RAMALLAH, February 10, 2016 (WAFA) – A Palestinian detainee who was recently detained by Israeli authorities was subjected to brutal torture by Israeli intelligence officers during interrogation, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS).
PPS said in a report that Ismail Arouj, a Palestinian from Bethlehem who was detained by Israeli forces in April 2014, was recently summoned for interrogation after his wife, Raba’a Arouj, was detained by Israeli authorities.
During interrogation, PPS added, Arouj was subjected to extremely cruel torture methods to extract confessions, including acute beating and forcing him to stand for hours.
The society said in at least one occasion, Arouj was assaulted by five interrogators at the same time while he was handcuffed backwards, which caused him to bleed.
In some other occasions, Arouj underwent the “banana” torture position, in which his back was bended in an arch-like position while seated on a backless chair, and while his hands and legs were shackled and linked together backwards.
An Israeli interrogator, during one of these incidents, sat over his abdomen, causing him unbearable pain.
Interrogators further used to verbally assault Arouj and threaten to detain members of his family as a way of psychological pressure against him, PPS added.
Multiple human rights groups have repeatedly accused Israel of torturing Palestinian political detainees.
In August of 2012, Israel‘s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organization Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, to demand that Israeli attorney general carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.
The Centre for the Defense of the Individual and B‘Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, compiled the report after interviewing 73 Palestinians who had been arrested in 2005 and 2006.
The report found that almost 50% of detainees who were arrested in raids or at random were beaten by the army or police before they were handed over to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation.
The prisoners were interrogated for an average of 35 days and spent most of their time in tiny cells in solitary confinement.
They were interrogated from five to 10 hours a day. More than half did not see a lawyer or representative of the Red Cross for the whole period of interrogation.
The report found that prisoners were deprived of sleep for up to three days, and a quarter was beaten by their interrogators.