The "death ride" -- welcome to 21st century torture
By Khaled Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem
"Israeli maltreatment of Palestinian captives and political prisoners has reached unprecedented levels of brutality, according to lawyers, human rights groups and newly-released prisoners.
There are currently as many as 12,000 Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli detention camps, many of them without charge or trial. They include hundreds of university professors, engineers, school teachers as well as religious and civic leaders, students, resistance fighters and women activists.
Two years ago, the Israeli occupation authorities abducted hundreds of democratically- elected officials, including mayors, members of local city councils, law-makers, and cabinet ministers, many associate with Hamas's political wing.......
Torture, which the Israeli judicial authorities euphemistically refer to as "moderate physical and psychological pressure", is officially sanctioned by Israel's law. Indeed, several Palestinian detainees have recently died in Israeli jails either due to torture or medical negligence. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Club, which monitors Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 167 Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since 1967.
However, while torture was normally performed on detainees mainly in order to extract confessions, the Israeli prison authorities have been using torture for the purpose of simply tormenting and humiliating Palestinian detainees.
"Their goal is to make us suffer, to torment us, to humiliate us. They want to punish us further for our survival, for refusing to die and disappear as a people, for refusing to collapse. Perhaps they think that by tormenting us, they get the feeling that they are avenging the holocaust, at least vicariously," said Mohamed Abu Zneid, from Dura, who was released recently from an Israeli detention camp near the Egyptian borders. "But I can say that such behaviour can only come from a sick people, a sadistic people. Otherwise, why would normal people behave this way?"......."