End of Occupation » No 1102

Lebanon: Extent of torture in Israeli-backed prison revealed in declassified documents

Shin Bet released documents about the notorious Khiam facility ahead of legal proceedings set to take place in early April

By Edna Mohamed

23 March 2022

Newly declassified documents released by Israel‘s security agency Shin Bet show the extent of the torture that prisoners endured during their time in the notorious Khiam detention centre in southern Lebanon.

Shin Bet allowed the publication of the documents ahead of the first legal proceedings, which are scheduled to take place in early April.

A number of human rights activists had submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice via Israeli human rights lawyer Eitay Mack to order Shin Bet to declassify the documents. The materials, the activists say, record “torture and cruel and inhumane punishments” in the prison.

However, a substantial portion of the documents remained censored, meaning that large sections could not be read.

One of the censored reports from 1987, called the “Khiam facility – a situation assessment,” showed Shin Bet claiming that the prison “played a significant part in prevention activity”. (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1101

Palestinian Authority caught between the U.S. and Russia on Ukraine

The PA has refused to condemn Russia following its invasion of Ukraine despite pressure from the Biden Administration. One reason for this is that joining the anti-Russia western chorus would further isolate an already isolated Palestine.

BY RAMZY BAROUD  MARCH 17, 2022

A new global geopolitical game is in formation, and the Middle East, as is often the case, will be directly impacted by it in terms of possible new alliances and resulting power paradigms. While it is too early to fully appreciate the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on the region, it is obvious that some countries are placed in relatively comfortable positions in terms of leveraging their strong economies, strategic location and political influence. Others, especially non-state actors, like the Palestinians, are in an unenviable position. 

Despite repeated calls on the Palestinian Authority by the US Biden Administration and some EU countries to condemn Russia following its military intervention in Ukraine on February 24, the PA has refrained from doing so. Analyst Hani al-Masri was quoted in Axios as saying that the Palestinian leadership understands that condemning Russia “means that the Palestinians would lose a major ally and supporter of their political positions.” Indeed, joining the anti-Russia western chorus would further isolate an already isolated Palestine, desperate for allies who are capable of balancing out the pro-Israel agenda at US-controlled international institutions, like the UN Security Council. (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1100

We Are Palestinians, and We Refuse to Leave Our Homeland

BY  SALAH HAMOURI

In 2011, I was released from Israeli prison as part of the prisoner exchange that saw the liberation of more than 1,027 Palestinians from Israel’s colonial system of punitive imprisonment. Having been incarcerated for nine years, from age nineteen, I was now keen to get on with my life, to study, have a family, to catch up on the years that the occupation authorities had taken from me. Little did I realize, my release was only the start of an ordeal in which I was to become a testing ground for Israel’s escalating and ceaseless attacks on Palestinians.

After my release, I traveled to France, my mother’s home country, to meet with those who had campaigned tirelessly for my freedom. In France, my imprisonment had become something of a cause célèbre on the Left, and I met numerous public figures and politicians who had spoken out on my behalf. It was there I also met Elsa Lefort, the woman I was to marry and who was to become the mother of my two children. On my return to Palestine, I switched my studies from sociology to law, hoping to become a lawyer and defend those who, like myself, were held prisoner by the Israeli occupation. I began to see how, despite the crushing weight of Israel’s brutal colonial regime, I might carve out a life for myself in my home city of al-Quds (Jerusalem). (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1099

The Ukrainian Crisis and the Middle East

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Iran has most to gain, Israel most to lose, from rising US-Russia tensions

If we were to do a cost-benefit analysis of developments in the Ukrainian crisis so far, we could say that Iran may be the biggest winner and the Israeli occupation state among the main losers.

For Iran, the worsening tension between the Russian/Chinese and US/European axes is a valuable gift that came at the right time, as it moves the country several steps down on the US order of priorities. This has reduced the intensity of Western pressures exerted on it in the Vienna talks on reviving the JCPOA nuclear deal. It has also made Russia, like China before it, more eager to strengthen strategic relations with Iran, bolstering its standing in this axis challenging US global primacy. (more…)

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