A Palestinian human
rights organization on Thursday said Israel is using new methods
of physical and psychological torture against Palestinian and Arab
The Mandela Institute for Political
Prisoners said in a press statement that the Israeli internal
intelligence agency Shin Bet has been using painful means — mental
and physical — of torture that leave fewer physical evidence such
as forcing prisoners to sit in tiny chairs with hands and feet
tied, making them stand up in closets, depriving detainees from
sleep and using violent shaking.
The group said Shin Bet interrogates
the prisoners under the threat of murder, assassination, home
demolition, rape or the arrest of wife, covering of the head with
a dirty sack, placing prisoners inside refrigerators, making them
stand for a long period, and placing them in solitary
It added that the Shin Bet restricts
the prisoners’ use of toilet. The group termed the Israeli new
policies against prisoners “blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva
Convention” which prohibits signatories from committing any grave
breaches against civilians in occupied territories.
According to recent Palestinian
statistics, there are 7,000 Palestinians held in 23 prisons and
detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank. There are 300
prisoners under the age of 18. Israel also holds 37 females and 17
members of the Palestine Legislative Council.
According to the Palestinian
Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees, nearly 200 Palestinian
prisoners have so far died in Israeli confinement either under
torture or due to medical negligence.
B’Tselem, the Israeli Information
Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, recently said
that at least 40 Palestinian prisoners have suffered chronic
illnesses like cancer, renal failure and strokes.
The Israeli Prison Service failed to
offer constant medical care required for the ailing prisoners.
Local and international rights groups say Palestinian prisoners
are being denied basic rights and subjected to harsh treatment in
Israeli detention. Since December 2009, Egypt, Germany and France
have failed to finalize the swap deal for the release of Israeli
soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian
prisoners. The failure is due to differences between Hamas and
Hamas wants Israel to free up to
1,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons in exchange for the release
of Shalit, and the Palestinian movement has reportedly presented a
list of 450 inmates in Israeli prisons.
Israel objects to freeing Israeli
Arab prisoners as well as several Hamas military wing leaders.
Another issue yet to be settled is Israel’s demand to deport
almost 100 of the 450 high-profile prisoners set to be released in