Yesterday, Wednesday November 16, a new hearing against Salah Khawaja took place at the Israeli military court in Petah Tikva: The court decided to extend the interrogation period for another 8 days. In the meanwhile Israeli forces had stormed once again into the heart of Ramallah in the preceding night and had raided the offices of the Health Development Information and Policy Institute (HDIP), leaving destruction behind and confiscating archives and technological equipment.
During the court hearing for Salah Khawajah, who was arrested on October 26, the Israeli state has once again failed to bring any charges against him. Nevertheless the military judge extended the interrogation period for the intelligence for another eight days. Hence, Salah’s ordeal continues.
The court did, however, finally grant Salah Khawaja access to legal counsel. The lawyer visiting him related that Salah had been subjected to 40 interrogation sessions in the three weeks of imprisonment, lasting 8 to 16 hours each. This alone makes him suffer from severe sleep deprivation. Other forms of ill-treatment have been used against Salah as well. He has reported physical aggression such as being beaten, interrogators spitting in his face, screaming in his ears, kicking his genitals. Psychological pressure and ill-treatment has been used against Salah, including threats against his family members.
While the court hearing was going on in Petah Tikva, in Ramallah city center the streets had to be cleaned up from yet another invasion by Israeli military into the heart of the city. Around 2 am some eight military jeep had entered Ramallah, blew open the door of the Health Development Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) with explosive devices, dismantled the CCTV camera system and ransacked the offices. Computer parts, electronic and paper archives have been confiscated while the windows, walls, ceilings and doors of the offices have been randomly destroyed. In the streets, youth defended their city from the invasion and as clashes ensued, Israeli military tear gased the area and injured two youths.
See a video of the destroyed offices below.