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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                        

State of Israel

Israeli border communities receive occasional rocket and artillery fire from Syria and the Gaza Strip. Israeli security forces and civilians also face the ongoing threat of small-scale terrorist attacks, most often involving stabbings or vehicular assaults. Human rights groups have sometimes accused police of using deadly force against stone throwers or perpetrators of stabbing and vehicular attacks when they did not pose a lethal threat. [Freedom House Country Report, 2020]

Description: Description: Israel

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Israel. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Israel

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 25 July 2021]


Authorities continued to state the ISA held detainees in isolation only in extreme cases and when there was no alternative option, and that the ISA did not use isolation as a means of augmenting interrogation, forcing a confession, or punishment. An independent Office of the Inspector for Complaints against ISA Interrogators in the Ministry of Justice handled complaints of misconduct and abuse in interrogations.

In non-security-related cases, ISA interrogation rooms are equipped with closed-circuit cameras, and only supervisors appointed by the Ministry of Justice have access to real-time audiovisual feeds. Supervisors are required to report to the comptroller any irregularities they observe during interrogations.


Physical Conditions: Local human rights organizations reported Palestinian security prisoners (those convicted or suspected of nationalistically motivated violence) often faced more restrictive conditions than prisoners characterized as criminals. Restrictive conditions included increased incidence of administrative detention, restricted family visits, ineligibility for temporary furloughs, and solitary confinement.


The government stated it used separate detention only when a detainee threatened himself or others and authorities had exhausted other options–or in some cases during interrogation, to prevent disclosure of information. In such cases authorities maintained the detainee had the right to meet with International Committee of the Red Cross representatives, IPS personnel, and medical personnel, if necessary. According to the government, the IPS did not hold Palestinian detainees in separate detention punitively or to induce confessions.

Amnesty Researcher Who Sicced Hamas on to Peace Activists Had Personal Experience With Hamas Ill-Treatment

David Lange, Israellycool, 12 April 2020

[accessed 12 April 2020]

Amnesty International is calling on the Hamas security forces to halt their crackdown against peaceful Palestinian protesters and to investigate reports that numerous people have been physically assaulted before being detained and tortured.

The week-long crackdown (see timeline below), the most severe for more than a decade, has been targeted at those protesting against the cost of living in the Gaza Strip, as well as local journalists, activists and human rights workers.

Why Are Palestinians Dying in Hamas Prisons?

Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, 2 March 2020

[accessed 2 March 2020]

The families' calls for launching investigations into the death of their sons while in Hamas detention have been ignored not only by Hamas, but also by the international community, human rights organizations and media.

Al-Sa'afeen's mother emphasized that the Israelis treat Palestinians much better than Hamas does. "When the Jews arrest someone, they contact his family to say they are holding him... But Hamas refused to provide us with any information about the detention of my son or his health condition.... We told [Hamas] that he's sick and needs medicine, but they refused to give him any treatment. Until today, we don't know why my son was arrested."

When Palestinians die in Palestinian prisons, the murders are presumably regarded as the handiwork of supposedly savage Arabs, who are -- with racist contempt -- held to a lower standard of conduct than Westerners, and therefore regarded as unworthy of human rights, accountable governance, due process or equal justice under the law.

They are evidently considered "just" Palestinian families complaining about brutal torture in Palestinian prisons -- so international human rights organizations do not even notice them.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 17 May 2020]


Israeli border communities receive occasional rocket and artillery fire from Syria and the Gaza Strip. Israeli security forces and civilians also face the ongoing threat of small-scale terrorist attacks, most often involving stabbings or vehicular assaults. Human rights groups have sometimes accused police of using deadly force against stone throwers or perpetrators of stabbing and vehicular attacks when they did not pose a lethal threat.

The Supreme Court banned torture in a 1999 ruling, but said physical coercion might be permissible during interrogations in cases involving an imminent threat. Human rights organizations accuse the authorities of continuing to use some forms of physical abuse and other measures such as isolation, sleep deprivation, psychological threats and pressure, painful binding, and humiliation.

Mohammad Safi, lost his sight in Hamas torture chambers

Imad Freij, WAFA - Palestinian News & Info Agency, RAMALLAH, 11 April 2019

[accessed 19 May 2019]

Safi’s brother, Ahmad, wrote on his Facebook page that Mohammad was summoned five times to appear at the Hamas-run Home Security Office in the north of Gaza because of his activities with the protest movement. Every time he would go in, he would be kept for five hours and then get released and told to go home until the next time he will be summoned.

