Thursday, March 19, 2009

Israel to punish Hamas, Islamic Jihad detainees

Thursday March 19, 2009 07:43 by IMEMC News

A “special” Israeli Ministerial Committee is looking into ways to punish Hamas and Islamic Jihad detainees, as a means to pressure the movements into releasing the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit,

Hamas fighters - Gaza parade; image,
Hamas fighters - Gaza parade; image,

Although the act itself as a direct violation to the International Law, the ministerial committee is weighing the needed measures to practice pressure on detainees of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements, Israeli Ynet News reported.

The committee held its meeting on Wednesday afternoon and listened to a number of proposals including, but not limited to, lowering the amounts of money allowed to be transferred to the detainees, reduce and limit their visitations, limit the usage of TV and Radio, and prevent any sort of physical contact between the detainees and their visitors.

The new punishment proposal did not stop there, but is also targeting the education of the detainees as it will also limited the educational opportunities of the detainees.

The Minister of Justice in Israel, Daniel Friedman, said that one of the options is to limited transferring goods into the Gaza Strip as a means to practice the detainees and their families.

Israeli sources reported that the committee decided to form a professional team headed by a a representative of the attorney general in order coordinate the new sanctions with the Prison Administration, the Security Services, and the Israeli Army.

Further discussions and considerations are still needed and the committee intends to conclude its decision within two weeks, but it still has the power to carry certain measures immediately.

The Public Committee against Torture in Israel urged on Wednesday Justice Minister Friedman and Israel's Attorney General, Menahim Mazuz, to dissolve this committee as it constitutes a form of collective punishment and imposed “unequal and illegal punishment”, The Ynet added.

On January 28 this year, the Public Committee reported that seven Israeli Human Rights groups filed an appeal to the the Military Judge Advocate General, Brigadier General Avichai Mandelblit, and to Attorney General Menahim Mazuz, asking them to ease the living conditions of detainees Israel kidnapped during the war on Gaza.

The Committee stated that the detainees are being held under inhuman conditions and are subjected to human rights violations.

It stated that the detainees were subjected to inhuman treatment from the time of their arrests until they were moved to the custody of the Prison Services.

In their letter, the groups provided details on what was described as “shocking and inhuman, degrading conditions Palestinian prisoners were subjected to during the first days of their detention.

The detainees were forced into pits dug into the ground, they would remain there several hours and sometimes for several days. They would be exposed to the cold weather while they are handcuffed and blindfolded.

They were rarely provided with food, rarely allowed to use the toilet, and were not provided with sanitary facilities.

Some detainees were held near tanks as human shields which also violates the International Law.