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  • World View <ummyakoub@yahoo.com>
    Jan 6, 2003
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      Palestinians 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
      mile away.

      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
      and Muslims.

      "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,
      Liat Perl.

      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
      help him.

      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.


      Reuters, 1/2/03

      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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