This report was written by Gamal Abouali, a Schell Fellow at Human Rights Watch, and is based primarily on information collected during his fact-finding mission in Israel and the West Bank from December 12, 1996 to January 8, 1997. Mr. Abouali interviewed lawyers who represented Arab prisoners and detainees in Israel, detainee rights advocates, and prisoner support groups, and received information from detainee rights advocates in Lebanon. These organizations' and individuals' assistance was invaluable to the preparation of this report. Virginia N. Sherry, associate director of Human Rights Watch/Middle East, took testimony from relatives of Mustafa al-Dirani in Qasernaba, Lebanon in August 1996.

The report was edited by Eric Goldstein, research director of Human Rights Watch/Middle East. Ms. Sherry provided helpful comments on the manuscript. Dalia Kerstein and Yossi Wolfson, respectively director and staffperson of HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual in Jerusalem, assisted Human Rights Watch with research into Israeli law. Georgina Copty, Shira Robinson and Awali Samara, associates at Human Rights Watch/Middle East, and Sara Scalenghe, intern at Human Rights Watch/Middle East provided invaluable research assistance. Robby Peckerar, associate at Human Rights Watch, and Geoffroy Hartman provided skillful Hebrew-English translation.

The J.M. Kaplan Fund generously financed the translation of the main findings of this report into Hebrew and Arabic.

Lawyers, detainee rights advocates, and prisoner support groups in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the United States provided extremely helpful information on this issue. Human Rights Watch wishes to thank attorneys Hasan Abu Ahmad, Anwar F. Abulafi, Walid Fahoum, Allegra Pacheco, Tamar Pelleg-Sryck, and Lea Tsemel for their assistance in the preparation of this report. Organizations active on behalf of the Lebanese detainees and prisoners inside Israel include:

Coordinating Committee on South Lebanon

coordinated by Search for Common Ground

1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Suite 200

Washington, DC 20009

Telephone: 1-202-265-4300

Facsimile: 1-202-232-6718


Follow-Up Committee for the Support of the Lebanese Prisoners in the Israeli Prisons

c/o Mohammad Safa, Secretary

Beirut, Lebanon

Telephone: 961-3-379-612

Facsimile: 961-3-340-150

Mandela Institute

PO Box 19543

Jerusalem, via Israel

Telephone: 972-2-995-5756

Facsimile: 972-2-995-6468


Society of the Friends of the Prisoner and the Detainee

PO Box 434

Husni al-Fahoum Building

Nazareth, Israel

Telephone/Facsimile: 972-6-656-1766

Human Rights Watch/Middle East

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Michele Alexander, development director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Susan Osnos, communications director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Robert L. Bernstein is the chair of the board and Adrian W. DeWind is vice chair.

Its Middle East division was established in 1989 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Hanny Megally is the executive director; Eric Goldstein is the research director, Joe Stork is the advocacy director; Virginia N. Sherry is associate director; Clarisa Bencomo, Elahé Sharifpour-Hicks, and Nejla Sammakia are research associates; Gamal Abouali is the Orville Schell fellow; Georgina Copty and Awali Samara are associates. Gary Sick is the chair of the advisory committee and Lisa Anderson and Bruce Rabb are vice chairs.

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