Translated by, Saed Bannoura, IMEMC

Palestinian detainees in Israel detention camps tell horrible stories of violations and assaults they are subjected to in Israeli detention camps, above all, what makes this issue worse, is some soldiers from the Druze population in Israel, who are partaking in these violations.

The detainees complained in an open appeal, about Druze soldiers who “made themselves a cheep tools in the hands of the army” according to the letter, and conducted several assaults and abuses against the detainees especially in the past six months.

“They don’t treat us like humans”, the detainees said, “they continuously conduct provocative acts against us, insult us, and curse our families and mothers by describing them with immoral words, there main target, as it seems is to degrade use, and our humanity, despite our requests to them to step aside, they are the ones conducting violations against us, they are not Jews…not Israelis…unfortunately they are Druze, the Israeli security always tried to create problems against us, we despite our great respect to the Druze people, and their struggles, unfortunately are continuously abused by Druze soldiers serving in the Israeli army”, the detainees said.

The detainees added that they aren’t complaining in order to create problems between the Arabs and Druze population, but as a result of the escalating assaults conducted by Druze soldiers, especially in Shatta detention camp.

Druze soldiers are responsible of guarding the detention camp, and they are “proud of ignoring their Arab identity, one of the detainees who called himself, S. M, said,

“When I arrived to Shatta detention camp, after six months of interrogation, I was led by three jailors, to a room where I was forced to take my clothes off, and then, one of then spoke to me in his Druze accent, and said ‘do you know who were are?, we are the Druze soldiers, we don’t belong to the Arab nation, then he assaulted be, and hit me along with other Druze soldiers and ripped my clothes off without any reason, and when they sent me to the cell, they told me in a threatening manner, ‘if we hear you describing us as Arabs again, or as Palestinians, we will kill you, we are soldiers in the [Israeli defense Army], out duty is to punish you, because you are terrorists and deserve to die, you should be thankful to the state of Israel for not killing you, yet”.

The detainees said that most of the guards and Jailors in Shatta detention camp are Druze, “they carry clear Arab names and faces, they are proud to be Druze and working in the Army”, detainee B.S, said.

The assaults conducted by Druze soldiers are also conducted against religious aspects, they try to forbid group prayers, and place in solitary the detainees who lead the prayers and speeches following them.

Lawyer Jalal Abu Wasel, representing Sheikh Sharif Tahaineh, said that the detainees in Shatta are isolated, deprived of all their rights, as a result of the Druze assaults and violations against them, they also lack the basic materials needed in their daily life.

Abu wasel added, the Druze soldiers continuously assault and beat the detainees especially while retransferring them to court, they continuously conduct searches and destroy the belonging of the detainees.

Meanwhile, naked body searches became a daily event; detainees are forced to undress in front of each other, and if they refuse, they are severely punished.

Another detainee who referred to himself as Kh. G., said that Druze soldiers attempted to rape him, after he was brought back from court, placed him in a small room and touched him in sensitive parts of his body, and made fun of him after threatening to rape him and film the rape.

Detainee H. G, said that he was handcuffed, and undressed in front of other detainees, then was threatened to be raped in front of them, later on, soldiers forced all the detainees in to undress and tried to assault them, but the detainees resisted and violently replied to these humiliations.

Same images and incidents are repeated in Al-Jalama, Hadarim and Asqalan detentions, The Palestinian Prisoner Society, said that several under-aged detainees were abused, and faced several rape attempts, they were undressed and violated, and several times were threatened to be raped if they don’t confess.

The detainees appealed the sheikhs of the Druze population to interfere and bring an end to these violations. They addressed the Druze sheikhs to tell the Druze soldiers that they should quit working with the army, and stop the violation,

“You are a nation which gave and scarified a lot throughout history, we appeal you to stop them and stop their violations”

“We are here, behind bars, facing hunger, violations and continuous assaults, we scarified our lives, money and children from the liberation of our country, but what the Druze soldiers are doing is degrading your reputation, we appeal your honor and dignity because we know that you aren’t pleased with what they are doing to us”

Meanwhile, the detainees addressed the Arab Druze Women, to move against these violations which also degrade them, and degrade the well known and well respected honor of the Druze nation.

“We appeal you to do what honor and respect implies, you should pressure you youth to quit serving in the occupying army, and stop the immoral violations, we refuse to transfer the struggle against the occupation into a struggle and fights against the Druze people”

At the end of the letter, the detainees appealed the lawyers, and Arab member of the Knesset, to take a close look at the situation and violations, and stop these violation conducted by Druze soldiers who are part of the Arab nation,

“We appeal you to help us, to visit us and observe what is really going on here, we send you our words mixed with blood and tears, hoping that your faithful hearts will listen to us and help us, and our struggle is against the occupation, which is our first and only enemy”