U.S. raises remedy of imprisoned Palestinan chief Barghouti with Israel | EUROtoday

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The United States and governments within the Middle East have raised the remedy of Marwan Barghouti, probably the most outstanding Palestinian political figures imprisoned by Israel, with the Israeli authorities following allegations from his household and others that he has been bodily and psychologically mistreated because the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults.

Barghouti has been imprisoned for greater than 20 years, and was convicted of homicide in 2004. A pacesetter of the second intifada, Barghouti, now 64, acquired 5 life sentences, and Israeli officers mentioned he was a terrorist who ordered suicide bombings towards civilian targets. Barghouti, who mentioned in courtroom he had no connection to the assaults, is being held within the Megiddo Prison, a maximum-security facility.

Securing Barghouti’s launch is a well-liked trigger amongst Palestinians who see him as a attainable successor to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas. Barghouti has been close to the highest of Hamas’s listing of prisoners it desires Israel to launch in alternate for Israeli hostages held in Gaza, in keeping with two Middle Eastern officers who’re aware of the negotiations to safe the discharge of hostages and a cease-fire. The officers spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate diplomacy.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Barghouti’s son, Arab, who relies within the West Bank, mentioned that after Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked southern Israel and killed about 1,200 Israelis, his father was bodily assaulted, positioned in solitary confinement in darkness for 12 days, and the Israeli nationwide anthem was pumped into his cell “at a very high volume, from around 5 a.m. until midnight, for many days.”

A lawyer who met with Barghouti this week mentioned in a written report back to the Barghouti household that he noticed bruising over his proper eye and that Barghouti confirmed him bruising on his again and proper foot. The lawyer wrote that Barghouti advised him that, on March 6, “I was beaten for long minutes all over my body, mainly on the face, back, and legs. The severity of the beating caused me to collapse to the ground, at which point they persisted in striking me until I lost consciousness.”

The Post reviewed a replica of the report. Barghouti’s legal professionals declined to remark.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Prison Service mentioned the service “is a law-abiding organization. We have no knowledge of these claims.”

The State Department has not named Barghouti in public statements, however U.S. officers mentioned they’re conscious of allegations of abuse. The division mentioned in a press release to The Post that it has knowledgeable Israel that it should “thoroughly and transparently investigate credible allegations of and ensure accountability for any abuses or violations.” The assertion, which the division issued in response to questions on Barghouti, mentioned that Palestinian detainees have to be held in “dignified conditions and in accordance with international law.”

Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right minister of nationwide safety within the authorities of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has because the Oct. 7 assaults barred the International Committee for the Red Cross, in addition to relations, from visiting the roughly 9,000 Palestinian prisoners and safety detainees in custody of the Israeli Prison Service. The ICRC’s final publicly recorded go to with Barghouti was in November 2017, months after he completed a 24-day starvation strike.

“We have continuously asked to resume our visits, as they are central not just to our mission in Israel and the Occupied Territories but because they are a lifeline for the detainees and their family,” mentioned Jessica Moussan, a spokeswoman for the ICRC.

During a go to to Israel on Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken advised Israel’s battle cupboard that it ought to enable the ICRC entry to detainees, mentioned a senior State Department official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate Blinken’s closed-door discussions. Israeli rights teams submitted a Supreme Court petition to the identical finish on Feb 24.

An Israeli diplomatic official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate the matter, denied any data of the mistreatment of Barghouti: “We have laws in our country; such behavior is not permitted and won’t be condoned if indeed proven to be true.”

The two Middle Eastern officers, who characterize totally different governments, mentioned they’d acquired stories in regards to the worsening scenario of some Palestinian prisoners, together with Barghouti, on the similar time they had been receiving stories in regards to the harsh remedy of Israeli hostages in Hamas captivity.

“It was communicated to the Israeli government that any bad treatment of Palestinian prisoners would give Hamas a bigger excuse to treat Israeli hostages worse than they are being treated already,” mentioned one of many officers. “It’s a vicious circle.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, mentioned the United States ought to particularly warn Israel about its remedy of Barghouti.

“The Biden administration should make it very clear to the Netanyahu government that if Barghouti is harmed or killed in prison, it would throw gas on a raging fire,” he mentioned in an interview. “Barghouti is probably the most popular Palestinian leader. That’s true in the West Bank and in Gaza.”