Posts Tagged ‘Mossad’

Israel / Palästina: Warum Arafat ermordet wurde

Samstag, Juli 7th, 2012

“Poisoning Arafat


By Uri Avnery

FOR ME, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.

It was a simple logical conclusion.

First, a thorough medical examination in the French military hospital where he died did not find any cause for his sudden collapse and death. No traces of any life-threatening disease were found.

The rumors distributed by the Israeli propaganda machine that Arafat had AIDS were blatant lies. They were a continuation of the rumors spread by the same machine that he was gay – all part of the relentless demonization of the Palestinian leader, which went on daily for decades.

When there is no obvious cause of death, there must be a less obvious one.

Second, we know by now that several secret services possess poisons that leave no routinely detectable trace. These include the CIA, the Russian FSB (successor of the KGB), and the Mossad.

Third, opportunities were plentiful. Arafat’s security arrangements were decidedly lax. He would embrace perfect strangers who presented themselves as sympathizers of the Palestinian cause and often seated them next to himself at meals.

Fourth, there were plenty of people who aimed at killing him and had the means to do so. The most obvious one was our prime minister, Ariel Sharon. He had even talked about Arafat having "no insurance policy" in 2004.

WHAT WAS previously a logical probability has now become a certainty.

An examination of his belongings commissioned by Aljazeera TV and conducted by a highly respected Swiss scientific institute has confirmed that Arafat was poisoned with Polonium, a deadly radioactive substance that avoids detection unless one specifically looks for it.

Two years after Arafat’s death, the Russian dissident and former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London by Russian agents using this poison. The cause was discovered by his doctors by accident. It took him three weeks to die.

Closer to home, in Amman, Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al was almost killed in 1997 by the Mossad, on orders of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The means was a poison that kills within days after coming into contact with the skin. The assassination was bungled and the victim’s life was saved when the Mossad was compelled, after an ultimatum from King Hussein, to provide an antidote in time.

If Arafat’s widow, Suha, succeeds in getting his body exhumed from the mausoleum in the Mukata’a in Ramallah, where it has become a national symbol, the poison will undoubtably be found in his body.

ARAFAT’S LACK of proper security arrangements always astonished me. Israeli Prime Ministers are tenfold better protected.

I remonstrated with him several times. He shrugged it off. In this respect, he was a fatalist. After his life was miraculously preserved when his airplane made a crash landing in the Libyan Desert and the people around him were killed, he was convinced that Allah was protecting him.

(Though the head of a secular movement with a clear secular program, he himself was an observant Sunni Muslim, praying at the proper times and abstaining from alcohol. He did not impose his piety on his assistants.)

Once he was interviewed in my presence in Ramallah. The journalists asked him if he expected to see the creation of the Palestinian state in his lifetime. His answer: “Both I and Uri Avnery will see it in our life.” He was quite sure of this.

ARIEL SHARON’S determination to kill Arafat was well known. Already during the siege of Beirut in Lebanon War I, it was no secret that agents were combing West Beirut for his whereabouts. To Sharon’s great frustration, they did not find him.

Even after Oslo, when Arafat came back to Palestine, Sharon did not let up. When he became Prime Minister, my fear for Arafat’s life became acute. When our army attacked Ramallah during “Operation Defensive Shield” they broke into Arafat’s compound (Mukata’a is Arabic for compound) and came within 10 meters of his rooms. I saw them with my own eyes.

Twice during the siege of many months my friends and I went to stay at the Mukata’a for several days to serve as a human shield. When Sharon was asked why he did not kill Arafat, he answered that the presence of Israelis there made it impossible.

However, I believe that this was only a pretext. It was the US that forbade it. The Americans feared, quite rightly, that an open assassination would cause the whole Arab and Muslim world to explode in anti-American fury. I cannot prove it, but I am sure that Sharon was told by Washington: “On no condition are you allowed to kill him in a way that can be traced to you. If you can do it without leaving a trace, go ahead.”

(Just as the US Secretary of State told Sharon in 1982 that on no condition was he allowed to attack Lebanon, unless there was a clear and internationally recognized provocation. Which was promptly provided.)

In an eerie coincidence, Sharon himself was felled by a stroke soon after Arafat’s death, and has lived in a coma ever since.)

THE DAY Aljazeera’s conclusions were published this week happened to be the 30th anniversary of my first meeting with Arafat, which for him was the first meeting with an Israeli.

