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THE Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said today it had collected multiple sworn affidavits testifying to “rampant, systemic attacks and brutal beatings of young Arab protesters by Israeli police, including innocent bystanders, children, and even lawyers” in the predominantly Palestinian city of Nazareth.
Police in the city ran a “torture room” from May 9 in which Palestinians protesting against the Gaza war were subjected to “systemic brutality and physical, verbal, and psychological abuse,” it said.
“Most of the violent arrests of and attacks on Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city were carried out by Israeli special police forces, including undercover ‘mista’aravim’ officers posing as Arabs,” the Communist Party of Israel reported.
Israeli authorities have launched reprisals against Palestinians both in Israel proper and the occupied territories since the 11-day assault on Gaza last month.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounced today a “dangerous Israeli escalation” following the killing of three Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
The three were killed during a night raid in Jenin, with Israeli media reporting that undercover officers disguised as Arabs had visited the town to arrest suspected members of the Islamic Jihad militant group. One of the suspects was among the dead, but the other two victims were Palestinian security officers.
The Palestinian Authority technically co-ordinates security in the occupied West Bank with Israel, though the area is under complete control of the Israeli military, which regularly raids homes and abducts residents in Palestinian-administered areas.
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