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Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says

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Israeli investigators threatened to rape Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq, his wife and children, according to his lawyer, Ashraf Abu Sneineh.

“In the beginning of the investigation of Mohammed they told him that they will keep him under administrative detention for seven years if he did not confess,” Abu Sneineh told Mondoweiss by telephone Wednesday morning. “He said ‘I have nothing to confess to and I don’t want to continue this investigation in this manner.’ So they threatened to rape him, his wife and his kids.”

After these threats, al-Qiq began his hunger strike, according to Abu Sneineh.

An Israeli high court refused to transfer the journalist from HaEmek Medical Center in Afula to receive treatment in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. After 86 days of hunger strike, Al-Qiq’s condition has continued to deteriorate and he could die at any time. “A thin line separates him from death. Mohammed is battling for his life. He is suffering from cramps in his arms and legs and irregular heartbeat,” Abu Sneineh said.

A video released earlier this week shows al-Qiq in his hospital bed in Afula, crying out in severe pain and asking for his three-year-old son, Islam.

According to Abu Sneineh, Israel has not officially charged al-Qiq because of insufficient evidence, and reliance on intelligence from informants. “They can’t give any proof against him, and even if they tried, he would be released the next day,” she said.

As the Jerusalem Post’s Jonah Jeremy Bob noted, incitement charges are typically insufficient for administrative detention.

Faiha’a Shalash, al-Qiq’s wife, said that when Israeli forces raided their home in the middle of the night in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, soldiers first knocked on the door with weapons, then blew off the door with explosives. “I didn’t even have time to put my clothes on before they blew off the door,” she told Mondoweiss. Soldiers then interrogated al-Qiq in his living room before taking him to Beit El settlement, where he was left outside handcuffed and blindfolded in the cold November weather for twenty hours, and finally transferred to al-Jalame prison, according to Shalash.

While her husband’s absence has been trying, she believes he is battling for a greater cause. “If Mohammed doesn’t do anything, it’s going to pave the way to put more Palestinians, especially journalists, under administrative detention,” Faiha’a Shalash said.

Al-Qiq’s nearly three-month hunger strike has received scant coverage in US media, and comes at a time of increased pressure on journalists. This week, Washington Post Jerusalem Bureau Chief William Booth and a colleague were detained by Israeli police at the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem. Like al-Qiq, police accused Booth of incitement. An initial police statement accused Booth of “disturbance of the peace” for “propaganda purposes,” and later explained that the original accusation was “without foundation.” Shortly after, the Israeli Government Press Office released a statement saying, “Freedom of the press is a supreme value in the Israeli democracy.” The Washington Post has barely covered the al-Qiq case, using wire reports.

Israeli interrogators wielding sexual violence is not uncommon. After interrogators beat bloody Palestinian prisoner Rasmea Odeh, her father Josef Odeh was brought in and pressured to have sex with her, according to Alfred Lilienthal’s “The Zionist Connection.” After he refused, interrogators beat both of them before they “spread her legs and shoved the stick into her.”

About Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

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29 Responses

  1. John O
    February 18, 2016, 11:30 am

    Rape is OK with the Israelis. From

    Israeli scholar Mordechai Kedar has insisted that only rape can stop Palestinian militants. “The only thing that can deter terrorists,” the professor said after three Israelis were killed by Palestinian militants in the summer of 2014, “is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.”

    • Kris
      February 18, 2016, 2:12 pm

      Would it be okay if a Palestinian scholar were to announce that only rape can stop Jewish Israeli atrocities and human rights abuses?

  2. Herchel
    February 18, 2016, 2:20 pm

    Well if his lawyer, Ashraf Abu Sneineh, says it happened, it must be true.

    • diasp0ra
      February 18, 2016, 4:11 pm

      This is not an isolated case. Threats of rape and sexual assault are commonly used tactics by Israel.

      “He himself claims that the threat of rape is a standard procedure in the IDF’s prisoners interrogation unit (Unit 504) where he was serving.