It was at the height of the battle of Beirut. To get to him, I had to cross the lines of four belligerents – the Israeli army, the Christian Lebanese Phalange militia, the Lebanese army and the PLO forces.

I spoke with Arafat for two hours. There, in the middle of a war, when he could expect to find his death at any moment, we talked about Israeli-Palestinian peace, and even a federation of Israel and Palestine, perhaps to be joined by Jordan.

The meeting, which was announced by Arafat’s office, caused a worldwide sensation. My account of the conversation was published in several leading newspapers.

On my way home, I heard on the radio that four cabinet ministers were demanding that I be put on trial for treason. The government of Menachem Begin instructed the Attorney General to open a criminal investigation. However, after several weeks, the AG determined that I had not broken any law. (The law was duly changed soon afterwards.)

IN THE many meetings I held with Arafat since then, I became totally convinced that he was an effective and trustworthy partner for peace.

I slowly began to understand how this father of the modern Palestinian liberation movement, considered an arch-terrorist by Israel and the US, became the leader of the Palestinian peace effort. Few people in history have been privileged to lead two successive revolutions in their lifetime.

When Arafat started his work, Palestine had disappeared from the map and from world consciousness. By using the “armed struggle” (alias “terrorism”)’ he succeeded in putting Palestine back on the world’s agenda.

His change of orientation occurred right after the 1973 war. That war, it will be remembered, started with stunning Arab successes and ended with a rout of the Egyptian and Syrian armies. Arafat, an engineer by profession, drew the logical conclusion: if the Arabs could not win an armed confrontation even in such ideal circumstances, other means had to be found

His decision to start peace negotiations with Israel went totally against the grain of the Palestinian National Movement, which considered Israel as a foreign invader. It took Arafat a full 15 years to convince his own people to accept his line, using all his wiles, tactical deftness and powers of persuasion. In the 1988 meeting of the Palestinian parliament-in-exile, the National Council, his concept was adopted: a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel in part of the country. This state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and its borders based on the Green Line has been, since then, the fixed and unchangeable goal; the legacy of Arafat to his successors.

Not by accident, my contacts with Arafat, first indirectly through his assistants and then directly, started at the same time: 1974. I helped him to establish contact with the Israeli leadership, and especially with Yitzhak Rabin. This led to the 1993 Oslo agreement – which was killed by the assassination of Rabin.

When asked if he had an Israeli friend, Arafat named me. This was based on his belief that I had risked my life when I went to see him in Beirut. On my part, I was grateful for his trust in me when he met me there, at a time when hundreds of Sharon’s agents were looking for him.

But beyond personal considerations, Arafat was the man who was able to make peace with Israel, willing to do so, and – more important – to get his people, including the Islamists, to accept it. This would have put an end to the settlement enterprise.

That’s why he was poisoned.”


(Quelle: Gush Shalom.)

Siehe auch:

Did Israel Nuke Arafat?

Jordanien: Im Visier der CIA…

Montag, Mai 9th, 2011

A cautionary tale for Mideast peace

By David Ignatius

As Washington buzzes about yet another restart for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, I have been reading a book that summarizes the past 44 years of botched peacemaking, blown opportunities and, sometimes, sheer folly.

The book is a posthumous memoir by Jack O’Connell, a former CIA operative who was for many years King Hussein’s “case officer” in Jordan. Yes, you read that right: When O’Connell was station chief in Amman from 1963 to 1971, he dropped off monthly envelopes of cash at the palace as part of a long-running CIA covert action code-named “NOBEEF.”

O’Connell was one of the savviest Middle East hands I ever encountered. He was a burly guy from South Dakota who had gone to Notre Dame to play football. Like so many smart young people in the 1950s, he found his way to the CIA. He was soft-spoken and unfailingly polite, like the king, but O’Connell was as clear-eyed about the Middle East as any American I’ve known. (We first met at a conference in Britain in the late 1980s and talked occasionally after that.)

O’Connell first went to Amman in 1958 to help the king (then just 22) crack a coup plot uncovered by FBI wiretaps on the Jordanian Embassy in Washington. They got confessions from 22 conspirators — not by using the “enhanced interrogation techniques” of recent years but through prison interviews, deception and outright bluffs.

O’Connell became the young king’s closest adviser and sometimes the only person Hussein fully trusted. When O’Connell left as station chief, he became the king’s personal lawyer in Washington. He tells a lot of secrets here, especially about Hussein’s diplomatic machinations, but he took many more to the grave when he died last year.

