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Prison torture

Based on a court ruling, Israel is holding the Palestinians responsible for torturing their own citizens. 

By: United with Israel Staff

A group of Palestinians, victims of torture at the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA) who won a lawsuit filed against the PA in Israel, are starting to see justice.

Israel recently deducted some NIS 1 million ($370,00) in tax revenues that it collects on behalf of the PA, which it will use to cover the medical expenses of Palestinians who were tortured by PA security services, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Last year, an Israeli court for the first time recognized the torture of the Palestinians and ordered the PA to compensate them. The full amount of the compensation has yet to be determined. In the meantime, Israel is ensuring the court costs are covered, but hundreds of millions of shekels are expected to be awarded in damages.

In January, Israel recently cut half a billion Israeli shekels ($145 million) from taxes it collects on behalf of the PA to partially cover the required compensation.

The Palestinian government alleged that “this measure is nothing more than an Israeli piracy of Palestinian funds and is part of a policy to seize Palestinian tax revenues employed by the Israeli government.”

Precedential Ruling Against the PA

Last June, the Jerusalem District Court issued a precedential ruling according to which the PA is responsible for the physical and emotional injury caused to no less than 52 plaintiffs – Israeli and Palestinian Arabs suspected by the PA of “collaboration with Israel” – and charged the PA with their compensation.

The court verdict published last July reveals an in-depth account of each of the plaintiffs and his circumstances. The resulting picture is one of widespread detentions throughout Judea and Samaria of those suspected of collaborating with Israel. The vicious torture described by the plaintiffs included beatings with metal wires and rubber pipes, cigarette burns, being hung for hours, and sleep and food deprivation.

The plaintiffs testified that between 1990 and 2003 they were incarcerated for different periods of time, some of them held for years, suffering unimaginably brutal torture at the hands of their interrogators.

As a result, the plaintiffs sustained severe damage to both their physical and mental health. Several of the victims subsequently died of their wounds or were executed without trial.

The PA has refused to recognize the court’s jurisdiction over its affairs while denying that any torture took place within its facilities.

The Palestinian security forces have previously come under fire from advocacy groups and Palestinian detainees based on egregious human rights abuse.

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