Israel Rejects Amnesty International’s Allegations of Torture of Palestinians

The Israel Defense Force has denied allegations contained in Amnesty International’s annual report on world-wide human-rights violations that Israeli security forces systematically torture Palestinian prisoners.

According to the report, which was released last week, Palestinian prisoners in 1993 were “systematically tortured or ill-treated during interrogation” by Israeli authorities.

The report said the methods of torture used during interrogation of Palestinian prisoners included beatings, sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

“IDF activities are directed against terrorists in order to prevent and foil terrorist attacks armed at innocent civilians, Palestinian and Israeli alike,” according to an IDF statement rejecting the accusations.

“All types of torture or use of violence are against the law, and of course any confession which is made against the subject’s free will is inadmissible as evidence in a court of law,” the statement said.

The Amnesty report also condemned Palestinian armed factions such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, noting that they repeatedly “committed grave human righs abuses, including torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings.”

These groups last year killed more than 100 fellow Palestinians who were suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities or who were attacked for their political views, according to the report.

The report also detailed other instances where Palestinians were tortured by Palestinians, including one instance where 12 Palestinians were shot in the legs by alleged members of Al Fatah, the mainstream faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, apparently as punishment for acts such as burglary.

(JTA staff intern Michael Shapiro in Washington contributed to this report.)

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