NOTE: This post was prepared for yesterday, August 30, but because of unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to finish it. However, it is imperative to post the excerpt from the article by Ghazi-Walid Falah as background for the news items of detention and torure.
❶ Palestinian minor tortured in Israeli jail after being shot and detained for rock throwing
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PPS: “Army Kidnaps Twenty-One Palestinians In The West Bank”
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israel Issues 8 Administrative Detention Orders To Palestinian Prisoners
❷ “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.”
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PALESTINIAN MINOR TORTURED IN ISRAELI JAIL AFTER BEING SHOT AND DETAINED FOR ROCK THROWING
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Two Palestinian minors have been tortured, abused, and medically neglected in Israeli custody, one of which after being shot at point-blank range when Israeli forces detained them for rock throwing earlier this month, a lawyer from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday.
___The lawyer, Luay Akka, said that 17-year-old Mumin Tawfiq Hamayel and 16-year-old Abd al-Fatah Mubarek were both being held inside Israel’s Ofer prison. MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PPS: “ARMY KIDNAPS TWENTY-ONE PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK”
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 30, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, overnight and on Tuesday, twenty-one Palestinians, during massive military invasions and searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The PPS said the soldiers invaded several towns in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, violently searched homes and kidnapped nine Palestinians, including children. MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) ISRAEL ISSUES 8 ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION ORDERS TO PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Israel’s military court at Ofer prison ruled that eight Palestinian prisoners be placed in administrative detention on Monday, the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that five were sentenced to six months in administrative detention, identified as Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, Huthaifa Subhe Jabareen, Yousef Abd al-Aziz al-Batran, Hazim Ghaleb Nayroukh, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Aida.
___Israeli forces also ordered Muhammad Yousef Awad, Alaa Salim Rujbe, and Yousef Issa Amar to four months in administrative detention.
___Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy, which allows internment without trial or charges under undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists. MORE . . .
❷ Falah, Ghazi-Walid. “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.” Third World Quarterly 29.4 (2008): 749-766. SOURCE.
NOTE: Professor Falah was detained in 2008 as an academic visitor to Palestine. The reasons for his detention differ from those of a Palestinian citizen, but the methods used by the Israelis to extract information are very much the same even today. See biographical note at end.
My detention was principally political, a form of punishment and intimidation for my writing as a geographer over two decades. But I was not detained and held in isolation because I had committed some crime and there was a court order to keep me separate from other prisoners. There was another aim: to extract by almost any means thought necessary what the Security Police deemed ‘usable information’, especially about my academic contacts with Arab and Iranian geographers (and/or others) in the Middle East. From this viewpoint of intelligence extraction my time behind bars and in a micro-space of extreme coercion was utilised to the utmost to get the maximum ‘information’ from . . . to break my will to resistance before I could see my lawyer. ‘Detention’ is not a static space of some kind of suspension of time, as a detainee simply ‘waits’ or is abused as a form of punishment: it is a mechanism in highly confined and pressurised hyper-dynamic space to extract intelligence under the impress of limited legal time. While my detention was to intimidate me as an academic, it also was a prime example of space–time mobilised to gather what is the interrogator’s stock in trade: intelligence as it is fantasised by interrogators to exist.
[. . . .]
How did the Israeli interrogators in my case approach the issue of gathering information for some ‘usable’ end? Interrogator Ehud (all names here are aliases) said: ‘We have a puzzle here, and we need answers for each question we are asking you in order to construct the puzzle’. ‘There is nothing that we are not going to get an answer to. If we do not get the answer directly from you we have to get it from other sources, and no matter how long it takes we will.’ Basically he is saying: we will be keeping you a long time until we get the answers we think we want. This was perhaps a technique to make me speak, but the issue of the ‘puzzle’ is consistent with the broader dimension of gathering ‘usable’ information. Another interrogator, Lavi, said: ‘We are interested in the truth and this is why we keep repeating the same questions and many others. It does not matter for us whether you are innocent or guilty. We are interested in knowing the truth.’ He also commented: ‘our interrogation is not like the police. The testimony you give to the police officer and then you go to court and they have to prove your innocence. We are different because our duty is to know the truth in order to protect the security of the ‘‘state’’.’
[. . . .]
The practice of isolating a detainee for a certain time, either by being left alone behind bars or simply isolated from a normal setting in the world outside the prison is coercion at the ultimate micro-scale of the individual body. From the interrogator’s perspective, this practice means that the detainee is not allowed to engage in any contact whatever without the full authority and supervision of the interrogator or another related person in authority. The interrogators act based on state law. One idea behind such spatial isolation is the prevention of ‘contamination’ by contact with others. ‘Usable information’ should be best extracted from a detainee before the interrogation process is ‘contaminated’ by his contact with others who may provide him with advice on how to answer (or not answer) questions or explain certain legal rights. Hence, interrogators seek a court order to prevent any contact between the detainee and his lawyer. In addition, they may request the court to place a gagging order on the case for a certain period of time. Building on a rationale of isolation and an assumption of ‘naiveté’ in a detainee (where s/he is not familiar with the imprisonment procedure), the interrogators seek to extract maximum usable information in a minimum amount of time before the spatial capsule they have created for the detainee is ‘pierced’ or ‘contaminated’. So the quality of usable information in this architectonics becomes a direct function of the degree of spatial isolation.
Ghazi-Walid Falah is a Bedouin Israeli-Canadian geographer, who is a tenured professor at the University of Akron, Ohio. He is an expert on political, social and urban geography of the Middle East and the Arab World, with special emphasis on Israel. Falah is a founder of the journal The Arab World Geographer and is Editor-in-Chief. The AWG has become the major journal published in English for research on the geography of the Arab, Muslim, and Middle-Eastern worlds.
___He was held for over three weeks in an Israeli jail after he was arrested on suspicion of espionage on July 8, 2006, while touring near the Lebanon border. He was denied access to a lawyer for the first 18 days of his detention.
___On July 30, 2006, the Israeli Shin Bet security service and the Israeli police released Dr. Falah without filing charges against him.