Sunday, July 10, 2011

Their Prisoner & Ours

George Newhouse, "a human rights lawyer practising with Surry Partners in Sydney," writes in The Australian Jewish News on Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Palestinian resistance fighters while blockading Gaza in 2006:

"There is evidence that Shalit is being held in close confinement and in unhealthy places. He is being denied letters and packages from his family. His captors are refusing to allow the Red Cross to visit him. There is no independent assessment of his wellbeing and he is being used as a hostage to compel the Israeli Government to meet Hamas demands... [T]he Geneva Conventions prohibit physical or mental torture and require that prisoners are treated humanely..." (Gilad: a victim of war crimes, 24/6/11)

Zvi Sela, a former senior Israeli police intelligence officer, speaks to Haaretz about the near-blind, quadraplegic Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, imprisoned from 1989-1997 for leading the Islamic resistance to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories:

"We held him in Hadarim prison... on the third floor in harsh conditions. We gave him a very hard time. He was not allowed visits and we kept him tightly locked up for almost 5 years. He was held in a narrow room where the temperature was 45 degrees [Celsius] in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. His blankets were dirty and smelled. That's how he lived. I found him to be a very smart man, and also very decent." ('Israel could have made peace with Hamas under Yassin', Kobi Ben-Simhon, 16/4/09)

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