth Tenne
Martin Toch
Tirza Waisel
Stanley Walinets
Martin White
Ruth Williams
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
Devra Wiseman
Gerry Wolff
Sherry Yanowitz

 

Making Money on a New Cold War August 24, 2008

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The Russia-Georgia clash has generated heated anti-Moscow rhetoric from John McCain and U.S. neoconservatives about a new Cold War, a prospect that most people might see in a negative light but which many military contractors surely view as a financial plus.

One unstated reality about revived tensions between Washington and Moscow is that it will mean a bonanza in military spending – billions of additional dollars for anti-missile weapons systems, larger armies, construction of new bases in Eastern Europe, etc.

Indeed, the spending on Cold War II could dwarf what military contractors are now making on the “war on terror” – and the prospect of spending on both conflicts simultaneously should make arms industry executives drool.

Others who stand to profit grandly from a new East-West showdown include tough-talking politicians and their friends in Washington think tanks – like Heritage, AEI and CSIS – that have long fattened up on contributions from the defense industry and related corporations.

There would be losers, too, like taxpayers who would see more of their dollars go to “national security” and less to domestic needs, from repairs to the crumbling infrastructure to the costs of health care, education, the environment and Social Security.

But, in many ways, the exploitation of Cold War fears – to divert money away from domestic needs to the coffers of what Dwight Eisenhower dubbed “the military-industrial complex” – is nothing new.

Arguably, the original Cold War ended under Eisenhower’s former Vice President, Richard Nixon, who as President returned from Moscow in 1972 carrying a strategic agreement that he had reached with what was already a rapidly decaying Soviet Union.

“In Moscow, we witnessed the beginning of the end of that era which began in 1945,” Nixon said. “With this step, we have enhanced the security of both nations. We have begun to reduce the level of fear, by reducing the causes of fear, our two peoples, and for all the peoples of the world.”

Nixon unveiled a new era of realpolitik cooperation between Washington and Moscow that he called “détente.”

However, while reducing fears and lowering tensions might be good news for many people, it wasn’t welcomed by the corporations that profited from the fears and the tensions, nor by the intellectual hired guns who had built lucrative careers in politics, media and academia by exaggerating those fears and exacerbating those tensions.

Sabotaging Détente

So, Nixon’s era of “détente” was short-lived. After his ouster over the Watergate scandal in 1974, a new batch of Cold Warriors – some operating from conviction and others from expediency – returned to the old patterns of hyping threats and stoking paranoia.

In 1975, with President Gerald Ford confronting an internal Republican challenge from Ronald Reagan on the Right, many key figures associated with “détente” were purged, while hard-liners were given key jobs.

The so-called Halloween Massacre saw Henry Kissinger, the chief architect of détente, stripped of his post as national security adviser to be replaced by Gen. Brent Scowcroft; James Schlesinger was out as Defense Secretary while Donald Rumsfeld was in; CIA Director William Colby lost his job to George H.W. Bush; and Dick Cheney was promoted to Ford’s White House chief of staff.

Soon, alarming rumors began spreading around Washington about a new Soviet secret weapon, a nuclear-armed submarine that was undetectable to American technology. These Soviet subs could be lurking off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts ready to launch a nuclear attack without warning, a frightened public was told.  [read more]

Message From Russia – Bush, Why Don’t You Shut Up? August 15, 2008

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In the world of geopolitics ~ never look for the obvious but do look at the big picture. If the Cheney/Bush administration’s War on Terror was losing traction in an election year ~ why not recreate the Evil Empire by supporting Georgia’s preemptive attack and ethnic cleansing of South Ossetia and label Russia’s rightful response as belligerent and a threat to world peace.  [read more]

UNIFIL: Israel violating resolution 1701 August 15, 2008

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..What more does the world expect from iSRAEL (the illegal state), read on:

Fri, 15 Aug 2008 13:06:57 GMT

The head of UN forces in Lebanon accuses Israelis of unilaterally violating a UN resolution that ended the 33-day war against the Lebanese.

Head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Major-General Claudio Graziano criticized continued overflight of Israeli aircraft in Lebanon’s airspace, and the refusal to provide a map of the zones riddled with Israeli mines and cluster bombs, a Press TV correspondent reported from Beirut.

Graziano said Israel is turning a blind eye to the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 -which demands Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in parallel with the deployment of UNIFIL and Lebanese soldiers throughout the South- and refuses to pull out its troops from the Lebanese part of southern al-Ghajar village.

Speaking in the UN headquarters in New York, Graziano warned Tel Aviv of handing over any Israeli pilot whose plane crashes in Lebanese territory to Beirut authorities.

He, however, reclined to comment on whether Lebanon had the right to down Israeli war planes in its airspace.

The UN peacekeeping chief in Lebanon said Hezbollah recognizes the resolution 1701 and stressed that the UN has enjoyed excellent cooperation with Hezbollah and with the local Lebanese.

Graziano asserted that apart from UN troops, Lebanese soldiers and hunters no one was armed south of the Litani River.

