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Camp 1391 is an Israel Defense Force prison for "high-risk" prisoners in northern Israel. The existence of the prison was unknown to the public before 2003, and information about it remains hazy. >>>>>
Dubbed "the Israeli Guantanamo", the secret was kept in such a manner as to be even unknown to Prof. David Libai, Minister of Justice in Yitzhak Rabin's government and member of the secret services related ministerial committee. According to Leah Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer who specialises in advising Palestinians, "Anyone entering the prison can be made to disappear, potentially forever, it's no different from the jails run by tinpot South American dictators."
According to accounts of former captives, the detainees are led into the facility blindfolded, and kept in cells (most are 2 m × 2 m) with no natural light. Two smaller cells (1.25 m × 1.25 m) with heavy steel doors and black or red walls, and almost no light, are used for solitary confinement. Some of the cells do not have adequate toilet facilities and the guards control the running water. Mustafa Dirani, a Hamas commander who was captured by the Israelis in May 1994 and released in 2004 as part of a prisoner swap , has filed a suit in Tel Aviv's district court claiming he was sexually abused in the camp. It has been acknowledged by the government of Israel that "within the framework of a military police investigation the suspicion arose that an interrogator who questioned the complainant threatened to perform a sexual act on the complainant".
Israeli officials stated that Camp 1391 "is no longer used since 2006 to detain or interrogate suspects", but the Israeli Supreme Court has refused to allow an inquiry of the alleged abuses.
The men under the black hoods all have the same question once the blindfolds and manacles are off: Where am I? A voice filtering through a narrow slit in the steel door told Sameer Jadala he was "in Honolulu", Raab Bader that he was "in a submarine" and "outside the borders of Israel", Bashar Jadala that he was "on the moon". None of them imagined it at the time, because only a handful of the political and security establishment knew such a thing existed, but they were prisoners in Israel's Guantanamo: Facility 1391.
"I was barefoot in my pyjamas when they arrested me and it was really cold," says Sameer Jadala, a Palestinian school bus driver. "When I got to that place, they told me to strip and gave me a blue uniform. Then they gave me a black sack. They told me: 'This is your sack. You need to keep it with you. Any time someone comes to your cell, you must put it on your head. Any time they deliver the food, you must put it on your head. You must never see the soldiers' faces. You do not want to know what will happen if you take it off.' Sometimes I thought I would die in that place and no one would ever know."
In May 2009, the United Nations Committee Against Torture brought up the issue of Facility 1391, a clandestine Israeli prison where Palestinian, Lebanese, and other Arab prisoners are detained and subjected to torture. The committee called upon Israel to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to this prison and demanded to know if there were other secret prisons in Israel.
The existence of Facility 1391 came to light in 2002, purely by accident. An Israeli human rights group, Hamoked, which provides assistance to Palestinian prisoners, demanded to know where Bashar and Mohammed Jadallah, two Palestinian cousins who could not be traced by their families after their arrest by the Israeli army, were being held. Israeli authorities were forced to admit they were in a secret prison. The location of that prison was also discovered accidentally a short time later. In 2003, Gad Kroizer, an Israeli historian, was researching old police buildings from the time of the British Mandate, when he came across a 70-year-old map displaying 62 such buildings. He discovered that one of the buildings shown, called Meretz, could not be seen on any modern Israeli maps, and was not referred to in any of the literature relating to Israeli security compounds. He soon put two and two together. Israeli authorities had done a thorough job in wiping away any trace of the facility from maps. It is, however, visible on Google Earth and is located near the town of Pardes Hanna-Karkur.