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PA: Israel raided thousands of homes in October

Nov. 6, 2010 10:31 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2010 5:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainees' Affairs said Israeli forces detained 403 Palestinians and raided 2148 homes across the West Bank during October.

In a report released Saturday, the ministry said Israeli soldiers intimidated and assaulted residents, destroying the contents of homes during the raids.

Of those detained, 95 percent had been assaulted in front of their families and were beaten en route to detention centers in Israeli military jeeps.

Among those detained, 130 were minors. Most of the minors detained were from Hebron and Jerusalem, the ministry said, adding that they were mostly sentenced to between one and six months, and ordered to pay large fines.

Sixty children from Jerusalem and one child from Hebron were placed under house arrest. In cases where a child broke the conditions of house arrest, a family member was arrested, the report said.

Most detainees were interrogated in Israeli settlements before they were transferred to official detention centers. The ministry documented 50 cases of raids inside the prisons. Under the pretext of searching for cell phones, guards used tear gas and sticks to beat prisoners and destroyed their personal belongings, the ministry said.

Israeli rights groups say Palestinians tortured in Israeli detention

On Tuesday, two Israeli rights groups released a report accusing Israel of "state sanctioned ill-treatment of interrogees" in at least one detention facility in Petah Tikva, in central Israel.

According to the joint B'Tselem and HaMoked report, testimonies from 121 detainees "indicate a clear pattern of activity by the authorities," which "constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment."

According to the collected testimony, "violations include cruel detention conditions in sealed cells, in isolation and disgraceful hygienic conditions, continuous cuffing of detainees’ hands in the interrogation room in a way that makes it impossible for them to move, sleep deprivation, and other methods that harm the detainees physically and mentally.

The report noted that "the use of any one of these means, certainly their combined use, constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and in some instances, torture. All are strictly forbidden under international law and Israeli law."

Further, the groups said testimonies suggested that children were treated no differently than adults by soldiers and detention center authorities, despite their legal status as minors.
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