      There are several good reasons to believe him: A few weeks back “Uvda,” a Channel 2 investigative journalism program, showed a clip in which George’s commander was threatening Dirani with rape; Many Palestinian detainees reported a similar threat; And in at least one case – that of the murdered IDF soldier, Amnon Pomrantz, in 1990 – the reporter Gabi Nitzan wrote that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency, or ISA) took several children as hostages, in order to convince their brothers, who were suspected of setting the unconscious Pomrantz on fire, to turn themselves in (I had the misfortune of looking after one of these children for a short while). The ISA agents told the children’s families that if the suspects wouldn’t turn themselves in, the children would be sent to a detainee camp, where they would be raped.”

      But keep sticking your head deeper into the sand.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 18, 2016, 6:02 pm

        ALSO SEE: “Captain George (aka Doron Zahavi) Rides Again” | by Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | December 18, 2011

        [EXCERPTS] One thing you have to say about Israeli torturers, you can’t keep a good one down. I reported here some time ago about one Doron Zahavi aka Captain George, an infamous commander of the IDF intelligence unit 504. Until my report, his real name was secret and no publication has reported it. I was delighted to bring his brutal acts into the public light and attach a real name to the torturer. Zahavi and his boys specialized in “interrogating” (i.e. torturing) foreign security suspects captured by the IDF abroad.
        One of them was Mustafa Dirani, who Israel suspected of having held the MIA airman, Ron Arad. Zahavi subjected Dirani to the “royal treatment” which included sodomizing him with a billy club.
        We know this because Dirani sued the State and is attempting to hold it accountable for what its represenative did to him. One of the reasons Dirani exposed methods of torture used by Unit 504 is that the Supreme Court forced the State to allow him to proceed with his claims against it. In the process, Zahavi’s commander, a colonel whose first initial is Het, had a bout of conscience and spilled the beans. Here are some of the Zahavi’s patented methods:

        Het said Captain George played a role in every interrogation. “He would just come in, burst into the room, grab the suspect, shake him, get him onto the floor, punch him in the chest, yell and threaten,” Het said. Het added that George would enter with a baton, hit the suspect and threaten to insert it into his rectum if he “continued to lie or not talk.” Het also recounted an interrogation in which George allegedly stripped a suspect naked and forced him to drink tea or coffee from an ashtray full of cigarette ashes and then forced shaving cream or toothpaste into the suspect’s mouth. “I simply walked out,” Het said. Het said George dealt with almost every case involving an infiltrator into Israel from a neighboring country, including Iran, Iraq and Syria, but also in special circumstances such as the interrogation of Dirani. Het recalled an instance in which he inserted a baton into a suspect’s rectum and asked him [Het] to sit on the baton unless the suspect was willing to speak.

        The Hebrew version is even more graphic. It describes further brutality by Zahavi:

        He always employed brutality. I was shocked. I would sit in the room and watch [shocked]. He would come into the interrogation room, knock the detainee off the bench, jump on him, kick him, threaten that he would fuck him, or that others would fuck him and rape him. The detainees were afraid of him. . .

        . . . This allowed him to rise to his level of brutality in another capacity: the Israeli police hired him to be the “liaison” with the East Jerusalem Palestinian population. . .


      • Froggy
        February 18, 2016, 10:01 pm

        diasp0ra :: The blowback when it comes – and it will come, it always does – will be terrible indeed, with both the guilty and the innocent becoming victims.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    February 18, 2016, 4:02 pm

    RE: Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says”

    MY COMMENT: Words fail me, truly they do! ! !

  4. Jackdaw
    February 19, 2016, 1:40 am

    “For the first week of her detention, Odeh was menstruating and the Israeli guards did not give her any sanitary protection or allow her access to the bathroom. She reported that for the first 25 days of her 45 days in detention in Jerusalem, Odeh was denied regular sleep and was continually beaten and humiliated.”
    “One guard, known as “Abulhani,” punched her repeatedly on her ears, resulting in impaired hearing for two years.”
    “Odeh was left naked for most of the time, in front of male guards as well as other detained men.”
    “At one point, Odeh was forced to watch the torture of a detained man, during which the guards connected the man’s genitals to electrical wires and subjected him to electric shocks. Odeh reported that she watched him die during this torture.
    Shortly after witnessing the electrocution, Odeh was herself tortured with electric shocks; the wires were attached to her genitals, breasts, abdomen, arms and legs.
    In yet another incident, Odeh’s father was brought into a room where she was lying naked on the floor, and ordered to have sex with her. It was this threat that Odeh says finally coerced her to signing a confession.

