Israel’s military interrogation: Open torture practiced upon judicial authorization

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The case of tortured prisoner Samer Arbid has brought back Israel’s military interrogation and the open-torture policy to the surface.

Samer Arbid (44 years old) has been under treatment in Hadasa hospital since last week due to critical injuries caused by torture during Shin Beit interrogation. The Israeli Shin Beit revealed that it had a Judaical authorization, which allowed torture against Arbid, claiming that he led a group resistance fighters, which executed an operation against an illegal settlement few months ago.

Arbid suffers from several fractures in addition to kidney problems and internal hemorrhaging in his lungs. He was subjected to torture and he was beaten under the pretext of “trying to get information”.

Live witnesses on Israel’s military interrogation

Former prisoner Mahmoud Abu Dawoud from occupied Hebron told QNN about torture, to which he was subjected in Israeli jails, as he was arrested five times and spent a total of nine years in Israeli jails.

Abu Dawoud, who is also a brother of a martyrs and an expelled citizen, was interrogated at Jalameh interrogation centre. He was first interrogated in September 5, 2010. his interrogation continued for nearly one month.

Abu Dawoud told QNN that he was brutally handcuffed and blindfolded when they transferred him to Jalameh interrogation centre.

In preparation for the interrogation, Abu Dawoud said, he was deprived of sleep for 80 hours before an Israeli general tells him that the interrogation with him has reached serious levels as they got confessions against him related to a resistance operation, executed by Nash’at Al Karmi and led to the death of four illegal settlers.

The Israeli general told Mahmoud that he had few hours to confess before 12:00 Am. Abu Dawoud did not take the general’s threats seriously because he knows that military interrogation is usually carried out against Palestinians, who are thought to be a “time bomb” as they may cause operations against settlers to be executed, while he did not think that such definition applies to him.

A few hours after several visits by Israeli detectives, who kept threatening and making pressure so that he confesses, the military interrogation begun. They had a paper signed, as they claimed, by the Israeli supreme court and the PM.

At 12:00 Am, a “torture party” started when a detective slapped Abu Dawoud and insulted him. He was horizontally put on a chair in the form of an obtuse angle, so that his body keeps shaking and his stomach gets pulled so tight.

According to Mahmoud, four detectives cooperated to torture him. One was holding a stopwatch to calculate the time of each torture session and he was yelling to confuse the sleep deprived prisoner and psychologically affect him. After that the prisoner gets untied leaving his head to hit the ground.

Another Israeli torture style, according to Abu Dawoud, starts with putting the prisoner on a small chair. One detective pulls the prisoner’s hands while another squeezes on the prisoner’s testicles by his knees and suffocates him at the same time by his hands.

A third style of torture is forcing the prisoner to stand on one knee during torture for very long times, so that he cannot be able to stand again for a while.

Israeli detectives also force the prisoner to stand in the middle of the room before the detective rushes to hit him on the external part of the thigh, not mentioning insults and humiliation.

Abu Dawoud said that on one occasion he tried to scratch his chin by his foot but a detective told him that they could consider it an “attempted assault”, which would be a pretext to “break his bones” again.

After one month and a half of torture, the Israeli court rejected a lawsuit by his lawyer against the Israeli torture claiming that he was a “time bomb”.

The occupation state routinely uses torture as an easy way to get confessions and humiliate Palestinians. Israeli Human Rights NGO B’Tselem said that the Israel Security Agency’s (ISA) interrogation regime relies on isolating interrogatees from the outside world and uses holding conditions to weaken interrogatees in body and spirit. The cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – at times amounting to torture – is a blatant violation of international law and basic moral standards. Many authorities facilitate the ISA’s operations, including the Israel Prison Service, which creates inhuman holding conditions, the Attorney General who gives ISA agents immunity, and the Supreme Court which sanctions the interrogatees’ isolation.

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