- Jan 6, 2003Palestinians Subjected to New Israeli Technique Called 'The Lottery'
Friday, January 03 2003 @ 07:55 AM GMT
"In the lottery, they said, border policemen order apprehended
Palestinians to pick from folded pieces of paper that have different
punishments written on them .."
(Image by Mahfouz Abu Turk/Palestine Chronicle)
By John Ward Anderson
HEBRON, West Bank - A Palestinian high school student, 18, who'd
just finished prayers at a Hebron mosque was detained Monday night
by Israeli Border Police in this bitterly divided West Bank town.
Family and neighbors said Tuesday that his badly beaten body was
found by friends 20 minutes later in the middle of a road half a
The killing of the youth, Amran Abu Hamediye, who Palestinian
witnesses said was beaten severely around his head, was part of what
Hebron residents contend is a dramatic rise in assaults on
Palestinians by Israeli Border Police since Nov. 15, when
Palestinian gunmen killed 12 Israeli border policemen, soldiers and
settlement security guards an ambush near the Tomb of the
Patriarchs, a religious shrine here that's uneasily shared by Jews
"Beatings by the Border Police are not new," said Abdel Salam Abu
Khalaf, a spokesman at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron. "All the time
since my childhood we looked at them as if they enjoyed beating us.
But it's been going on all the time in the last 1 1/2 months."
"We make complaints we lie to ourselves and do it for the record
because the truth is there's absolutely no punishment for the
soldiers," said Rashed Rajabi, 30, a construction worker who was
with Abu Hamediye when he was detained and who found his body a
short time later. Rajabi said he filed a complaint with Israeli
authorities about his friend's death but expects no results
because "the judge and the defendant are the same."
A spokeswoman for the Israeli Border Police said Abu Hamediye's
killing is under investigation. Several Hebron residents said that,
although it's unclear how Abu Hamediye was killed, they and other
Palestinians here recently have been subjected to a technique
called "the lottery."
In the lottery, they said, border policemen order apprehended
Palestinians to pick from folded pieces of paper that have different
punishments written on them such as "broken leg," "smashed hand"
or "smashed head" and then administer the chosen punishment.
An Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, described the lottery
technique in a story published Dec. 22.
A Hebron taxi driver, 43, who declined to be identified, said 10
days ago he and his family were stopped in their private car and
given a choice of being beaten or having their car smashed. When
they chose the latter, he said, border police troops pulled a piece
of paper from their pocket and announced that that was what was
written on the paper, then proceeded to smash the windows,
windshield and lights. Yael Stein, an attorney from the Israeli
human rights group B'tselem, charged that border police and army
attacks on Palestinians may be on the rise because the incidents
aren't adequately investigated by Israeli authorities, and officers
and soldiers involved are rarely punished.
"The army does not come out with a clear message that says, `You are
not allowed to assault a civilian Palestinian.' The message is vague
and ambiguous," she said. "There is a general atmosphere that
enables these things to happen and the soldiers are checking the
limits all the time."
B'tselem released a report Monday describing an incident in Hebron
on Dec. 3 in which the organization said four soldiers detained five
Palestinian men at a barber shop and forcibly shaved the heads of
two of them.
The soldiers also used three of the men as human shields, standing
behind them and firing over their shoulders at Palestinian stone-
throwers, according to the report. Also Monday, Israeli soldiers
took over two medical clinics in the West Bank City of Nablus, 30
miles north of Jerusalem, and used the building as a firing position
while holding patients inside, according to the organization
Physicians for Human Rights.
"It's clear to us that entering a building in which there was a
medical facility and shooting from the place jeopardizes the
building and makes it a target for fire, and it's against the Geneva
Convention, which protects the neutrality of medical facilities and
patients," said a spokesman for the group, Miri Weingarten. She said
the incident was part of "an erosion, a general disregard of medical
neutrality that has increased over the last two years and which has
become progressively worse."
A senior Israeli official, who asked not to be quoted by name,
disputed the assertion that Israeli police and soldiers in the Gaza
Strip and West Bank act with impunity, saying 32 soldiers have been
indicted in cases involving alleged theft of Palestinian property,
excessive violence and unwarranted shootings.
"It is of great concern to us, and we hope that most of these cases
turn out to be much ado about nothing," he said. "If there is a body
or an injured person, we can't dispute that. But if there are police
and soldiers involved in these incidents, we can try to exonerate
them, and if they are guilty, they will be dealt with severely."
The army, in a written response to B'tselem on Dec. 29, said it
was "unable to locate the case" involving the Hebron barber
shop. "The case is unknown," a military spokesman said Tuesday.
Israeli radio said, Tuesday night the matter is under internal
investigation by military police. A military source said the
takeover of medical clinics in Nablus on Monday was necessary
because Israeli soldiers were under attack by Palestinians.
"There was fighting in the area that included throwing Molotov
cocktails and opening fire toward our forces, and therefore the
position was taken," the source said.
He added that the building was principally an office building and
was not taken and occupied by soldiers because of the clinics.
Jonathan Pelled, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said
border police and army officials take Abu Hamediye's death and
allegations about the lottery "very, very seriously." But, he
said, "there are several question marks surrounding the whole
issue," including the number on the police vehicle, which cannot be
traced to any jeep that was on patrol in the area Monday night, he
"I hope and pray it has nothing to do with the Border Police and is
some kind of internal Palestinian business in which people are
trying to blame someone else," he said.
