By now, the scenario is down pat. Israel’s Mukhabarat, the Shabak barges into an Israeli Palestinian home in the dead of night with shouts and the brandishing of guns. Children are petrified, spouses as well. They trample through a home, confiscate every electronic device in sight including the children’s and haul off a man to a secret cell somewhere in Israel’s version of Lyubyanka or Evin Prison. There the prisoner/victim is detained incommunicado under terrorism/espionage charges. He’s interrogated for hours on end, deprived of sleep, shouted and screamed at. Names, places and dates are demanded. He’s tied to a chair. He doesn’t even bother to ask for a lawyer. If he did they’d laugh or spit in his face. Lawyer? What does he think this is? The new Egypt?
In most countries it’s called torture. In Israel it’s SOP for Israeli Palestinian victims of the police state. The latest victim, according to an Israeli source, is Muhammad Danef, born in 1968, making him 42 years old. [UPDATE: Four other Palestinians were arrested with him. When I have more information I’ll update this. UPDATE I: I now have the names of two other detainees: Muhamad Bandayan, age 27 and Iyad Tubaba, age 36. They are Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and being held in a Shabak facility or prison outside Jerusalem. UPDATE II: The remaining two detainees are from Sachnin. They are Samir Hubeiza, b. 1962 (49) and Ashraf El-Baladi, b. 1995 – he is a minor (16). They are being detained in a Shabak location near Haifa.]
The way I view these cases is just like a child-kidnapping. If you can expose the case early, you may be able to stop the abuse and guarantee a few minimal rights to the accused a bit earlier in the process.
So I call on any Israeli who has any information about this arrest to help me expose it so that this man’s basic civil rights are, if not guaranteed, or at least accorded to him in a minimal fashion. If you are an Israeli journalist, please inquire of the Shabak about this man so that he is no long a nameless member of the disappeared prisoner class. This man has a name and a family and a history and a community. Let’s restore some semblance of dignity to him.
Muhammad Danef, whoever and whereever you are and whatever you have done–there are those who care about you and demand you be accorded basic human rights. Shabak–stop the torture, give this man a name. Give this man access to his attorney. Give this man his rights.