I recommend “King’s Counsel” not just as a cautionary tale about peacemaking (to which I will return) but as a reminder of what the CIA is really all about. This week, we are so enamored of the CIA-led commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden that it’s easy to forget that a spy service exists primarily to collect intelligence, not to conduct paramilitary operations.

O’Connell was old-fashioned in that sense. He hated political “covert action” and the fancy Ivy Leaguers who ran it, whom he derided as “phony elitists.” He thought congressional oversight would never work and that the CIA had never recovered from the public flaying of the 1970s. Discretion was all: He had hundreds of pictures of Hussein, he notes, but not one of them together. O’Connell always stayed in the shadows.

What anguished O’Connell was watching Hussein struggle in vain for four decades to recover the West Bank from Israel. The sorry tale began with the king’s foolish decision to ally with Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser on the eve of the June 1967 war, which gave the Israelis a reason to attack. O’Connell warned the king that Israel would strike, and the king passed the intelligence to Nasser. But they were too infatuated with Arab propaganda to take the warning seriously. The king also had advance warning of the 1973 war, again for naught.

The bungles continue, year to year: Hussein allows the PLO to put down deep roots in Jordan and is repaid with a civil war in 1970 that nearly topples him; he charms a string of Israeli prime ministers in secret meetings, who want peace with him but balk at returning territory; he tries to placate Arab radicals, most disastrously by allying with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein on the eve of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait; he beseeches U.S. presidents to help him recover territory, but they never deliver. The diminutive monarch is like Charlie Brown kicking the football, making a brave run each time only to see Lucy pull it away.

At the king’s funeral in 1999, O’Connell met Efraim Halevy, a former Mossad chief who was also, in his way, Hussein’s case officer. “You had a leader here with his hand out,” he bluntly tells Halevy. “I think you blew it.” Reading this book, it’s hard to disagree with that judgment.

What’s the lesson of O’Connell’s memoir for today, when President Obama is contemplating a speech soon laying out one more American peace plan? Simply this: Don’t play games. State the U.S. parameters for negotiation as clearly and unambiguously as possible. The heart of this deal is the same as it was in 1967: An exchange of occupied territory in return for a just peace that recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Get it done this time, or don’t try.


(Quelle: Washington Post.)

Irland: Keine Daten von EU-BürgerInnen für Israel(s Mossad)

Montag, Juli 12th, 2010

“Ireland seeks to block Israel access to data on EU citizens

Irish government retaliates over use of forged Irish passports by alleged Mossad spies in Dubai assassination.

By Ora Coren

Ireland is seeking to stop a European Union initiative that would enable Israel to receive sensitive information about European citizens, due to concerns about the use that Israel would make of this information, the Irish minister for justice said over the weekend.

In what may be another blow to Israel’s international status, Dermott Ahern said that since Israel allegedly used forged Irish passports to carry out the hit on Hamas official Mohammed al-Mabhouh in Dubai, Israel should not be allowed access to this data. Israel has not admitted to a role in the assassination.

Under a plan put forward at the beginning of the year, the European organizations for protecting individuals’ privacy agreed that Israeli companies and European companies should be able to exchange information about customers.

For example, this would mean that an Israeli customer of a local cell phone company, say, Pelephone, would be able to use his phone to connect to the Internet, say, in Italy, and the Italian telecom would be able to receive his personal data from Pelephone and charge his account accordingly. The same would be true for people with European cell phones in Israel who wanted to use Israeli networks.

In addition, multinational corporations would be able to entrust Israeli companies to secure their databases, and the data could be stored on servers in Israel. Plus, information about employees could be passed freely between European and Israeli branches of the same company.

In agreeing to grant this access, the EU authorities decided that Israel had proper information protection systems in place.

However, the plan still needs to be ratified by the government of each individual EU member country before it can take force.

Beyond easing companies’ operations, the plan is also intended to make it easier for the authorities to catch cases of money laundering.

Currently, passing data between Israel and Europe is dependent on explicit contracts, which fund many a lawyer’s income. The initiative would do away with one of the last remaining trade barriers with Europe.”


(Quelle: Haaretz.)