    There is only one problem with Rasmieh’s claim that she was tortured, including sexually, for twenty five days. She had given a highly detailed confession one day after her arrest!
    On March 3, 1969, just nine days after the bombing and three days after Rasmea’s arrest, JTA reported that the three key perpetrators of the SuperSol bombing — which would have included Rasmea — had confessed.
    The SuperSol bombing took place on February 21, 1969, and the British Consulate attempted bombing on February 25, 1969.Rasmea was arrested on February 28, 1969. Police found a mountain of physical evidence, including bomb making material in Rasmeh’s bedroom an in her father’s house.
    On February 24, 1969,three days after the Supersol bombing, The Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) reported that while almost 100 Arabs had been rounded up for questioning immediately after the bombing, 91 of whom were quickly released.

    • John O
      February 19, 2016, 11:00 am

      So, can we take it that you won’t be complaining if the suspects in the Dawabshe murder case are convicted, despite their claims of their confessions being beaten out of them?

      • Jackdaw
        February 19, 2016, 2:07 pm

        I don’t believe that their confessions were beat out of them. I believe they are guilty as charged and must face the full penalty of the law.

      • Mooser
        February 19, 2016, 4:34 pm

        “I don’t believe that…”

        Well, far be it from me to accuse you of believing absurdities, so you can commit atrocities.

        What you believe doesn’t mean squat. (Especially as it is untainted by self-interest or ‘sunk cost’ considerations, or prejudice or bigotry)
        Yes, yes, I know it’s almost impossible, but in spite of being Jewish, “Jackdaw”, you seem to have discredited yourself.

      • talknic
        February 19, 2016, 5:10 pm

        @ Jackdaw I don’t believe that their confessions were beat out of them.

        Oh my, that’s exactly what we’ve come to expect of an apologist for Israeli war crimes.

        ” I believe they are guilty as charged and must face the full penalty of the law.”

        Of course you do.

        Speaking of the law, according to the UNSC, Israel is in breach of International Law and the UN Charter reaffirmed and emphasized in hundreds of UNSC resolutions … Here’s a chance to show the world just how hypocritical Israel’s apologists can be

        Keep up the good work

      • Jackdaw
        February 20, 2016, 1:46 am

        @ talknic

        You want to prosecute Israel for her crimes, be my guest. Just be damned sure you prosecute all the other countries who violate the law as well. And if you need a place to begin, start with the 5 permanent members of the Security Counsel.

        China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

        Do they all have ‘clean hands’?
        Do you?

      • Mooser
        February 20, 2016, 11:51 am

        “Just be damned sure you prosecute all the other…”

        Oh, no, that wouldn’t do! Why, the right and the power to judge the rest of the world belongs to Israel, the only nation without sin!

    • Mooser
      February 19, 2016, 12:59 pm

      “There is only one problem with Rasmieh’s claim that she was tortured, including sexually, for twenty five days. She had given a highly detailed confession one day after her arrest! “

      So? Why would that stop the torture? C’mon now “Jackila” you know the drill; ‘Because …. wouldn’t do that?’

      Jackdaw”, I have seen you guys “step in the steaming pile” many, many times. But this is the first time you brought your own steaming pile with you.

      Now would you like to explain why the very extremity of the tortures described invalidates the description? Because…. wouldn’t do that?

      • Jackdaw
        February 19, 2016, 2:18 pm

        Why? Because Rasmieh had a defense attorney who claimed, at trial, that her confessions were ‘fruit of the poison tree’, but that attorney had no evidence to substantiate his claims.

        International observers who monitored the trial, certified the trial as ‘fair’.

        If you want to debate the issues of her trial, than fine.

        If you just want to call me names and insult me, like a child would, than feel free to do so as well.

      • Mooser
        February 19, 2016, 4:45 pm

        “If you just want to call me names and insult me, like a child would, than feel free to do so as well.”

        That’s right, “Jackdaw” if I want to call you a fortz n’ zovver and say gai mit dein kop in drerd, there’s not a thing even the IDF can do.

        I have Tribal Unity Immunity!

      • Jackdaw
        February 20, 2016, 1:41 am


        Rasmieh’s case, Mooser. Rasmieh’s case.

        You don’t have to make it about you all of the time.

