Detainees Recount Stories of Abuse in Israeli Detention

29 Dec
9:07 PM

Palestinian detainees who were recently taken into custody by Israeli authorities have reportedly been subjected to various forms of maltreatment, including physical abuse and beatings, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

PPS said that prisoner Mutasem Anwar Sheikha, who was recently detained by Israeli police in Jerusalem, was brutally assaulted by undercover police forces at Shu’fat refugee camp in the city. For almost 30 days of interrogation, he would be acutely beaten up by interrogators at the Russian Gate compound in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, detainees Abdul-Munem Natsheh, 17, and Osama Taha, 16, said they were also physically and verbally assaulted many times during interrogation at the Russian Compound. Taha told PPS that he was once attacked by a police dog while being taken to court.

Another detainee, 17-year-old AbdulRahman Abu-Layla from Nablus, said undercover Israeli troops arrested him from his workplace in Acre before he was taken to Petah Tikva interrogation facility. There, he was placed in solitary confinement for 10 days, during which he would undergo long hours of interrogation while being handcuffed.

Another detainee, 16-year-old Aws Ra’ed Irsheid, who comes from the West Bank city of Jenin, told a PPS attorney that he was brutally detained by Israeli soldiers who  surreptitiously raided his home in middle of the night while he and all his family members were asleep. He was woken up by the soldiers and beaten in front of family members before being taken out by the soldiers.

WAFA reports that human rights organizations have long denounced mistreatment of Palestinian detainees, including children, by Israeli forces.

According to a report by the Military Court Watch (MCW) based on testimonies from 127 children detained by Israel in 2016, 94 percent reported being hand tied, 81 percent of children reported being blindfolded or hooded, and 64 percent of children reported being subjected to various forms of physical abuse.

In related news, 80-year-old Fo’ad Shobaki, the eldest Palestinian detainee held in Israeli jails, has told his attorney that he can no longer withstand the difficult health conditions he’s experiencing behind Israeli prison bars.

Shobaki said, during a visit by the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission attorney, that he lived his toughest days during the last couple of weeks after he underwent an eye surgery, due to which he became completely dependent on other prisoners for basic life needs, such as moving, which severely affected his psychological state.

On October 20, an Israeli court rejected an appeal made by the Commission in order to release Shobaki, claiming he was a “dangerous case,” and that “he did not show regret.”

Shobaki, from the Gaza Strip, is the eldest Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli detention. He was detained in 2006 and sentenced for 20 years. The sentence was then shortened to 17 years in 2015, after several appeals were made in consideration of his current health conditions and age.

More than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are currently incarcerated in Israeli jails for resisting the Israeli occupation of their homeland.

(Al Ray archive image)

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