The spokeswoman for the Israeli Border Police said Abu Hamediye's
killing is being investigated by the Justice Ministry's Department
of Interrogation of Policemen. "It has to be said that there is no
proof that this is Israeli Border Police," said the spokeswoman,
She said the same unit is investigating other allegations of
brutality by the Border Police, a military corps that often seconds
the army in controlling the Palestinian population in occupied
"In the last three months, not even one interrogation indicated that
these allegations are true," Perl said. But, she added, "if anyone
violated human rights or goes against the regulations, he will be
disciplined." Rajabi, the man who found Abu Hamediye's body in
Hebron, said he, Abu Hamediye and two other men had just left the
mosque about 7:45 p.m. when a jeep with four border policemen pulled
to a stop nearby and called for them to approach. For some reason
perhaps because he was the youngest, Rajabi said the Israeli
troops focused on Abu Hamediye, who was bundled into the back of the
jeep and driven away.
Because other Palestinians have been detained by Israeli Border
Police, Rajabi said, he and the others knew generally where their
friend was probably going to be taken, so they followed on foot to
About 20 minutes later, Rajabi said, they discovered the body lying
in the street, bleeding from several gashes to his head.
Bajes Abu Hamediye, Amran's uncle, said he was watching from his
second-floor balcony nearby and saw a number written on top of the
jeep: 113. (LAT-WP)
-[Arab News (arabnews.com).] Published at the Palestine Chronicle.
ISRAELI GUARDS CLASH WITH PALESTINIAN DETAINEES
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli guards fired tear gas and
stun grenades in a large West Bank detention camp Thursday to break
up a protest by Palestinian prisoners over alleged mistreatment.
Israeli medics and Palestinian human rights workers said several
dozen Palestinians were suffering from tear gas inhalation at the
camp next to the Israeli army's Ofer base near the West Bank city of
Khalida Jarrar, from the Palestinian human rights group al-Dameer,
said the prisoners had declared a hunger strike Thursday morning to
protest alleged beatings by camp guards when detainees are taken to
a nearby military court
More than 1,000 Palestinians are being held under administrative
detention without charge by Israeli authorities, about 100 of them
at Ofer camp, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said Thursday.
Israeli delegation goes to Washington to collect $ 14 billion from
American tax payers
Occupied Jerusalem: 4 January, 2002 (IAP News)
A top-level Israeli delegation is due to fly to Washington on
Saturday afternoon to press the Bush Administration to speed up the
transfer to Israel of some $14 billion dollars in loan guarantees.
Israel hopes to use the money to revive its sagging economy, build
more Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and tighten its grip
on the Palestinian people.
The Israeli state-run radio quoted sources at the Prime Minister's
office as saying that the Sharon government "expected the loans to
be approved very soon."
Earlier, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon indicated the Israeli
army needed a billion US dollars to maintain the blockade on
Palestinian population centers as well as keep up settlement
expansion in the West Bank.
The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported on Thursday that the Sharon
government would undertake not to use the American loans to build or
expand Jewish settlements.
However, Israeli sources suggested the Sharon government would
reallocate budgets for settlement buildings using other financial
Israel in the past pledged not to use aid money from the United
States in building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
However, consecutive Israeli governments repeatedly failed to keep
the pledge, taking advantage of the Jewish Lobby's grip on the
Recently, some voices were raised in the United States demanding the
Bush Administration stop bankrolling the ongoing slow-motion Israeli
holocaust against the defenseless Palestinians.
In a December 30th op-ed piece in the Jordan Times retired US
Brigadier General James J. David noted that "Israel is a wealthy
country, sixteenth among all countries in per capita income" of
$21,000 yet the country "receives $1,200 per person from the United
States with no strings attached."
"America needs the money for its own people and for the starving
people of less fortunate, Third World, countries. The $5 billion in
annual foreign aid to Israel has got to stop," he wrote.
"Thanks to American support and protection," David stated", the
Israelis and their government have been living beyond their means
and snubbing international law since recognition of Israel. Massive
American aid only encourages the right-wing in Israel and spreads
settlements on Arab lands."
"This unquestionable protection of Israel and our refusal to condemn
this Jewish state no matter what violations of international law and
human rights it commits only breeds terrorism," he said.
"We Americans now see this terrorism on our own soil."
"Americans have a special responsibility to put a stop to these
abuses because these abuses are unjust and because they are being
carried out with our resources and with the military and political
support of our government," David stated.
Wide-Scale Campaign of House Raids In Nablus , Israeli Helicopters
Wage Attacks on Gaza City
Hear Palestine - Jan 6, 2003
The residents of Nablus City were placed under curfew this morning,
while a large number of occupation soldiers spread through-out the
city and carried out a wide-scale campaign of house raids and
searches in various residential areas and surroundings of refugee
At least 11 people were wounded with live ammunition this afternoon
in Nablus, mostly children. According to Red Crescent sources,
Israeli soldiers prevent ambualnces from reaching the wounded.
After Midnight: Israeli Helicopters Wage Attacks on Gaza City
The Israeli occupation army waged an attack on Gaza City with
American supplied Apache helicopters after midnight last night.
Industrial establishments in the center of Gaza City were targeted
with at least 8 rockets.
Around 10 civilians were wounded by shrapnel during the shelling
which lasted for over one hour. Dozens suffered from shock.
Electricity was cut off in most residential areas in the city. One
rocket fell on Omar al-Mukhtar Street but did not explode.
Industrial workshops were targeted in Asqoula and al-Zaytoun
residential quarters in the center of the city. Among the owners of
the workshops are al-Bahtiti, Sha'ban and Yassin families.
Ambulances hurried to the locations where dozens of people were
running in a panic in search of a safe refuge.
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