We recently received this report, which shows how the Israeli state deals with anyone - even if they are Jewish - who dares to take up the plight of the Palestinians in the refugee camps in a serious manner. Tali Fahima is being held without any charges, with her arrest being extended continuously.
Tali Fahima is a Jewish peace activist from Kiryat Gat - a peripheral workers township some 50 km south of Tel Aviv. She was brought up with two sisters by a single hard working mother.
Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Tali had gradually begun to lose her confidence in the established media. After intensive study on the internet, obsessive reading of the news, and conversations with Palestinians, she decided to see the facts with her own eyes, and visited the Jenin refugee camp - the well known target of past and present Israeli attacks and devastation. Her stay in a refugee camp shocked her. Later, during the last year she was active in support for the people of the camp. She, with a group of her friends, collected contributions to the camp and kept contact with the camp's activists.
At the end of 2003 she declared on TV that she was ready to be as Human Shield for Zakariya Zbeida, a leading Jenin camp activist that had already escaped several Israeli assassination attempts. From that moment on she became a victim of systematic harassment.
She was fired from her work as a secretary at an advocate's office. The police and the security services called her for interrogations and pressed her to become an agent for them.
In May 2004 she was arrested on her way out of the Jenin Camp, and spent a week in Shabak (Israeli General Security Service - GSS) interrogations.
She was released without any charges, and even the Judge in the Israeli court poured praise on her humanitarian work with the children of Jenin- trying to establish human solidarity between people in the harshest of conditions.
On Monday, August 9, around noon, in Einav roadblock (SE of Tulkarm, West Bank) Tali Fahima was arrested again. She was brought on Tuesday to a hearing before judge Lev-On in Petah-Tikva, in order to extend her detention, according to the request of the GSS. The Shabak claims that she is suspected of conspiracy of terror attack, and poses a security threat to the state and the public. Following, as usual in the Israeli courts, "secretive inquiry material" that was not shown to the accused or the defence lawyers, the judge decided to extend her detention by nine more days for interrogation.
Ten days before that, Tali had received a phone call from a Shabak agent that was involved in her previous detention and interrogation. He requested to meet her, informally, and mentioned that he knew she had difficulty finding a job. Tali indeed is finding it difficult to find a job and meanwhile she is staying with relatives and friends. Following the advice of her lawyers, she refused to meet him, and insisted that the Shabak should get a warrant if they think further inquiry is needed.
On Thursday, August 19, her detention was extended until August 23. In the court Tali was able to shed some light on the methods used against her: She is interrogated for 15-18 hours each day, most of the time being forced to sit in an uncomfortable position with her hands cuffed behind her back. Most of the time, the interrogators give politics lectures with the aim of "re-educating" Tali, promising to make her into "a good Jewish girl". Some interrogators come up close to Tali, and speak about their ugly primitive and reactionary views on sex and politics.
On August 23 her detention was extended for a further 6 days, and then for the fourth time for a further 4 days (until September 2) and then again for the fifth time for a further 3 days... She was kept for 28 days in the GSS interrogation dungeons, kept for 24 hours a day in a small windowless cell, without a bed, with the light always on, prevented from receiving any visit, writing/reading material, and interrogated for long hours each day.
After 28 days of interrogations in the Shabak dungeons the State of Israel has not succeeded in tying Tali Fahima to an offence of any sort. That is why security minister Shaul Mofaz, the same man against whose bloody policy Tali struggled, has decided to apply his authority according to the "emergency regulations" and imprison Tali in administrative detention – with no charges, no evidence and no trial – for a period of 4 months!
Presently in the Israeli prisons 1000 "administrative detainees" are being held, the majority of them Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza strip, but only three of them are women. Administrative detainees who carry Israeli citizenship (Palestinians or Jews) were very few even during the last years of the Intifada and the "International war against terrorism". Tali is the first woman administrative detainee that carries an Israeli ID since the cancelling of the "military rule" in 1966...
We ask all the freedom loving people to take a stand against this vile act and reject the attack of the Shabak regime on fundamental rights!
Send messages of protest to your local Israeli embassy or consulate and copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.