The last time he was summoned on March 19, he was held for three days in the cells and brutally beaten and tortured. When he was released, he had a nervous breakdown and had lost sight in his left eye, according to Rami Aman, a journalist acquainted with Safi’s conditions.

The UN, the "State of Palestine" and the Torture of Women

Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, 15 January 2019

[accessed 15 January 2019]

The torture, according to Jbara, included pouring cold water on her face, solitary confinement for several days, strip-search, sleep deprivation, lengthy hours of interrogation and verbal abuse.

"The first stages were the worst," Jbara told the Palestinian Wattan TV station.

"They interrogated me for several hours, without taking into consideration that I felt sick. They moved me from one office to another. I saw a number of detainees who were blindfolded and handcuffed. The interrogators were pouring cold water on their faces and some of the detainees were lying on the floor. It was a horrifying experience for me."

Jbara also said that the Palestinian interrogators threatened to take her three children away from her. "They used my children to blackmail me," she reported. The interrogators apparently also threatened her mother, her sisters and her with sexual assault. "I'm now in a very bad health condition," she said. "I even have difficulty walking."

 Palestinian recounts torture by PA for helping Israel to thwart terror attacks

TOI Staff, 13 December 2018

[accessed 16 December 2018]

In a rare scene, a Palestinian man this week attended a Knesset meeting and described torture he was subjected to while in the Palestinian Authority’s custody for collaborating with Israel and preventing terror attacks.

 “They take you to a room and have you work in their construction, pick up five, seven cinder blocks and go up to the fifth floor,” he said. “On all the stairs there are Palestinian soldiers. If you take a break, they hit you. You go up and back down again. They open the sewage and tell you to go down there.”

Abbas and Hamas use systematic torture to crush dissent – Human Rights Watch

Times of Israel, 23 October 2018

[accessed 23 October 2018]

Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent - Arbitrary Arrest and Torture Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas

Human Rights Watch,23 October 2018

[accessed 23 October 2018]

In a 149-page report based on interviews with 147 witnesses, Human Rights Watch detailed a common method of abuse and torture known as shabeh — used both by the PA and Hamas — in which detainees are placed in painful physical positions for lengthy periods of time. Such practices cause distress and trauma to detainees, while often leaving “little or no trace on the body,” the report said.

Shabeh techniques include forcing detainees into squats, powerfully stretching their arms above or behind them, and leaving them standing or sitting in child-sized chairs for hours on end.

In one example from Gaza, “a PA civil servant, arrested after a friend tagged him in a Facebook post calling for protests on the electricity crisis, spent most of his days in the Internal Security’s Gaza City detention center subjected to positional abuse… causing him to feel ‘severe pain in my kidneys and spine’ and as if his neck would ‘break’ and his ‘body is tearing up inside,'” the report said.

In the West Bank, a detained journalist had his hands tied by rope to the ceiling of a holding room while officers “slowly pulled the rope to apply pressure to his arms, which caused him to feel so much pain that he had to ask an officer to pull his pants up after he used the toilet because he could not do it himself.”

NIS 1 million deducted from PA transfers over torture

Arutz Sheva Staff, 14 August 2018

[accessed 15 August 2018]

Israel garnishes Palestinian Authority taxes to pay legal fees for those illegally jailed, tortured, in PA.

Israel's law enforcement agencies have decided to order the deduction of over a million shekels from the Palestinian Authority's (PA) tax revenues, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) reported.   The money will cover the medical expenses of PA collaborators who were tortured by the PA's security services, as well as for the compensation they demanded.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, the collaborators' attorney Barak Kedem said, "A year ago, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the PA illegally jailed and tortured 52 men and women who were suspected of collaborating with Israel. Not long ago, it was decided that the PA should pay the collaborators' legal fees, which total 1 million shekel. As expected, the PA refused. We ended up garnishing, because the PA did not want to pay."

"The court heard testimonies of people who underwent very difficult torture in the PA's basements, and ruled that these things were done illegally, and are a crime which deserves compensation. Now the court has to decide how much compensation each person will receive. One person's apartment was stolen, one person is now 100% mentally ill, another is neurologically ill, and we need to do the math."

