The Daily Life of Kawther Salam
..: Israels involvement in Iraq: Torture and Petroleum :..
May 19, 2004
A Detention in Palestina (Credits: AFP)
What follows is the translation of an article published on May 10th, 2004 in the Arabic Palestinian weekly newspaper Al-Manar (Arabic) a widely read newspaper which is published in East Jerusalem. I worked for the Al-Manar between 1991 and 1994. The editor has strong and credible sources in different Arab countries and in Israel.
Israeli experts in torture have taken part in the torture of the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib Jail
According to the Al-Manar report which was published on the first page of its edition number 673, The American forces killed 1400 Iraqi prisoner since they occupied Iraq and buried most of them in the desert, far away in the countryside. These prisoners died during torture sessions made by the torture teams, who cut parts of the prisoners bodies.
Al-Manar says that there are over 30,000 Iraqi prisoners spread in different American jails. There is 2100 women and girls among the prisoners, some of them are minors. All the women prisoners have passed through terrible torture sessions, some of them were raped.
Al-Manar points out that the torture instructions were sent in written to the jail guards and to the interrogators. The torture experts were following these instructions and this led to abuse of the the Iraqi prisoners. There torture team seriously harmed 37 children under the age of 13.
Al-Manars sources confirmed that there are Israeli experts of torture taking part in the torture of the Iraqi prisoners. The Israeli torture experts team has transferred to the country of Israel some of the Iraqi political prisoners and military officers to continue the investigation sessions there. Some of these prisoners have already died. The American torture teams add different kinds of inhuman torture in the Iraqi jails besides to the physical torture. They were forcing the prisoners to take different kinds of medicine during the torture session. The medical torture provoked serious symptoms on the prisoners health who had taken the medicine.
Al-Manar mentions that the officers in charge of torturing the detainees at the Iraqi prisons were sending daily reports for Washington with detailed information about the torture methods used at the Iraqi prisons. The reports mentioned that the Iraqi prisoners were also tortured in a prison in Qatar.
Al-Manar said that the American persons whose names have been spread in the news in relation to the now well-known scandal regarding torture of Iraqi prisoners were paid by other higher officers and political addresses in order to hide the real facts behind the torture of the Iraqis. There are high military and political officers involved in this case, but they are hiding behind the lower rank personnel.
Al-Manar sources ended the report saying that there are some American military personnel from the Intelligence and the military police who have more information about the torture in Iraq and who have written documents which were sent to President Georg Bush himself as well as to Pentagon and the military officers. These officers have disappeared. One of these officers was responsible for burying the Iraqi prisoners after their death.
Do the Israelis really take part in torture of Iraqi prisoners? There are no western newspapers writing about the involvement of Israelis in the torture in Iraq, there was just some initial speculation about this when the scandal broke out, which quickly disappeared. But before answering this question, let us look at some ways in which the Israeli experts were torturing their Palestinian prisoners.
In brief and according to testimonies of women detainees which I collected during the first intifada by directly visiting and talking to these persons after they were released from Israeli imprisonment, and by searching through the Al-Haq Organization for the Human Rights in Ramallah.
Al-Shabah: during the first few days, there are likely to be at least two interrogation sessions each twenty four hours, each one lasting for several hours. Between the interrogation sessions, the detainee may be placed in the "Shabah" or "coffin". Both methods make sleep impossible. Shabah means that the detainee is made to squat stand with legs bent, or is made to sit handcuffed to the wall of an outdoor yard. The "Coffin" is a tiny cell measuring about one meter square into which the detainee is locked for hours at a time.
Beatings: Women are routinely slapped, and kicked during interrogation session if they do not readily answer questions. The interrogator will bang the women's head against the wall during the same session. This was the most common and easy way of torture at the Israeli jails in which the mental state of many prisoners had been severely affected.
Electric Shocks: the Israeli interrogators used the electric shock chair shock during the investigation. For example, nineteen year old Maryam Qadumi said that from the beginning of her interrogation, the Shabak, the Israeli Intelligence, had used electric shocks. The interrogators asked her questions and when she refused to talk, they took her to a room with a red light and a special chair. The chair was made of iron and leather and had wires attached to it. She was made to sit on it and a prison officer connected the wires to her legs and arms. She was extremely frightened. The interrogator who was in charge told the prison officer to turn on the current. After this session they took her to the tiny cell for a couple of hours and then took her back to the interrogation room.
