Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

A victim of Palestinian torture speaks out


I met a young man the other day in Hebron, a bustling Palestinian city on many hills, half an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. He was pleasant, a little shy, a bit embarrassed at the fuss of inviting a foreign journalist into the modest apartment he shares with his wife and son.

We drank tea. He talked about how Hamas once tried to recruit him as a suicide bomber and how Israelis put him in jail for more than two years. Then he began to frown more, blinking through his glasses, and rubbing his aching joints.

He spoke about being bundled out of his home in the middle of the night, of being blindfolded and beaten and made to hang for hours from his arms with his wrists tied behind his back. This didn’t happen in an Israeli prison. This, he said, was the work of fellow Palestinians, part of a force deployed in recent weeks by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city, which has long been a stronghold for Islamists.

Among the tasks for Abbas’s security forces is ensuring that Hamas does not challenge the president’s authority in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in the way that it did in the Gaza Strip last year, when the Islamists who had formed the Palestinian government following a 2006 parliamentary election victory, routed Abbas’s forces and took full control of the coastal enclave.