Palestinian Prisoners’ Rights Advocate Speaks on His Torture and Abuse by PA Security

International Middle East Media Center IMEMC News, Ramallah, 17 June 2018

[accessed 17 June 2018]

Laith Abu Zeyad, a longtime Palestinian prisoners’ rights advocate and a staff member with Amnesty International in occupied Palestine, was one of over 40 Palestinians – mostly youth – seized on Wednesday night, 13 June, during a march to lift the Palestinian Authority’s sanctions on Gaza. He was subject not only to political detention but to physical torture and abuse by PA security after he attended the march as an observer with Amnesty.

 “Then I saw men in civilian clothes, I think they were security forces. They were taking a demonstrator and beating him on the way… and they were punching and kicking while dragging him away towards Manara,” said Abu Zeyad in a testimony provided to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

“Then the most violent incident I witnessed, when they brought in 21 year old Haitham Siyaj: what I saw was that there were 4 police men beating someone outside with batons, he was without a shirt/ I heard loud screaming, and a woman was trying to shout at them to leave him, saying that he is her relative. They pushed the woman away, and then the man was brought into the bus, I recognized he was Haitham Siyaj. They pushed him on the floor, he landed on his face, and then two police officers in uniform started beating him with batons on his back.

Pro-Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Shaft Palestinians and Human Rights

Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, 21 May 2018

[accessed 23 May 2018]

These suspected "collaborators," after their abduction by the Palestinian Police, were imprisoned in the PA's dungeons and subjected to unspeakable torture. In their testimony before the court, the victims described brutal beatings, broken teeth, sexual assault, exposure to extreme heat and cold, being forced to sit on broken glass bottles, being hung repeatedly in various positions, and "medical treatment" by the Palestinian Authority's prison doctors that included injections of urine directly into their veins. In many cases, suspected collaborators were executed outright; other times, they were tortured to death and their family members raped and tortured. Even infants were not spared. These methods remain in force; this is how the Palestinian Authority deals with anyone suspected of cooperating with Jews: Death or torture.

During the trial, attorney for the Palestinian Authority changed their defense. First, they denied any involvement; later admitted that their police force had indeed "made arrests." They also tried to claim that due process had been adhered to throughout the period of incarceration.

A few months ago, Justice Drori found the Palestinian Authority directly responsible for the imprisonment and torture or murder of the 52 Palestinian plaintiffs, and required the PA to compensate the victims accordingly. In his decision, Justice Drori pointed to the overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence of torture, and the shocking similarity between the victims' testimony, which covers nearly 2,000 pages.

Israeli cop sentenced to 9 months for killing Palestinian teen

Judah Ari Gross & TOI staff, Times of Israel TOI, 25 April 2018

[accessed 25 April 2018]

A Jerusalem court found the officer, Ben Deri, guilty of causing death by negligence for using live ammunition, instead of rubber bullets, when he was ordered to disperse a crowd of protesters during Nakba Day demonstrations in the West Bank village of Beitunia, near Ramallah, on May 15, 2014.

The presiding judge, Daniel Teperberg, noted that Deri’s actions represented “serious and severe harm” to the Israeli social values of “sanctity of life and the human right to wellbeing.”

The torture of a Jewish child

Chava Shulman, Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, 3 April 2018

[accessed 15 April 2018]

One of those interrogated boys testified that the Shabak interrogators placed him on a low chair with no backrest, shackled to a chair, with his legs bent back and tied to a chair. The interrogators then forcibly bent his back until his head touched the floor and his back formed an "opposite arc". They held him in this position for several entire nights. The pain caused by this torture was unbearable. The interrogators screamed in his face that if he wanted to be freed, he must confess to the arson and crimes they accused him of.  

The torture lasted for two weeks. It included prolonged sleep deprivation, slapping, beatings, curses, threats, being tied into impossible body positions which caused excruciating pain and fainting. 

One of those interrogated boys testified that an interrogator beat his stomach while another interrogator threw his head back until a doctor had to be called.

Another time, one of the boys was shackled with his feet to a chair, his hands cuffed behind him. The interrogators raised his hands back until they formed a 90-degree angle with his back, thus stopping the flow of blood into his hands. The boy, then 17 years of age,  felt numbness and freezing cold in his hands due to the cessation of the blood flow. Then the interrogators gave him an electric shock and he felt his hands burning with terrible pain. The shock was so strong that the boy was thrown to the ground. 