The Italian general said that the UN mission had been successful in carrying out its mandate in maintaining the ceasefire that went into effect in 2006, stressing that the mission’s presence was vital in ensuring stability in the area.

He denied plans for changes in UNIFIL’s mandate which he said was due to be renewed by the end of August.

This sums it all up: Hezbollah: War with Israel not ended August 15, 2008

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Hezbollah leader says the war with Israel has ‘not ended yet’ as Israel has not halted its ‘aggressions’ against Lebanon and the region.


Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks as Lebanon marked the Hezbollah victory over Israel in the 33-day war.

The aftershocks of the war are still reverberating in Israel. More than 100 Israeli soldiers were killed in the 33-day war.

Nasrallah said it was a ‘historic and divine victory’ in Arab-Israeli conflict which shattered the invincibility of the Zionist regime’s occupation army and changed the political face of the Middle East and ‘foiled the US-Israeli New Middle East project’ for breaking up regional countries.

Israel killed more than 1000 Lebanese civilians by bombarding Lebanon.

Nasrallah said the cluster bombs dropped on Lebanon are still taking the lives of innocent people.

General Claudio Graziano, the UNIFIL commander, accused Thursday Israel of violating the UN resolution 1701 especially in the area controlled by the United Nations Interim Emergency Force in Southern Lebanon.

According to Lebanese Army, Israeli jets have violated Lebanese airspace more than 1,660 times between May and July 2008.

Lebanese Islamic resistance forced the Israeli army out of Southern Lebanon in 2000.

Nasrallah said Hezbollah defeated Israel in 2000 and 2006 and put an end to ‘political life’ of Israeli regime.

He said Israel is on the verge of collapse and therefore it is seeking conspiracies to ‘disarm Lebanese resistance and isolate it.’

Nasrallah slammed some Arab states who have been attempting to ‘distort the image of Hezbollah,’ saying some Arabs try to ensure Israel’s superiority “because their stability is dependent on Israeli supremacy.”

The Hezbollah chief went on to say that the ‘culture of resistance’ is expanding as polls show 70% of Muslims support it.

He added Hezbollah proved it is very strong as its fighters resisted the most powerful army in the Middle East for several weeks.

Nasrallah said Israel is facing the worst crisis of leadership in its history as a result of its defeat in the war.

He said the strategic, political and militarily repercussions of the war are still continuing, especially after the “resignation of the majority of the first row of the Israeli army.”

Israel will see the “end of the ruling of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert” in the next September, Nasrallah predicted.

[source]

WARNING – IF YOU LOVE iSRAEL THEN DO NOT READ THIS.. June 19, 2008

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OR IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENS, THEN…

iSRAEL’S VERY OWN GUANTANAMOS

The “death ride” — welcome to 21st century torture, says Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

Israeli maltreatment of Palestinian captives and political prisoners has reached unprecedented levels of brutality, according to lawyers, human rights groups and newly-released prisoners.

There are currently as many as 12,000 Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli detention camps, many of them without charge or trial. They include hundreds of university professors, engineers, school teachers as well as religious and civic leaders, students, resistance fighters and women activists.

Two years ago, the Israeli occupation authorities abducted hundreds of democratically- elected officials, including mayors, members of local city councils, law-makers, and cabinet ministers, many associate with Hamas’s political wing.

Israel employs a set of draconian laws, some dating back to the British mandate era, to torment Palestinian prisoners. The same laws are also used to lend a façade of legality to other harsh treatment of Palestinians, such as house demolitions, land confiscation and deportation.

Normally, the harsh treatment meted out to Palestinian detainees starts in earnest with crack Israeli soldiers raiding a given Palestinian home in the quiet hours before dawn. There, the undisciplined soldiers normally ransack the house, vandalise property and furniture, smash house appliances and terrorise the entire family, before blindfolding and handcuffing their victim and dragging him away to a military truck that takes him to one of the dozens of interrogation centres all over Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Upon arrival at the interrogation centre, the detainee is instantly subjected to an array of harsh treatment techniques designed to shock him and destroy his psychological immunity. These include sleep deprivation and solitary confinement as well as sporadic beating.

Then the victim is made to go through the routine technique called shabh whereby he is forced to sit on a 25cm high stool, with his hands tied to his back. He can be kept in this extremely uncomfortable position for weeks or even months except for short periods to go to the toilet and eat.

The main purpose behind the harsh treatment is ostensibly to extract confessions from the victim. On many occasions, the victims confess to having committed fictitious violations only to escape the harsh and intolerable torture. Eventually, however, if no confessions are extracted, the detainee is sentenced to administrative detention, or open-ended captivity without being charged or tried.

Torture, which the Israeli judicial authorities euphemistically refer to as “moderate physical and psychological pressure”, is officially sanctioned by Israel’s law. Indeed, several Palestinian detainees have recently died in Israeli jails either due to torture or medical negligence. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Club, which monitors Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 167 Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since 1967.

However, while torture was normally performed on detainees mainly in order to extract confessions, the Israeli prison authorities have been using torture for the purpose of simply tormenting and humiliating Palestinian detainees.

