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Sunday, March 31, 2013

How Britain's MI6 helps the 'Palestinian Authority' torment suspects

It's widely known here that the 'Palestinian Authority' arrests and tortures 'Palestinians.' But until now, no one who was part of the torture apparatus had admitted it. Now, a former 'Palestinian Authority' officer has admitted that the 'Palestinian Authority' does what we always thought that they do. In a lengthy expose in London's Daily Mail, he describes and attempts to justify what's been done. And Britain, along with the Untied States and the European Union, is paying for it (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
Nowadays, he adds, the preferred method is termed ‘shabeh’ – the hooding and tying of the prisoner in a variety of agonising positions for up to eight hours. He does not elaborate on the details, but claims: ‘It works with 95 per cent of the subjects.’ It also takes considerable skill: ‘You have to deal with it as if you were playing a guitar. Each case has its own speciality.’

This extraordinary interview is the first admission by a former perpetrator of the widespread torture of Palestinians – not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Authority (PA) which governs the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

It was given to me last week in a dusty Palestinian city. Across the table was a well-dressed, middle-aged family man with an infectious smile – a former PA official.

He spoke only on the strictest condition of anonymity as he feared becoming a torture victim himself should his identity become public. But he wanted to speak out because he was sure that the ends – a Palestinian state and the defeat of extremism – justify the means.

But perhaps the most shocking revelation is that torture sessions still being perpetrated by his former colleagues are financed with Britain’s help. Our taxpayers give £33 million direct to the PA, while £53 million is donated by Britain for various aid projects – more UK aid per head than we give any other nation.

Then again, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, which has officers based in Jerusalem, works closely with the Palestinian agencies that carry out the torture, seeing them as sources of valuable intelligence.

The UK also provides and pays for the training of middle and senior ranking officers from every PA security agency, including the General Intelligence Service or Mukhabarat, the Preventive Security Organisation, Military Intelligence and the ordinary police force. Ironically, the training includes courses on the need to respect human rights and the rule of law.

Yes, the British are very interested in human rights,’ adds the Palestinian security man.

‘They say, “We can’t convince British taxpayers [to continue to fund the PA] if you violate them.” So we do our best. But it happens.’

Just what ‘it’ means was described by a very recent victim, a professional man in his 40s who was freed without charge two weeks ago after more than a month in Mukhabarat detention.

‘For most of the time I was held, they gave me shabeh every day,’ he says. ‘Always I was hooded, and sometimes they tied my arms in front of me and attached me to the wall, leaving me like that for long, long hours, on tiptoes. You have pain in the arms, in the legs and in the body, and swelling in your muscles. Often I could also hear screaming from the prisoners.

‘But it was worse when they suspended me with my arms tied behind me. Your body is curved, like a banana. Most of the time they do not let your feet touch the ground.’ He showed me his arms and hands – they were still puffy and swollen. ‘During the shabeh, they looked much worse,’ he added.

In another variant, the suspect was hog-tied – laid on his back on top of a chair with his wrists and ankles lashed together beneath the seat. Usually the torture happened at night: ‘When you’re exhausted, they take you back to your cell.’


It’s not just Britain that keeps the PA running – the US and EU are also major contributors to a £800 million a year aid package (15 per cent of the EU’s donation of £133 million comes from UK taxpayers).

The reason why a territory with fewer than 2.5 million inhabitants gets so much money is political. The Israel-Palestinian peace process has produced no sign of a breakthrough for the past 20 years, but the international community believes the only way to create a Palestinian state is to build on the PA, which is also Israel’s negotiating partner.

But with about a third of the PA budget being spent on its security agencies, the consequence of Western generosity has been the creation of a police state.


British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean, who leads Britain’s diplomatic mission to the PA, has raised concerns with President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad. But there have been no warnings that if the situation does not improve the flow of cash will stop.

Mohammed Jamil, head of the UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights, which has published several reports on PA abuse, said such visits were futile. ‘They have been going for years, but nothing has changed. Britain has the power to stop the torture, but it will require much tougher action,’ he said.

The ICHR’s Ms Siniora added: ‘There is no doubt things are getting worse. Last year, we inspected one prison where there was clear evidence of shabeh – we saw the hooks on the walls. But as our 2012 report will say when it is published, not one of the cases of torture that came to light has been properly investigated.

‘There is no accountability. There is a culture of impunity – there has not been a single case of an official involved in torture being prosecuted.’

On Wednesday, she added, she was visited by a senior British official from Jerusalem. ‘I told him, “You are supporting the security agencies and you are training them. You have a very big responsibility for ensuring that your taxpayers’ money is not spent on torture.” ’

But PA torture does not often make UK headlines. And liaisons are close between MI6 and the Mukhabarat, the very agency responsible for the worst abuse.
This is nothing compared with what they would do to Jews if God forbid they are ever given the opportunity. And you wonder why we don't want them to set up their reichlet on our borders?

Read the whole thing.

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