There are other terrible and horrific testimonies that I will not describe here. The two boys were eventually willing to say anything to stop the suffering, the pain, and the agony.

A first: Israeli court orders PA to compensate torture victims

Arutz Sheva, 22 January 2018

[accessed 22 January 2018]

Jerusalem court orders PA to compensate torture victims, including a man with a Jewish mother who was tortured to death.

"Many of the plaintiffs have similar descriptions of the torture methods they were subjected to, including torture by the 'shabach method' where the victim is tied in different ways, exposure to freezing cold or extreme heat, withholding of water or the forced drinking of water from an in-use toilet, beatings, forced sitting on a sharp broken bottle, and others. It is difficult not to believe that these similar techniques were the result of a single mode of operation that was accepted at the time in the prisons.

"During the entire time of his incarceration in Hevron, the plaintiff was beaten continuously. This included hits to the groin, slamming of his head into a wall which lead to hearing damage, and harm to his eyes which has also left permanent damage. From the beatings he received, the plaintiff lost two teeth. He was tied up in very painful manners, and was denied sleep, the ability to shower, and access to a bathroom. For months afterward he had blood in his urine and even now his body still has many marks from the torture.

"The attacks and torture carried out against the plaintiff including beatings and strikes from rifles owned by the defendants. The plaintiffs head was covered in blood, his shirt was drenched in blood, and he was left bleeding from all over his body. His groin was also struck, leaving him with a large bump and pain in that region. They would tie him in the shabach method, insult him, and spit in his face."

Israeli Justice Ministry drafting law on criminalizing torture of suspects

Jewish News Service JNS, 4 May 2016

[accessed 17 August 2016]

[accessed 31 December 2017]

In response to a request this week by the United Nations' Committee Against Torture (CAT) that Israel criminalize torture, Israel's attorney general within the country's Justice Ministry, Dr. Roy Schöndorf, confirmed that Israel is drafting new legislation that would outlaw torture of suspects during interrogation, Haaretz reported.

An Israeli delegation is currently taking part in a review by CAT in Geneva to determine if Israel is in compliance with the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

At Least 7,000 Eritreans in Israel Survived Torture, Rape in Sinai -- Most women and girls were gang raped daily by Bedouin traffickers; many men raped as well

Vered Lee, Haaretz, 6 June 2016

[accessed 8 August 2016]

After a short silence he shows the marks of his torture, burned into his body. He spreads out his hands in embarrassment, showing a few stumps where his fingers had been viciously cut off, rolls up his shirt to show his back, filled with signs of serious burns, then turning his neck to expose some deep scars which still haven't healed.

His wife and daughter had escaped earlier to Sudan and Dat had planned to join them. Israel wasn't part of his plan, but the Bedouin human traffickers who abducted him in 2011 changed things. They led him to torture camps in the Sinai desert, where he remained for seven months.

"They asked me to pay $7,000 and I couldn't raise that kind of money for a long time" he says.

Human rights complaints rise in Palestinian territories, group says

Maher Abukhater, Los Angeles Times, Ramalla, 8 May 2014

[accessed 13 May 2014]

Complaints of torture and other mistreatment rose by 50% last year in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, according to a report by an independent commission.

The annual report by the Ramallah-based Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), published Thursday, offers a hint at the kind of scrutiny the Palestinian Authority might face after joining United Nations agencies and treaties this year.

The report notes "a remarkable increase in the number of complaints received on alleged cases of torture and violations involving the right to physical safety in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

It says that 497 allegations of torture and ill treatment were received by the commission in 2013, compared with 294 cases in 2012. Most of the cases - 347 - were in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian watchdog group, established by the president of the Palestinian Authority 20 years ago, said it had also registered a "noticeable increase" in arbitrary detentions in the West Bank and Gaza. It attributed the rise "to the political variables and the continuation of the internal political division" between the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamist movement that has ruled Gaza since 2007.

Torture in Gaza Prisons: Systematic Policy or State of Emergency Due to Division?

Hassan Dohan, Palestine News Network PNN, 12 March 2014

[accessed 17 March 2014]

The citizen al-Hamidi was announced dead on the June 10th, 2011 at Dar As-Sifa Hospital in the city of Gaza after entering a coma, resulting from the torture and beating by members of the Anti-Drugs Unit in Deir al-Balah.