Sexual Harassment: while the detainee is becoming progressively weaker from the combination of sleep, food deprivation and physical a abuse, she must also cope with a barrage of verbal sexual taunts, threats and in some cases actual assault. Generally these assaults occur during interrogation sessions.
Hanan Rahim describes her first interrogation session in the Jelme detention Center as follows. "It was my first arrest. The interrogator who was doing most of the talking kept insulting me, using sexual insults like "whore" or "bitch". He told me to look him in the eyes as he spoke to me, but I avoided his gaze, various threat were made to me, they said that would rape me and that they would kill me, They also said that they would put me with collaborators, and that since there were no women collaborators available, they would put me in a room with male collaborators."
The number of interrogators in each session varies, usually between about two and six. All the interrogators are male, the detainee is acutely aware that she is in their sole custody, there in nobody for her to complain to, or to seek protection from.
One of the most severe reported cases of sexual harassment and actual assault occurred to Fatma Abu Bakra from Gaza, who was being held in Ashkelon Jail. Fatma was interrogated for a period of fifty days, and eventually made a confession as a result of the sexual harassment. She reports:
"An interrogator calling himself "Abu Allah", which mean "Father of God", took me to another room, I was alone and he played with my face and my body, breast and my genitals, then said "I want to get inside you now, this will be very beautiful and a big enjoyment". My hands were tied so I pushed his face away from me and started to hit my head against the wall. He ordered me to sit on floor in the corner, he then sat in front of me on a chair with his legs open. When I pushed his hands and body away, he used a megaphone to ask another policeman to bring him a special hat with a sponge and handcuffs. Apparently this special hat was to protect my head, he hand cuffed my hands behind my back, while he was doing that, I was shouting at him that I would expose what he was doing to the world. His response was "I want to fuck you inside and I don't care about you, and the public opinion, lawyers or the Red Cross". We were still alone in the room. Then he started to play with my body. He put this special hat on my head and went back to sitting the same way while I was in the corner. I screamed all the time and he said. "you have a nice body for fucking, and you must confess now and say anything, you have to say something otherwise I will transfer you from jail to the jail grave, I'll rape you then I will kill you".
At that moment a police woman knocked on the door and he quickly took his hands away from me. She told him something and he said, "I'm coming". She left the room and he was still sitting on the chair. He opened my handcuffs and went to the door. The whole time his condition was not normal. I was saw his pants zipper was open and the underwear was full. He left me and I was still sitting on the floor. When he came back, he took me out of the room and interrogated me in the presence of a policewoman. I can't say exactly what day this happened, but it was at night about 20PM. I didn't tell the interrogators or the policewoman about what happened to me. I was a afraid of his revenge, especially after he told me that he didn't care about public opinion, I want to say that I was too embarrassed to give details of this event to the male lawyer who came once to visit me, but it's easier for me now to talk in front of you as a woman. She added that there was another event concerning the interrogator "Steve". He had a picture in his pocket and often when he talked with me, he would take the picture out of his pocket and order me to look at it. I always refused and looked away. He then would yell at me and force me to look at it. I saw a picture the size of cigarette packet, of a man who who had a very big penis. He told me "That's me when I was young. Look how big my penis was. Now it's ten times bigger and I'm going to fuck you with this bigger penis". He tore of my clothes and I started screaming and hitting my head against the wall, "Abu Allah" and the policewoman were in the room at that time. "Abu Allah" stood between me and "Steve", and Steve took off his pants and underwear. I screamed and the policewoman covered her eyes with her hands and started laughing. Then he caught me and pushed my body while I continue screaming. Then he ejaculated on me and put his cloths back on, and began to hit me on the head. At that time Abu Allah had left and the policewoman was still in the room. I don't remember the exact date of this event. This all happened but it was two days after the event of "Abu Allah".
This is in front of the Office of Pediatrist Dr. Nabil Salameh Al-Muhtaseb in Hebron
For further sexual harassment stories and information concerning women harassed by the Israeli interrogators, don't hesitate to write me or to check the human rights sources, especially Al-Haq. I can also provide anyone interested in this matter with some of my researches.
