April 23, 2014
EI: Young Palestinian dad died from Israeli torture, forensic expert says

A mourning relative clutches a portrait of Arafat Jaradat in the West Bank village of Sair, 25 February 2013.

(Mamoun Wazwaz / APA images)

An internationally renowned expert on torture says that evidence confirms that a young Palestinian died of injuries he sustained in Israeli custody due to torture.

Arafat Jaradat, a 33-year-old father of two, died on 23 February 2013 in Israel’s Megiddo Prison where he was being interrogated by the Shin Bet secret police.

As Haaretz reported, Jaradat was arrested on the night of 18 February 2013 on suspicion that he had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at Israeli occupation forces: “It was a bit after midnight and everyone in the house – he himself, his wife Dalal, his four-year-old daughter Yaara and two-year-old son Mohammed – was sleeping, as was his brother Mohammed, who lives in the same building. The soldiers, ten or 12 of them, burst into the home and behaved with rare courtesy. They asked for identity cards and when Arafat gave them his, they told him to say goodbye to his family and come with them for detention. His small children, Yaara and Mohammed, clung to his legs but the soldiers promised them their father would be home soon.”

He never did come home.

Autopsy: torture

Israel claimed Jaradat died of “natural” causes, but human rights groups and family members said the horrific injuries on his body indicated he had been severely beaten, a finding supported by the autopsy carried out by Dr. Saber al-Aloul, a forensic medicine specialist and director of the Palestinian Medico-Legal Institute, along with two Israeli pathologists.

Al-Aloul’s autopsy report concluded that Jaradat died due to “nervous shock as a result of extreme pain from the intensity of the injuries … which resulted from multiple direct and extensive acts of torture.”

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups jointly condemned Jaradat’s death and urged an international investigation.

“Blunt trauma”

Now, in an 8 April joint statement, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Al-Haq have released the findings of Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a forensic medicine specialist with three decades of experience.

The human rights groups say:

Dr. Korur Fincanci, relying on the autopsy data and analysis provided by the Israeli forensic authorities and pointing to the various bruises visible in the pictures taken of the corpse by the Palestinian police prior to burial, concludes that the autopsy findings actually “are indicative for blunt trauma with a long and thick object” and are not consistent with resuscitation efforts. The immediate cause of death is lung edema leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, both of which “are highly consistent with timing of previous injuries that should be within 1-3 days prior to his death.” Dr. Korur Fincanci’s findings dispute Israel’s official expert opinion, which stated the cause of death as “natural.” The Palestinian forensic expert concluded that Mr. Jaradat’s death is attributable to torture.

Korur Fincanci contributed to the drafting of the “Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” – generally known as the Istanbul Protocol – which, the statement notes, “is an official and internationally authoritative United Nations document.”

She has been called on in numerous cases such as the exhumation of mass graves in Bosnia, as well as to investigate alleged cases of torture in Bahrain. Korur Fincanci has also been at the forefront of training others in forensic medicine.

Korur Fincanci was in Israel to give expert testimony in court hearings on Jaradat’s killing that are being held in secret due to officially imposed censorship banning the media from reporting on them.

Megiddo Prison: model for America?

As previously reported by The Electronic Intifada, Megiddo Prison, where Jaradat was killed, is an interrogation facility equipped by the British-Danish multinational prisoner profiteering firm G4S.

As I note in my book The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Megiddo Prison is also where Israel takes delegations of US law enforcement officials to showcase its supposed “security” expertise.

In October 2012, for instance, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange took senior police officials from the New York, Los Angeles and Houston police departments on a junket which included visits to various Israeli occupation installations and forces including specifically Megiddo Prison.

Commander Richard Webb of the Los Angeles Police Department, one of the participants, claimed: “My experiences in meeting with the various [Israeli] experts and leaders confirm they not only are experts, they are pragmatic and collaborative. Equally as important they do their duties while vigilantly protecting human rights. I will take many lessons I learned back to Los Angeles.”

The abuse and torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention, including of children and of women, is a pervasive practice, according to human rights organizations.

April 15, 2014
Italian “expo” will showcase Israeli propaganda

Ah yes… the propaganda of genocidal occupiers

March 27, 2014
Israel’s “Hollywood propaganda” about Gaza-bound missile ship unravels - EI

 


Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took part in what Haaretz columnist Amir Oren condemned as a display of “Hollywood-style propaganda.”

The media stunt was to advertise what Israel claimed was a shipment of missiles en route from Iran to the Gaza Strip. At the time, many people pointed out that it was hard to understand how large missiles could be smuggled into Gaza, given Israel’s siege by land sea and air, supported by Egypt.

Iran and the Palestinian political and military organization Hamas claimed Israel was lying.

While Oren didn’t question the veracity of Israel’s claim, he did point out its propaganda value.