Ali Hamidi, brother of the victim said, "His brother Hassan was arrested inside his house and he didn't suffer from any bruises or illness when he was accompanied out of the house by the police. The police took him to their headquarters in Deir al-Balah and detained him as a part of a large arrest campaign carried out in the village, in which 55 other citizens were also arrested."

He continued, "During the interrogation, a number of security forces beat him, as some of the detainees told me. The investigators also mentioned that the security forces said "they couldn't get anything from him and he doesn't want to confess, so another policeman enters into the interrogation room and starts torturing him to force him to confess and as a result of this, he was transferred to the hospital in a very serious health condition the same day of his arrest."

Al-Hamidi added, "The day after Hassan's arrest, we received a phone call from one of the friends assuring to us that our brother Hassan was in a very critical condition and that he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Dar as-Shifa hospital in Gaza. We rushed to the hospital and shortly after he was admitted to the hospital, Hassan was announced dead."

He continued, "Upon receipt of our brother's body, we saw several bruises to his feet and hands, in addition to a wound to his head with a length of 20 centimeters resulting from the usage of a sharp object.

The Independent Falsely Claims That Israel 'Caged' Palestinian Children for Months

Adam Levick, Managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), 3 January 2014

[accessed 4 Jan 2014]

Even by the standards of anti-Israel bias in the British media that we're used to, a story published yesterday at The Independent is simply astonishing.

The Indy's charge that Palestinian children were caged "for months" is completely untrue. The charge that Palestinian children are sexually abused is not backed up with any evidence. The broader charge that Palestinian kids are "tortured" is unsubstantiated. Finally, to give you a sense of perspective, not even Electronic Intifada or Russia Today (both of which ran stories over the last couple of days on the PCATI report) make claims as sensational as what the Indy reported.

As we've demonstrated previously, the Indy's recent broad claim - in an official editorial - that the paper does NOT demonize Israel is clearly as fanciful a notion as Adam Withnall's specific smear about 'tortured Palestinian children'.

Palestinian Police Torture Detained Journalist

Ghassan Bannoura, International Middle East Media Center IMEMC News, 11 November 2013

[accessed 11 Nov 2013]

Radio Bethlehem 2000 announced on Monday that its director George Qanawati, was beaten up and tortured while being under police custody.

Qanawati was arrested by Palestinian police and secret service officers from his home in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday night.

According to his neighbors, officers stormed his home violently searched it then attacked Qanawati and his family slightly injuring his mother during the arrest.

Today Qanawati appeared in the local court in Bethlehem city; according to radio Bethlehem 2000 he was seen beaten up and tortured. His lawyer was not allowed to attend the court hearing with him, witnesses added.

The radio station on its website announced that the police accused Qanawati of slander and public insulate of officials during his weekly show Amar Yabalad - building our country in English.

Qanawati's show focuses in bring forth residents concerns and problems and try to address them in public debate between officials and residents every Thursday.

Amnesty Warns: Hamas Planning to Execute Two Men

Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, 11 Aug 2013

[accessed 11 Aug 2013]

The human rights organization said a 23-year-old man had been sentenced to death for "collaboration with an enemy entity," He told his lawyer he had been beaten during interrogation, Amnesty said.

The second man, 27, confessed to the rape and murder of a six-year-old boy in 2000. He was sentenced to death despite being a minor at the time. Amnesty said he was "apparently tortured to 'confess'" to the crime. The pair are among 40 prisoners on death row in Gaza. The most recent executions, of two men convicted of collaborating, took place in June at a police compound.

One of them reportedly confessed after being tortured, Amnesty said, adding, "Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees in the custody of Hamas security agencies are widespread and systematic."

Israel furious at UN report detailing torture of Palestinian children

Phoebe Greenwood, The Telegraph, Tel Aviv, 21 Jun 2013

[accessed 22 June 2013]

Israel's security forces have been accused by a United Nations monitoring group of torturing and tormenting Palestinian children.

"The Committee expresses its deepest concern about the reported practice of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested, prosecuted and detained by the military and the police, and about the State party's failure to end these practices in spite of repeated concerns expressed by treaty bodies," the investigative body stated in its periodic review of Israel's child rights record, released on Thursday. It continued: "[Palestinian children are] systematically subject to physical and verbal violence, humiliation, painful restraints, hooding of the head and face in a sack, threatened with death, physical violence, and sexual assault against themselves or members of their family, restricted access to toilet, food and water.