Siehe auch:

Ireland objects to EU-Israel data deal

BRD: Also, diese Sache mit Eichmann…

Donnerstag, Juli 1st, 2010

Nazivergangenheit unter Verschluss

Berliner Kanzleramt verweigert Freigabe von Eichmann-Akten. Ehemalige Fluchthelfer im BND werden geschützt. Kritik von Bundesverwaltungsgericht

Von Harald Neuber


Hätten zwischen beiden Terminen nicht nur wenige Wochen gelegen – kaum jemand könnte auf böse Gedanken kommen. Mitte März berichtete die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in einem ausführlichen Autorenbeitrag über die Beschäftigung von Nazis im westdeutschen Geheimdienst nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Die Akten über die Anwerbung von faschistischen Kriegsverbrechern in der "Organisation Gehlen", aus der 1956 der Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) hervorging, wurden einst unter Verschluss gehalten, beschrieb FAZ-Redakteur Peter Carstens in seinem Artikel über die "Organisationseinheit 85", die Nazis im Dienst nachspürte – ohne dass dies personelle Folgen hatte.

Nun endlich wolle der amtierende BND-Chef Ernst Uhrlau diese Akten der Öffentlichkeit zugängig machen. Die Dokumente könne auf Antrag einsehen, "wer Forschungs- oder journalistisches Interesse nachweist", bestätigte auch die Frankfurter Rundschau.

Wie selektiv der BND dennoch mit seiner Nazivergangenheit umgeht, merkte Gaby Weber nur wenige Wochen später. Die Journalistin befasst sich von Deutschland und Argentinien aus seit Jahren mit der "Rattenlinie", der Flucht unzähliger Hitlerfaschisten nach Südamerika. Ein besonders heikler Fall ist der von Adolf Eichmann. Der hochrangige SS-Mann war im "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" maßgeblich für die Organisation der Judenvernichtung zuständig. Nach 1945 flüchtete er mit Hilfe der katholischen Kirche nach Argentinien, wo er unter anderem für Daimler-Benz arbeitete.

Schon Mitte 2006 gab der Journalist Scott Shane in der New York Times unter Berufung auf CIA-Akten bekannt, dass der westdeutsche Geheimdienst den US-Kollegen bereits 1958 von dem Verbleib Eichmanns in Argentinien berichtete. Tätig wurde keiner der beiden Dienste. Der offiziellen Version zufolge wurde Eichmann 1960 von einem Kommando des israelischen Mossads in Buenos Aires festgenommen und nach Tel Aviv verbracht. 1962 wurde der Organisator des Holocausts dort nach einem Gerichtsverfahren hingerichtet.

Weber will den Fall nun aufarbeiten. Wenn die westlichen Dienste schon Ende der 1950er Jahre von dem Verbleib des Naziverbrechers wussten, wer hat ihn dann gedeckt? Weber fragte nach den Eichmann-Akten an. Über 3.000 Unterlagen finden sich in den Archiven, erfuhr sie aus dem Hause Uhrlaus. Danach aber herrschte Schweigen. Die Dossiers seien geheim, teilt man ihr in Pullach mit. Später erließ das Bundeskanzleramt von Angela Merkel als oberste Aufsichtsbehörde des Geheimdienstes eine pauschale Sperrerklärung über die Bestände. Zuviel Offenheit war doch nicht gewünscht (Bundeskanzleramt sperrt Eichmann-Akte des BND). Doch Weber klagte gegen den Sperrentscheid.

Dass der politische Wunsch der in Berlin amtierenden rechtsliberalen Regierung mit dem Rechtsstaat nicht immer im Einklang steht, stellte Ende April das Bundesverwaltungsgericht fest. Es könne nicht einfach erklärt werden, dass die Offenlegung von Archivunterlagen "über abgeschlossene Vorgänge der Zeitgeschichte dem Wohl des Bundes Nachteile bereiten würde", stellten die Richter fest. Dies hatte das Kanzleramt behauptet. Das Gericht verlangte im Falle einer Verweigerung der Aktenherausgabe eine "nachvollziehbare und verständliche Darlegung". Dabei müsse auch die verstrichene Zeit beachtet werden. Das Berliner Amt hatte zuvor schließlich auch mit Informantenschutz argumentiert. Dabei ist es unwahrscheinlich, dass die Akteure noch leben oder dass ihnen, wenn dies der Fall sein sollte, ein Nachteil entsteht. Wahrscheinlicher ist, dass die politische Kontinuität vom Naziregime in die Berliner Republik weiterhin gedeckelt werden soll.