“Their goal is to make us suffer, to torment us, to humiliate us. They want to punish us further for our survival, for refusing to die and disappear as a people, for refusing to collapse. Perhaps they think that by tormenting us, they get the feeling that they are avenging the holocaust, at least vicariously,” said Mohamed Abu Zneid, from Dura, who was released recently from an Israeli detention camp near the Egyptian borders. “But I can say that such behaviour can only come from a sick people, a sadistic people. Otherwise, why would normal people behave this way?”

“Administrative detention” which is a mere euphemism for prolonged and mostly unlawful captivity as punishment for one’s political thoughts and attitudes has become of late the modus operandi of Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Today, Israel is detaining hundreds of mostly innocent Palestinians in detention camps all over Israel, such as the notorious Kitziot concentration camp in the Negev desert.

A few years ago, Mustafa Shawar, a detainee at Kitziot, informed this writer that on several occasions he had appealed to the Jewish military “judge” at the Treblinka-like facility to tell him why he was being incarcerated so that he wouldn’t commit the same violation again once he was released. Shawar, a senior lecturer at the University of Hebron, said the judge paid no attention to his just request. “He told me that he wouldn’t grant me the privilege of knowing why I was in jail because, as he said, the Jews are the masters and non-Jews are the slaves and the chosen people are under no moral or legal obligation to explain to the inferiors why they are being mistreated.”

Today, Shawar is still languishing at Kitziot for the fourth successive year, not knowing why he is being tormented by a state that claims to be a “light unto nations” and the “only democracy in the Middle East”.

Shawar is not an exceptional case. He epitomises the fate of thousands of Palestinian detainees and hostages languishing in Israeli detention camps, mostly for harbouring ideas and thoughts that the Ashkenazi establishment deems too dangerous.

Similarly, Azzam Salhab, professor of comparative religion at Hebron University, has been languishing in the same desert concentration camp for eight years on vague charges such as “constituting a danger to the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people.”

According to the Nafha Society, a human rights group defending Palestinian prisoners’ rights, the Israeli occupation authorities issue dozens of administrative detention orders per month.

Earlier, this week, the Israeli army renewed the “administrative detention” for Radi Sami Al-Asi for additional six months. Al-Asi, a journalist from the northern West Bank town of Nablus, was arrested on unspecified charges. However, when it became clear that there was no evidence indicting him, the Israeli military judge decided to sentence him to six months in jail, renewable for as long as the occupation authorities deem fit. So far, Al-Asi has spent more than 38 months in administrative detention without knowing why.

Farhat Asad, a 40-year-old father of three children from Ramallah, was sentenced to a sixth term of administrative detention on 16 June. All in all, Asad has spent more than 100 months in administrative detention.

According to Tawhid Shaaban, a prominent lawyer from East Jerusalem, some detainees have spent nine years in Israeli captivity without charge or trial. “Yes, this happens in a state that claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The so-called “death ride” is one of the most agonising and nightmarish experiences a detainee undergoes. It starts with a sudden raid of a given ward by the notorious Nahshon squad, which is specialised in repressing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Then a prisoner or several prisoners are ordered to board an extremely filthy, hot and nearly hermetically sealed white vehicle, allegedly in order to appear before a judge several hundred kilometres away. The hateful vehicle would move very slowly from one prison to the other to carry additional prisoners, including dangerous Jewish criminals. The car would stop every hour for refreshment, while the inmates are sweating in the back chamber.

The nightmarish journey, which could last for 24 hours, is first and foremost meant to make the prisoners suffer as much as possible in the oven-like metal chamber where there is very little oxygen. The prisoners are barred from using toilets for close to 16 hours, and some are forced to urinate and defecate inside the lock-up car.

Saed Yassin, a human rights activist describes the “death ride” as “an intolerable and unbearable form of torture. They don’t treat you as a human being but as cattle or a piece of luggage. People are left to rot and suffer in these oven- like chambers for up to 24 hours without food, without water, and with very little oxygen. And if they want to torment a given person, he is forced to undergo this nightmare every few days.”

In addition to the death ride, the Israeli Prison Authority has been introducing additional forms of punishments, aimed at breaking the prisoner’s will. These include barring family visits for an extended period of times for the slightest and pettiest violation of outstanding instructions.

Moreover, the Israeli occupation authorities have been barring family visits for more than 900 Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails under the pretext of the 18-month harsh blockade which Israel has been imposing in Gaza. The Red Cross asked Israel on several occasions to allow Gazans to visit their beloved ones, but to no avail.

Israel recently resorted to “unorthodox tactics” to harass Palestinian prisoners, including raiding and vandalising their homes and mistreating their wives and children, imposing hefty financial fines on them, and carrying out surprise searches usually after midnight.

Last week, lawyers and newly-released prisoners reported that the Israeli Prison Authorities have naked Jewish women, probably prostitutes, harass prisoners, especially religious inmates, through sexually suggestive behaviour. A spokesman for the prison authorities refused to confirm or deny the revelation.

[SOURCE]