In this article I just described some examples which came to mind after I read about the Iraqi prisoner torture testimony, in which I read that one of the interrogators told the Iraqi detainee while torturing him that he was called "the Evil Abu Allah". This reminded me of the Israeli sexual harassment during the interrogations by the Israeli experts "Steve" and the other one who called himself "Abu Allah" during the sexual torture of Palestinian women detainees. Actually, the Israeli interrogation and torture teams are using the same language everywhere they go, without limit.
Thinking about this I wondered if the same Israeli team of torture experts, Abu Allah", "Steve" and other qualified Israelis were torturing the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib ? The American Pentagon confirmed that there were a foreign interrogators at Abu Ghraib. That's mean there is a big possibility that the Israeli interrogators were taking part in the torture at the Iraqi jails. The Israeli interrogators are fluent in the Arabic language, and furthermore they have teached at U.S military schools. They are more trusted than the others by the U.S. and they have the same interests in Iraq as the U.S. It is not a secret that Israel itself was very interested in this war against Iraq, what better than executing it through their proxy, the U.S.
The Israeli Foreign Minister Salman Shoval was in a discussion with the U.S government about the particiation of Israeli companies in the "reconstruction" of Iraq, according to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. Further informations about the presence of the Israelis in Iraq to which I have to point in this report comes from information in Turkish newspapers which was also published in Yediot Ahronot.
According to Yediot Ahronot, the Turkish government is very angry: the Turkish newspaper "Ashkam" published a report about Israeli activities of searching oil in the northern part of Iraq. The report mentioned that Israelis bought from the Kurdish people land in the Al-Mosul region and started searching for the oil there. The Turkish government was very angry with what the Israeli are doing, since these activities like will affect the Turkish interest in the region. Tthe two governments have reportedly exchanged several official letters concerning this matter.
Another Turkish newspaper, Jumhuriyah, wrote an article on the first page with the the title "Israel owns the Oil Lands, A second occupation in Iraq". Israels response was that "There was no connection between Israel and the Kurds in Iraq, and if there is an Israeli activities there, these belong to Israeli private companies". In general most of the Israeli private companies are owned by high-ranking military commanders, and there is no difference between the private Israeli companies and the governmental companies, or private and governmental interests. They all serve the interests of the Zionist occupation.
Finally, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustakbal (Arabic) and Arabic edition of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot both published on 15 May 2004 reports that the Turkish Government had cancelled all military contracts and agreements which were signed with Israel, and had frozen all the agreements which were to be signed. The decision included cancellation the other agreements which had been signed with American companies. This comes under the new policy of the Turkish Government, which refuses the strategy of military cooperation with Tel Aviv. The decision made during an official session held by Prime Minister Rajab Tayeb Erdogan with the presence of the Turkish Chief of Staff Hilmi Aozkok and Defense Minister Wajde Gonol. The Turkish Government declared that they will open new military bids, about which there will probably be talks with European companies from France, Britain and Germany.
The newspapers mention that Turkey refused the Israeli application to visit Ankara. Furthermore Mr. Abed-Allah Al-Gool, the Turkish Foreign Minister, cancelled an already scheduled visit to Israel. The President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan refused to welcome Premier Sharon at the airport of Ankara during his last visit to Turkey.
The projects which Turkia had signed with Israel and which have been cancelled by Turkey were: Development of a Turkish airplanes AF-15 and AF-16. Turkey also cancelled joint development of a Tank and industrialization deal with Israel. Turkey also cancelled an agreement to buy Israeli helicopters of Russian origin. These project had been signed in 1996. The volume of these two projects alone is reported to be about 6 billiion Dollars. According to the report, the Turkish Prime Minister also cancelled a secret agreement to buy 12 unmanned spy airplanes from Israel.
The question is, what are the real fact behind the cancellations of these agreements with Israeli and American companies at the same time? Is the Turkish government still angry with Israel because they are threatening their interests in the Kurdish lands in the northern part of Iraq?
Some sites which have used this article or linked here:
Breaking all the Rules
Maghreb Online Forum in the Netherlands
Maroc.nl Forum in the Netherlands
The Paul Bax Show
Trinicenter of Trinidad and Tobago, News Overview of 25.May.2004
Sound of Egypt from Toronto, News Overview of 21.May.2004
As usual, I disavow any responsibility for the contents of these sites.