In ihrem Kampf um Aufklärung bekommt Gaby Weber nun Hilfe von politischer Seite. Der Bundestagsabgeordnete der Linkspartei Jan Korte forderte die Bundesregierung im Nachgang zum Urteil des Bundesverwaltungsgerichtes auf, "sowohl die BND-Akten zum Fall Eichmann vollständig freizugeben, als auch die NS-Verstrickung des BND-Personals wissenschaftlich aufzuarbeiten". Auch in anderen Bundestagsfraktionen ist man auf den Fall aufmerksam geworden.

Doch ist man in Merkels Kanzleramt zu einem Umdenken bereit? Nach Ablauf der Zwei-Wochen-Frist des Gerichtes war weder bei dem Berliner Rechtsanwalt Remo Klinger noch bei seiner Mandantin Gaby Weber eine Reaktion eingegangen. Dann beantragte der BND eine Fristverlängerung bis Ende August. "Wir gehen dennoch davon aus, dass die meisten Akten nun freigegeben werden", sagte Klinger auf Nachfrage. Wenn das Kanzleramt aber auf die Idee komme, eine neue Sperrerklärung abzugeben, dann werde man eben erneut klagen. "Ich kann mir aber nicht vorstellen, dass eine so dumme Entscheidung tatsächlich getroffen wird", sagte Klinger.

Inzwischen sei ja bekannt, dass die CIA Ende der 1950er Jahre vom Aufenthaltsort wusste, sagt Weber. Dass sie der Frankfurter Staatsanwaltschaft, die Haftbefehl gegen ihn erlassen hatte, davon kein Wort gesagt hat, sei natürlich peinlich. "Noch peinlicher ist es aber, wenn die Bundesregierung dieses Material nach 50 bis 60 Jahren immer noch geheim hält", so Weber weiter. Gegenüber diesem Umgang mit historischen Materialien müssten Journalisten entschiedener vorgehen, so ihr Wunsch.

(Quelle: Telepolis.)


Siehe auch:

Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) – Adolf Eichmann


Israel: Danke, Deutschland! Atom-U-Boote jetzt im Persischen Golf

Sonntag, Mai 30th, 2010

“Report: Israel to deploy nuclear submarines off Iran coast

Sunday Times quotes IDF official saying the 3 German-made long range submarines will gather intelligence, act as deterrent and potentially land Mossad agents

By Haaretz Service

Israel is to deploy three submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

According to the Times report, one submarine had been sent over Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, and in the possession of Syria and Hezbollah, could be used to hit strategic sites within Israel, such as air bases and missile launchers.

Dolphin, Tekuma, and Leviathan, all German-made Dolphin class submarines of the 7th navy Flotilla, have been reported as frequenting the Gulf in the past, however, according to the Sunday Times report, this new deployment is meant to ensure a permanent naval presence near the Iranian coastline.

A flotilla officer told the Times that the deployed submarines were meant to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents.

‘We’re a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place,’ the officer said.

The flotilla’s commander, identified only as ‘Colonel O,’ was quoted by the Times as saying that the submarine force was ‘an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.’

The submarines could be used if Iran continues its program to produce a nuclear bomb. ‘The 1,500km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,’ a navy officer told the Times.

Apparently responding to the reported Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral told the Times: ‘Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.’

Last July, defense sources reported that an Israeli submarine had sailed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea last month, describing the unusual maneuver as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran.

Israel has long kept its three Dolphin-class submarines, which are widely assumed to carry nuclear missiles, away from Suez so as not to expose them to the gaze of Egyptian harbormasters.”

(Quelle: Haaretz.)

Israel: Menschenrechtsaktivist gefoltert?

Freitag, Mai 28th, 2010

“Arab activist accused of spying on Israel

Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent

NAZARETH, ISRAEL // A leading human rights activist from Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority was charged yesterday with the most serious security offences on Israel’s statute book, including espionage.

Prosecutors indicted Ameer Makhoul, the head of Ittijah, an umbrella organisation for Arab human rights groups in Israel, with spying on security facilities on behalf of Hizbollah after an alleged meeting with one of its agents in Denmark in 2008.

Mr Makhoul, who had been held incommunicado by Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, for much of the time since his arrest three weeks ago, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty.

In his first public statement, he told the court: ‘The Shin Bet controls the Israeli justice system.’

