“When I heard there was a terror attack against children, I…stopped the bloodshed? Why should they burn me? I underwent an interrogation like under ISIS,” said an Arab detained by the PA.
By: United with Israel Staff
Details of the shocking plight of Arab detainees held by the Palestinians Authority were exposed last week when the Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee held a special session on the PA’s torture practices and what Israel should do about it.
Walid, an Arab who was arrested and tortured by the PA for helping to prevent the slaughter of Israeli children, recalled how he received a death sentence “because I prevented a terror attack. I did holy work.”
“Thanks to that, children are being raised and weren’t killed, and I did the job,” he added. “The punishment I received was the death sentence, because I wanted peace rather than terror attacks.”
“When I heard that there was a terror attack against children, I got up and stopped the attack. What did I do wrong? That I stopped the bloodshed? Why should they burn me? I underwent an interrogation like under Da’ash (Arabic acronym for the Islamic State terror group) in Syria.”
He recounted how “for two weeks, I was with my head upside down and my legs right side up, until my head swelled. [I was given] hot and cold showers. They put me in a closet with a net and threw all the dirt at me. They hit me where I had the surgery; I had to sit on a glass bottle.”
Israel ‘Respected Me’
In contrast, Walid also sat with an interrogator in Israel. “They gave me food to eat, on Ramadan they respected me. Here a dog lives better than a human being lives there. I became connected with the people that live in justice,” Walid said.
“Why did I stop a terror attack? From a young age, I was brought up in mosques and brainwashed that the Jews took the land. I entered an Israeli prison for auto theft. There they performed an operation on my leg. I received treatment and rehabilitation. I saw that this people [the Israelis], whom I was told is bad, provides me with assistance. I returned to the territories [PA] with a different mindset, that this people really helps others,” he explained.
Attorney Kedem Barak, who represents 63 Palestinians who were tortured by the PA, told the committee that there has been “electric shock, nail-pulling, castration. Three women, two of whom were murdered without trial; the third woman was tortured and her eye was gouged out.”
“Laila lost her husband due to the suspicion that he collaborated with Israel… Laila’s son was arrested under the suspicion that he collaborated [with Israel]. His sister was brought to jail in order to make him confess. He confessed, and several hours later, they called the mother to come and take the girl’s body. They arrested Laila and her sister. Her sister was found shot on the street. And they gouged out Laila’s eye,” he recalled the horrific details.
Acting Committee Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich said that “the state of Israel’s silence in the face of the torture of Arab residents during their arrest in the Palestinian Authority is the most unethical [situation].”
‘Worst Human Rights Violations in the World’
He said Israel must allocate resources and provide tools to combat the PA’s violence.
“We don’t want to be occupiers, but it is ‘okay’ for them be tortured, raped and murdered? We bear the responsibility by virtue of our moral duty as the Jewish people… this is one of the worst human rights violations in the world. It doesn’t interest the left, nor the organizations that are called human rights organizations. It’s racism,” Smotrich asserted.
Among the alleged abuses: whipping people’s feet, forcing detainees into painful stress positions, hoisting up people’s arms behind their backs with rope and coercing suspects into granting access to their mobile phones and social media accounts.
HRW said the systematic use of torture could amount to a crime against humanity under the United Nations’ Convention against Torture and called on countries that provide funding to Palestinian law enforcement to suspend their assistance.
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