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Jerusalem 3239/Section 1

PAGE 01 JERUSA 03239 01 OF 07 010259Z RELEASED IN FULL
ACTION SS-25

INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SSO-00 /026 W
037624 010303Z /62

R 301108Z NOV 78
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2236
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV

SECRET SECTION 1 OF 7 JERUSALEM 3239 DECAPTIONED

STADIS/////////////////////////////

EXDIS

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: PINT, SHUM, CVIS, IS, JO

SUBJECT: TREATMENT OF SECURITY SUSPECTS ON WEST BANK

REF: (A) JERUSALEM 1500, (B) JERUSALEM A-13, (C) JERUSALEM A-19

1. THE FOLLOWING REPORT PREPARED BY VISA OFFICER ALEXANDRA JOHNSON IS BASED ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO THE QUESTION OF MISTREATMENT OF ARAB SECURITY SUSPECTS ARRESTED BY ISRAELI MILITARY AUTHORITIES IN THE WEST BANK. THE THOROUGH AND PAINSTAKING RESEARCH AND WRITE-UP CONDUCTED IN PART ON THE OFFICER'S OWN TIME) IS LARGELY BASED ON HER QUESTIONING OF FORMER SECUTIY [sic] PRISONERS WHO, SOMETIME AFTER THEIR RELEASE, HAVE APPLIED FOR VISAS TO THE UNITED STATES. IN THE COURSE OF MS. JOHN'S [sic] OBLIGATORY INQUIRY INTO THE REASONS FOR THEIR SECURITY CONVICTIONS, SHE WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN MOST OF THE BASIC DATA FOR THIS REPORT.

2. ALTHOUGH THE POST DOES NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH ALL OF THE DEDUCTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT, THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE POINTS TO THE VALIDITY OF HER GENERAL

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CONCLUSION THAT PHYSICAL MISTREATMENT IS SYSTEMATICALLY USED ON MANY ARAB SECURITY SUSPECTS INTERROGATED IN THE WEST BANK. THIS MISTREATMENT IS USED TO OBTAIN A CONFESSION TO SECURITY OFFENSES AND TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON OTHER PALESTINIANS WHO

MAY ALSO BE INVOLVED IN SECURITY OFFENSES. THE NUMBER OF CASES AND THE CONTENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL STORIES REVEAL A CERTAIN CONSISTENCY. OF COURSE, THE POST CANNOT CORROBORATE FIRSTHAND THE STORIES OF THE PERSONS WHO TALKED TO MS. JOHNSON. HOWEVER, THIS [is] A PROBLEM GENERAL IN HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING.

3. THE POST FULLY UNDERSTANDS ISRAEL'S LEGITIMATE CONCERN OVER SECURITY ON THE WEST BANK AND ACCEPTS THE PREMISE THAT A MILITARY OCCUPATION REGIME MAY NECESSARILY SUPERCEDE [sic] THE BASIC CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS WHICH ARE EXPECTED IN A FREE DEMOCRATIC STATE LIVING IN A STATE OF PEACE. NEVERTHLESS, SERIOUS MISTREATMENT OF PRISONERS IS A CAUSE OF HUM [sic] RIGHTS CONCERN TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WHENEVER IT OCCURS. IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM THE RESEARCH OF MS. JOHNSON THAT, BY ANY US OR WESTERN STANDAR [sic] OF POLICE PRACTICE AND INTERROGATION, ISRAELI PRACTICES ON THE WEST BANK GO BEYOND ACCEPTABLE CIVILIAN NORMS.

5. RELATIVE TO TREATMENT OF SECURITY SUSPECTS IN NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, WE ARE, OF COURSE, NOT ABLE FULLY TO JUDGE BUT SUSPECT THAT ISRAELI ACTIONS ARE NO WORSE THAT WHAT MIGHT BE APPLIED TO, FOR EXAMPLE, AN ISRAELI SECURITY SUSPECT IN JORDAN, SYRIA OR EVEN EGYPT. SUCH JUDGMENTS, HOWEVER, ARE BEYOND OUR KEN AND IN ANY EVENT, NOT EXPECTED OF US. WE MENTION THIS TO ATTEMPT TO APPLY A PERSPECTIVE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY SEE.

6. MATERIAL IN THE SECTION OF THE REPORT BY MS. JOHNSON

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REGARDING USE OF COERCED CONFESSIONS AS THE SOLE MEANS OF CONVICTION ON SECURITY OFFENSES IS CORROBORATED BY JERUSALEM A-19. IN JERUSALEM A-19, TWO OTHER CONSULAR OFFICERS AT THE POST OBSERVED THE DISREGARD BY AN ISRAELI MILITARY JUDGE OF A REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF CHARGES THAT THECONFESSIONS [sic] WERE OBTAINED UNDER COERCION. OUR OFFICERS IN THAT CASE REPORTED THAT THE JUDGE DID NOT SERIOUSLY INVESTIGATE THE CHARGES AND THAT HE CONSIDERED THE ISSUE OF ALLEGED COERCION AND MISTREATMENT TO BE IRRELEVANT.

7. THE POST BELIEVES THAT CONTENTS OF THIS CABLE ALONG WITH REFERENCES SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN PREPARING FOR CONGRESS THE REQUIRED ANNUAL HUMAN RIGHTS SECTION ON ISRAEL.

8. BEGIN TEXT OF REPORT:

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).