As a gag order was lifted on the case, his lawyers said Mr Makhoul had been tortured during his detention, including being told by interrogators that they would leave him ‘disabled’. The three lawyers said he had been forced to make a false confession, which they would argue was inadmissible.

Mr Makhoul’s arrest had angered many in Israel’s Palestinian minority, nearly a fifth of the population, who suspect he is being persecuted for his leading role in promoting internationally the boycott movement against Israel and his prominent opposition to Israel’s attack on Gaza nearly 18 months ago.

He has been backed by human rights groups abroad, including Amnesty International, which declared him a prisoner of conscience and accused Israel of ‘pure harassment’.

Mr Makhoul’s brother, Issam, a former MP for a joint Jewish-Arab party, told Israel Radio yesterday that Mr Makhoul had been threatened by the Shin Bet back in January 2009, shortly after he organised protests against the Gaza attack. The Shin Bet had told him that they would frame him and ‘make him disappear’, Issam Makhoul said.

Mr Makhoul’s wife, Janan, who saw her husband in court for the first time since he had been arrested, said he was in constant pain and had impaired vision. She added: ‘He is very exhausted and he told me about the torture he underwent in his interrogation. Thirty-six hours without sleep tied to a chair stuck to the floor.’

Mr Makhoul, 52, is charged with assistance to the enemy in a time of war, conspiracy to assist an enemy, aggravated espionage and contact with a foreign agent. According to the indictment, he passed on ‘strategic intelligence’ to Hizbollah agents on at least 10 occasions via encrypted e-mails.

Mr Makhoul is alleged to have provided details of the locations of two Shin Bet facilities, a Mossad office, a military base and a Rafael armaments factory, as well as trying unsuccessfully to gather information on the security arrangements of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister.

A senior Shin Bet officer told the liberal Haaretz newspaper: ‘Part of the information that Makhoul transferred could be delivered by anyone with a pair of eyes and Google Earth [a computer program providing satellite images]. But Mr Makhoul, as an Israeli Arab, has freedom of movement and access across Israel.’

Prosecutors also accused him of passing on the names of six Israelis as potential spies and providing analysis of trends in Israeli politics and society.

Hizbollah, prosecutors suggested, was especially keen to learn about its success in hitting Israeli security installations with rockets during the summer war in 2006.

In a related case, Omar Said, 50, a pharmacologist and political activist, was charged yesterday in a Nazareth court with contacting and transferring information to Hizbollah after meeting an agent in the Sinai resort of Sharm El Sheikh. He denied the allegations and said he too had been forced into making a confession.

Hassan Jaja, a Lebanese businessman living in Jordan, is alleged to have initiated contacts between Hizbollah and Mr Said and Mr Makhoul.

The Adalah legal centre, which represents Mr Makhoul, said his indictment was based on a confession extracted during nearly two weeks in which he was denied a lawyer, kept in a small isolation cell, deprived of sleep and food, and shackled in a painful position to a small chair.

The combination of methods, known in Hebrew as the ‘Shabeh’, created high levels of mental stress and acute, continuous physical pain, said Abir Baker, a lawyer with Adalah.

The interrogation method violates international law and was banned by Israel’s supreme court in 1999.

Issam Makhoul said the family was concerned that the court had denied his lawyers the right to see a medical report from a state physician who visited him twice during his interrogation.

Ms Baker said recent amendments to Israel’s security laws had given the Shin Bet ‘dangerous powers’ to deny suspects the right to see a lawyer for up to 21 days, with limited judicial oversight.

She said, during periods when suspects could not see a lawyer, interrogators were more likely to use illegal torture methods.

A report by The National in January 2009 supports Issam Makhoul’s claim that his brother was threatened in an earlier Shin Bet interrogation. Mr Makhoul told the newspaper at the time that a Shin Bet officer ‘called me a rebel threatening the security of the state during time of war and said he would be happy to transfer me to Gaza’.

Mr Makhoul’s case, said Mohammed Zeidan, head of the Human Rights Association in Nazareth, had left everyone in Israel’s human rights community ‘afraid’. ‘The Shin Bet wanted to take him out of the game and they have succeeded,’ he said. ‘Amir has been disappeared.’

On Wednesday, in a related development, the parliament passed the first reading of a ‘loyalty bill’, introduced by the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, that would strip anyone found guilty of espionage of their citizenship.”

(Quelle: The National.)

Siehe auch:

Israel Must End Detention of Human Rights Defender Ameer Makhoul and Cease Harassment of Organizations