|picture from movie Z, note nearly omnipresent IsraHelli helicopter, US made|
Facility 1391 Israeli Torture Prison Eyeball
Facility 1391: Israel's secret prison
It has been removed from maps and airbrushed from aerial photographs. But Facility 1391 certainly exists - you just have to ask the Palestinians and Lebanese who have been imprisoned and tortured there. Chris McGreal reports
Chris McGreal, The Guardian, Friday November 14, 2003
Facility 1391 has been airbrushed from Israeli aerial photographs and purged from modern maps. Where once a police station was marked there is now a blank space. Sometimes even the road leading to it has been erased. But Israel's secret prison, inside an army intelligence base close to the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, is real enough. For 20 years or more it has been housed in a large, imposing, single-storey building designed by a British engineer, Sir Charles Taggart, during the 1930s as one of a series of garrison forts designed to contain growing unrest in Palestine. Today, the thick concrete walls and iron gates are themselves protected by a double fence overseen by watchtowers and patrolled by attack dogs.
Unlike any other Israeli prison, the International Red Cross, lawyers and members of the Israeli parliament have been refused access. One leftwing MP, Zahava Gal-On, describes Facility 1391 as "one of the signs of totalitarian regimes and of the third world". The Israeli government declines to discuss the secret prison other than to issue a standard response: "Facility 1391 is situated on a secret military base. The base is used by the security services for various classified activities and thus its location is kept confidential."
But it is not just human rights lawyers and leftwing MPs who have a problem. Ami Ayalon is a former head of Israel's intelligence service, the Shin Bet. He was told about 1391 but says he refused to have anything to do with it. "I knew there was a facility not under the responsibility of the Shin Bet, but under the responsibility of the military. I didn't think then, and I don't think today, that such an institution should exist in a democracy," he says.
|Three following images from:|
Three following images from: