Ansar 3 is a detention camp built by the Israeli government 70 kilometers south of Beersheba to hold the prisoners of the Palestinian Intifada. It is in the middle of the Negev desert and holds 6,000 prisoners at any one time. The following information is based on an interview with Israeli lawyer Tamar Peleg, of the Israeli Human Rights Committee that appeared in the September 9, 1991, edition of Al Fajr, a Palestinian newspaper.
When asked about the medical situation at Ansar 3 Peleg stated it was not satisfactory. By law everyone entering the camp is supposed to get a check-up by a doctor but that usually does not happen. Some critical cases are sent to hospitals but it is a slow and lengthy process and sometimes requires intervention by a judge to be done.
The detainees also have a general boycott of the camp's clinic because members of the Israeli security services have demanded that detainees become informants in order to receive medical treatment. They allow some critical cases to get treatment but in general follow their boycott.
Peleg states that the camp administration is interested in stability in the camp and tries to avoid confrontation between the soldiers and detainees.
While there is a place built for visiting none of the prisoners have received visits (visiting is supposed to start on October 8, 1991) because of difficulties in agreeing on an acceptable procedure. One solution already rejected was for the prisoners to give the administration a list of the people they wished to visit them and prison authorities would give it to the Civil Administration (the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank are in reality under military occupation but it is called a "civil administration," editor) to study and approve. Then the Red Cross would make arrangements to get the families to and from the camp. It was an Israeli sergeant in the camp who rejected this proposal.
According to a letter from Moshe Arens, the Israeli Defense Minister to Knesset member Haim Oren, the food given to Palestinian prisoners is to be reduced by 11.6%. Peleg states that as it is prisoners complain of the inadequate food. When he and other lawyers have taken money to give to the mess hall manager to buy food for the detainees they are always told that the manager isn't available and they can't leave the money there.
Asked: "What about the Court of Appeal?"
Peleg answered: "First, we cannot name them courts, and it's not a committee either because there is only one judge called the 'judge investigator.' That is, an examiner, and there are no witnesses and the lawyer cannot get his client's file. So, the defense is very limited.
"He gets a paper, written on it is the same accusation which is given to the defendant when the administrative order is issued against him and he receives it. The lawyer can ask questions of the Shin Bet (the Israeli internal secret police, Editor) man who is present in the hall. But the man is not committed to answer and he always says: 'I will tell this to the judge in our private meeting' which the lawyer does not attend of course. The case remains top secret and the lawyer has no right to see it. The case depends on the judge investigator's point of view, and his point of view remains the only hope.
"We, the lawyers, try to find some legal flaw in the administrative order itself. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes not."
For more information contact:
Al Fajr Palestinian Weekly
P.O. Box 19315
East Jerusalem, Via Israel or: 16 Crowell St., Hemstead, NY 11550.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login