The report prompted a furious response from Israel, countering that the findings are "not based on any direct investigation on the ground, only on documents gathered from secondary sources."

Palestinian lost speech ability after PA torture

Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, 19 May 2013

[accessed 20 May 2013]

A Palestinian man who was detained by the Palestinian Authority security forces in Hebron has lost the ability to speak as a result of severe torture, according to a report released by the Independent Commission for Human Rights.

Mohamed Abdel Karim Dar of Hebron was hospitalized after being tortured while in detention, the report, which documented 28 cases of torture in PA prisons in the West Bank last month, said.

Dar had been detained by agents belonging to the PA's Preventive Security Service and held in solitary confinement, the document said.

"He lost the ability to speak and suffered from wounds to his body as a result of banging his head against the wall and tying his hands while being held in solitary condiment," the report added.

It said that it had received complaints of torture and mistreatment against other branches of the PA security forces in the West Bank - 13 against the police, seven against the Preventive Security Service, seven against the General Intelligence Service and one against Military Intelligence.

The organization said it had received another 23 complaints of torture and mistreatment at the hands of the Hamas police force in the Gaza Strip.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment -- Doc. CAT/C/ISR/CO/4 (2009)

[accessed 1 March 2013]

Defense of 'Necessity

14. Notwithstanding the State party's assurances that following the Supreme Court's decision in H.C.J. 5100/94, Public Committee against Torture in Israel v. The State of Israel determined that the prohibition on the use of 'brutal or inhuman means' is absolute, and its affirmation that 'necessity defense' is not a source of authority for an interrogator's use of physical means, the Committee remains concerned that the 'necessity defense' exception may still arise in cases of 'ticking bombs,' i.e., interrogation of terrorist suspects or persons otherwise holding information about potential terrorist attacks. The Committee further notes with concern that, under Section 18 of the Israel Security Agency (ISA) Law 5762-2002, "an ISA employee (…) shall not bear criminal or civil responsibility for any act or omission performed in good faith and reasonably by him within the scope and in performance of his function". Although the State party reported that Section 18 has not been applied to a single case, the Committee is concerned that ISA interrogators who use physical pressure in "ticking bomb" cases may not be criminally responsible if they resort to the necessity defense argument.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 31 January 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT - Laws, judicial decisions, and administrative regulations prohibit torture and abuse; however, during the year reputable nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) filed numerous credible complaints with the government alleging that security forces tortured and abused Palestinian detainees. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) filed complaints with the government on behalf of alleged victims of torture, which, PCATI reported, were almost all Palestinian security detainees and prisoners at detention facilities in Israel. For example, on March 10, PCATI petitioned the supreme court on behalf of a Palestinian resident of the West Bank city of Tulkarm. The petition asked the court to order the government to cease immediately illegal means of interrogation, including tightening of manacles, painful positioning, sleep deprivation, beatings, threats, and insults. During court proceedings the detainee was released.

In August PCATI notified the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and the Israel Security Agency (ISA) about treatment of a Palestinian resident of Tulkarm held as of April 22 in the Kishon Detention Center. The detainee alleged he was subjected to painful positioning, beatings, long periods of interrogation, threats, and food and sleep deprivation. PCATI reported that the complainant suffered severe back pains and paralysis in his left leg from the abuse. At year's end PCATI's petitions with the ISA and the IPS were pending.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1 Civil Liberties: 2 Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 31 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 12 May 2020]

The judiciary is independent and regularly rules against the government. The Supreme Court hears direct petitions from citizens and Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In recent years, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ordered the rerouting of the West Bank security barrier to decrease its negative effects on Palestinian residents. In 2008, the government committed to two court-mandated changes in the barrier.

The Emergency Powers (Detention) Law of 1979 provides for indefinite administrative detention without trial. Most administrative detainees are Palestinian; there are approximately 9,800 security prisoners in Israeli prisons. Negotiations between Israel and the West Bank-based PA resulted in the release of hundreds of these prisoners in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, the human rights groups B'Tselem and HaMoked Center reported that Palestinian prisoners are held in terrible conditions and are subject to abusive interrogation techniques, including instances of torture. The government disputed the accuracy of the report.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Israel",, [accessed <date>]