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Israel Army must end the abuse of Palestinians


Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: The Army must end the abuse of Palestinians during arrests and stop ignoring this issue.

A large number of affidavits implies that the abuse of Palestinians during arrests, which includes extreme violence, shootings and delaying medical treatment, is a systematic problem. PHR-Israel demands that the army stop ignoring complaints, respond to the allegations and end the abuse.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has received dozens of affidavits over an extended period of time, in which detainees testify regarding abuse including beatings and humiliation, during the arrest process. The testimonies include reports of:

• Detainees being shot without warning, in defiance of the army’s own open-fire regulations

• Soldiers beating shackled detainees for no reason

• Detainees being left to “dry out” for hours outside of detention facilities, even in bad weather, while shackled

• Soldiers wrecking the homes of detainees and humiliating their families

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has sent individual complaints regarding each and every case, but it seems that not enough has been done to stop the trend. In addition, the army’s handling of the complaints lasts for many months and never ends with a decision to prosecute any of the people responsible.

On 11 November 2004 Physicians for Human Rights-Israel sent a letter to the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army and to JAG in which the PHR-Israel called upon them to take action in order to stop this trend. Also, PHR-Israel demanded that the handling of the complaints be dealt with faster and that those responsible be found accountable for their actions. On 7 December 2004 a reminder was sent. As of today no response was received in spite of the gravity of the issue.

It should be noted that even after the letter was sent to various officials, the association continues to receive similar and serious cases. For example:

Six days ago M.K., a resident of Tarqumiya, was arrested by Border Police. During the arrest soldiers beat his head and the rest of his body with their weapons until he began to bleed and fell to the ground. He was then handcuffed and taken for medical treatment in Hadasah Hospital, where he was hospitalized for two days, and is now held in Etsion prison. He is scheduled to be released in the upcoming days without any charges being filed against him.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel demands that the army relate seriously to the allegations and act immediately to prosecute those responsible for abusing prisoners- both those who were actually involved in the abuse and those responsible at the command level. The abuse of detainees as detailed in testimonies acquired by PHR-Israel is illegal according to Israeli and international law.


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