‘Israel is silent in the face of the torture – this is racism’
Internal Affairs Committee discusses PA’s torture of Arabs who sell land to Jews. ‘It doesn’t interest the left and human rights groups.’
The Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee on Tuesday discussed the torture of Arab residents of the Palestinian Authority who sold real estate to Jews.
“The silence of the State of Israel against the torture of Arab residents during their detention in the Palestinian Authority is most immoral,” said the deputy chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee, MK Betzalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home.
“When you recognize a phenomenon that is a blow to the state, you have to allocate resources and provide tools, as they know to do with ‘price tag’ incidents. If it interested the Justice Ministry and the prime minister, no one would have passed private bills, rather the government would already have come with amendments.
“We do not want to ‘occupy,’ but we let them be tortured and raped and murdered? We are held accountable by virtue of our moral imperative as a Jewish people. It takes place half an hour from here. Where is the political echelon? The Civil Administration? Business as usual. All the hypocrites will shout at the visit of one foreign minister or another when the most painful human rights violations in the world today are taking place right here. It does not interest the left and the so-called human rights organizations. This is racism,” MK Smotrich said.
The police representative at the hearing, Deputy Superintendent Gilad Bahat, referred to the Palestinian Authority’s torture of an Arab who sold land to Jews in eastern Jerusalem: “I want to be precise: this is not a kidnapped person. The man arrived on his own to the interrogation to which he was summoned in Ramallah and where he was arrested. Activity was, and is, carried out in cooperation with a number of security branches,” Bahat said.
MK Smotrich asked, “Do you know what his condition is? In what conditions he is being held? Avi Aviram of the National Security Council said: “Last week, the prime minister instructed to coordinate the government’s activity and policy regarding the detention of Aqel and Nasser Adin, two detainees in the PA. Since then, it is being dealt with constantly. A meeting was held with all the security bodies. There is a whole range of activities that I can describe in a confidential meeting.”
Walid, who was arrested and tortured by the Palestinian Authority, said, “I received a death sentence because I prevented a terrorist attack, I did a holy job. Why did I stop a terrorist attack? From a young age I grew up in mosques and was brainwashed to think that the Jews stole the land. I was put in Israeli jail for stealing a car. There, they gave me an operation for my foot. I received treatment and rehabilitation. I saw that this People who they said was bad was helping me. I returned to the territories with a different mindset – that this People really helps people.”
“When I heard that there was a terrorist attack on children, I got up and stopped the attack. What did I do wrong? I stopped bloodshed?
“Why should they burn me? I went through an interrogation like ISIS in Syria. For two weeks, [I was] upside down until my head got swollen. Hot and cold showers. They put me in a closet with a net and threw all the filth at me. Beatings where my surgery was, [being forced to] sit on a glass bottle.
“I also sat with an investigator in Israel. He let me eat, I was given respect during Ramadan. A dog lives better here than a human being does there. I connected with a people that lives with justice,” said Walid.
Attorney Kedem Barak, who represents 63 Palestinian Arabs who were tortured in the Palestinian Authority, described “electric shocks, removing fingernails, castration. Three women, two of whom were murdered without trial. A third was tortured and her eye taken out. Leila lost her husband on suspicion that he collaborated with Israel. Following the assassination of Ra’ad al-Karmi, Leila’s son was arrested on suspicion of collaborating. His sister was brought to the jail with the aim of getting him to confess. He confesses. Several hours later they call his mother to come and take the girl’s body. They arrested Leila and her sister. Her sister was found shot in the street. Leila’s eye was removed.”