Israel’s Holiday Season Atrocities
by Stephen Lendman
Millions of defenseless Palestinians endure the full force of Israeli brutality, continuing daily throughout the year, including during holiday season, ignored by Western media.
Since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, Israeli forces murdered 15 Palestinians in cold blood, injured well over 4,000 others, detaining over 600, including around 200 children and over a dozen women.
In response to stray rockets fired from Gaza, challenging its ruthlessness, its warplanes terror-bombed the Strip several times, its ground forces shelling the territory, the latest incident on Friday.
The IDF fired ground-to-ground missiles while Israeli warplanes and drones circled overhead. The extent of damage and casualties is unclear.
In response to occasional rockets fired on Israel, nearly always doing no harm, the IDF responds with disproportionate force.
Separately on Friday, Palestinians continued protesting against Trump’s outrageous Jerusalem declaration.
Nearly 150 Palestinian were injured, scores from live fire, at least three with potentially fatal wounds. Israeli media call legitimate Palestinian protests “riots,” disgracefully blaming them for state-sponsored terror.
It’s ongoing daily, escalated after Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, showing no signs of ending.
On Wednesday, an Israeli kangaroo military court extended the illegal detention of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member, civil society leader, human rights champion Khalida Jarrar.
She’s one of 11 Palestinian lawmakers unlawfully held, most uncharged and untried under administrative detention because they committed no crimes.
The punitive measure is often used against Palestinian community leaders, independent journalists and human rights activists, flagrantly violating Fourth Geneva and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.
Jarrar is one of countless Palestinian victims of Israeli ruthlessness, detained solely for political reasons.
Imprisoned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Shadi Shurafa wrote the following from behind bars during the holiday season, saying:
Winter “cold is one of the most notorious methods of torture and weapons of abuse used by the criminal Shin Bet against the Palestinian detainees.”
“Testimonies of over 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners have repeatedly affirmed that one of the most common and abusive methods of torture against them was the use as cold as a weapon of systematic abuse” to extract forced confessions to offenses they didn’t commit.
“The suffering of the cold is imposed through a series of carefully examined stages, making it clear that this is a serious and systematic method of torture with both physical and psychological aspects.”
Shurafa explained how most Palestinians are exposed outdoors to winter cold and rain, aggravated by physical assaults.
During interrogations, they’re forced to strip naked on the phony pretext of searches for concealed weapons. They’re then given thin trousers and a shirt, providing no warmth from bone-chilling cold.
When interrogated, their hands and legs are painfully bound from behind on a small wooden chair for hours, at times days, air conditioners blasting cold air at them, intensifying their suffering – abusive torture by any standard, a flagrant international law violation.
In their cells between interrogation sessions, cold air is blasted at them again, their only covering a thin, dirty, at times damp blanket.
When ICRC representatives are permitted to visit Palestinian prisoners, they fail to report Israeli torture and ill-treatment.
Many prisoners suffer from untreated illnesses and diseases, some dying from their ordeal.
According to Shurafa, prisoners know what to expect. Most remain steadfast, Israeli prison authorities intensifying harsh treatment against them in response.
It’s unclear how Shurafa managed to get what he wrote outside his prison confines, enabling it to be published.
Throughout decades of occupation harshness, numerous accounts of Israeli brutality became well-known – the world community doing nothing to address it responsibly.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”