First, for the prime minister: the media event took place five days after the ship had been supposedly captured, but just after Netanyahu returned from a trip to the United States. Second, as form of pressure on Iran.

The claims also give Israel a pretext for its continued collective punishment of Gaza.

Oren did point out the absurdity of Israel’s indignation that Iran had accused it of lying, given that Israel itself habitually lies: “Israel’s condemnation of Iran as a liar is ridiculous. From David Ben-Gurion’s time to the present, Israel has lied when it believed it had to do so to avoid punishment.”

Story unravels

While there were already plenty of reasons to cast doubt on Israel’s story, Dan Williams of Reuters has a report today headlined: “Doubts surface on Gaza destination of rockets seized by Israel.”

The reports quotes a “US official” saying of the rockets: “You look at those things and it’s obvious they couldn’t have been slipped into Gaza.”

Williams writes:

Some US intelligence analysts and Middle East security officials believe that a rocket shipment seized by the Israeli navy in the Red Sea this month was destined for the Egyptian Sinai and not for the Gaza Strip, as Israel says.

A US official and two non-Israeli regional sources said Israel appeared to be insisting on the Gaza destination in order to spare the military-backed interim Egyptian administration embarrassment as it struggles to impose order in the Sinai.

Israel has little compunction about drawing scrutiny to the rocket arsenals of Gaza’s governing Hamas Islamists and other armed Palestinian factions, with whom it has regularly clashed.

“Were the Israelis to say the rockets were going to Sinai, then they would also have had to say who in Sinai was going to receive the rockets,” one source told Reuters, adding that such a statement would draw attention to the insurgents resisting Egypt’s security sweeps in northern Sinai.

Israel says the Syrian-made M302 rockets and other munitions were hidden aboard the Panamanian-flagged Klos C while it docked in Iran. The ship was intercepted on March 5, en route to Sudan – where, Israel says, the arms would have been offloaded and trucked to Gaza through Egypt, a standard trafficking route.

He adds:

An Israeli military officer who took part in planning the naval interdiction told Reuters that, in the month before it happened, “not once did I hear anyone mention anything other than Gaza as the end-point for these weapons.”

A US official said Washington had confirmed the Syrian and Iranian provenance of the rockets and believed they were to have been used against Israel. But half of US intelligence analysts thought Sinai, not Gaza, was the destination, the official said.

“You look at those things and it’s obvious they couldn’t have been slipped into Gaza,” the official said, adding that the M302s were not designed to be disassembled for easier smuggling.

The Reuters report says that US analysts believe that mortars aboard the ship may have been bound for Gaza, while other weapons, including large amounts of ammunition, were likely bound for destinations in Africa.

The United States supplies billions of dollars worth of weaponry to Israel each year, which Israel uses to occupy and colonize Palestinians.

However, the United States does not support Palestinians’ right to self-defense and resistance against Israeli occupation and hence views all weapons’ transfers to Palestinian armed groups, regardless of how the weapons are used, as support for “terrorism.”

Via Electronic Intifada

March 19, 2014
How the Israel lobby is courting US Latinos

March 17, 2014
"

Israel is employing “punitive measures” against six Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike, according to a statement published by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), a Geneva-based human rights network.

Four of the men are being held in administrative detention, a draconian practice that allows the Israeli occupation authorities to detain Palestinians without charges on “secret evidence.” Akram Fasisi, Waheed Abu Maria and Muammar Banat have been on hunger strike since 9 January and Ameer Shammas started on 11 January.

According to Israeli Military Order 1651, Palestinians can be detained in administrative detention for up to six months without charges. In practice, however, military courts regularly rubber-stamp requests to renew the orders, effectively enabling Israel to detain Palestinians indefinitely without ever charging them.

"

Patrick Strickland for EI

March 17, 2014
Keep on rockin' for freedom, Neil Young, cancel your Tel Aviv show

March 13, 2014
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine… one of a one page long list of US Dept of State “Terrorist Groups.”And still one of the most moral, beautiful organizations the world has seen.  Standing strong against the latest unjustifiable raids on Gaza.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine… one of a one page long list of US Dept of State “Terrorist Groups.”

And still one of the most moral, beautiful organizations the world has seen.  Standing strong against the latest unjustifiable raids on Gaza.

(Source: fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

March 3, 2014
Luxembourg pension fund dumps 9 Israeli firms, and Motorola, over settlements

March 2, 2014
‘US denies airspace to Iran MPs plane’

The empire doesn’t want Iran to talk to Cuba or Venezuela.

So apparently we’re being children and making the flight nearly impossible (US airspace is range-necessary)

February 22, 2014
Robert Fisk: Ukraine'€™s future is tied up with Syria's and Vladimir Putin is crucial to both

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