      • Mooser
        February 20, 2016, 11:40 am

        “You don’t have to make it about you…”

        Oh, don’t worry, “Jackdaw”, it’s not about me. Not at all.

        It’s all about you.

    • alen
      February 19, 2016, 5:43 pm

      Ah yes Legal Insurrection, which has made laughable claims of anti-Semitism of BDS student activists, and dubious legal arguments based on bizarre logic where laws undermining the constitution are defended (as long as they go after those pesky protesters) but the constitution is placed on its head when it undermines the power elites and war crimes. Well done. Zionists once again show who they really depend on for their “documentation”

      As far as I know, this is the source of the so called Red Cross Observer at the trial, but not that he actually said it, just that he happened to be there and therefore it was a legal and fair trial, despite the fact that Red cross observers have said no such thing. Simply being at the trials have not made them fair or legal. Amnesty International has also observed them and both have not legitimized the trials, quite the opposite.

      Name me the actual Red Cross observer and his actual approval of the military trial. Good luck with that.

      • Jackdaw
        February 20, 2016, 2:14 am


        “Name me the actual Red Cross observer and his actual approval of the military trial. Good luck ”

        See the Jerusalem Post article I linked, January 23, 1970, ‘Supersol Saboteurs Sentenced to Life’, last paragraph. The observer’s name was Guy Wintelir.

        Rasmieh Odeh needs good luck, not me. Her’s is running out.

    • kalithea
      February 19, 2016, 10:33 pm

      Zionists are serial liars; that’s how you all managed to run a criminal occupation for decades. Don’t believe your lying eyes is the Zionist anthem.

      • Mooser
        February 20, 2016, 11:46 am

        . “Don’t believe your lying eyes is the Zionist anthem.”

        My favorite is: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

        And their precious, precious delusion that being Jewish makes one an infallible arbiter of morality and legality, especially when it concerns self-interest. And confers immunity!

  5. Boo
    February 19, 2016, 8:39 am

    And just think — this Israel that sodomizes detainees with sticks — this is the same Israel that points proudly to the gay community in Tel Aviv as an example of its tolerance.

    • eljay
      February 19, 2016, 9:43 am

      || Boo: And just think — this Israel that sodomizes detainees with sticks — this is the same Israel that points proudly to the gay community in Tel Aviv as an example of its tolerance. ||

      As any Zio-supremacist can tell you, “Arab” detainees prefer Israeli sodomy to that of neighbouring countries. And it’s no wonder: Israel – a “moral beacon” and a “light unto the nations” – isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

      • Boo
        February 20, 2016, 2:38 pm

        Perhaps that’s their angle, then: They put a light on the end of the stick, and perhaps a minicam too — and what they’re actually doing is performing diagnostic proctoscopies on these detainees just in case their inferior Palestinian doctors might have missed a polyp, etc. How wonderfully noble of them.

  6. kalithea
    February 19, 2016, 11:03 pm

    There’s a place in hell reserved for Zionist criminals right alongside Mengele.

  7. just
    February 27, 2016, 9:50 am

    “Palestinian ends 94-day hunger strike after Israel drops detention without charge

    Journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, 33, who has been surviving on water alone, will be treated in hospital and allowed family visits …

    … In February, Israel’s supreme court left al-Qiq in a legal limbo; it suspended his detention without trial but would not let him leave the hospital. Two armed guards sat watch and the windows in his room remained shut in case he tried to escape. The court also said they could not guarantee he would not be placed under further administrative detention once better. He refused the court’s ruling and continued the strike.

    Administrative detention is a hangover from British rule in Palestine that allows Israeli authorities to hold terror suspects for six months without charging them or presenting any evidence.

    It has become common for Israel to extend the six-month period of detention for many Palestinians.

    The agreement reached on Friday resemblethat between Israel and another Palestinian administrative detainee, Mohammed Alan, last year. Aspart of the deal, the state will not renew his detention unless new evidence warrants it.

    Advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said al-Qiq had broken medical records, surviving longer without food than any other hunger striker on record.

    Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, the equivalent of Britain’s MI5, said al-Qiq, a Hamas supporter, had been involved in “terror activities”. Evidence was presented secretly to the Israeli supreme court, which decided he was a threat to national security.”

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