Amnesty Int’l: Israel guilty of torture, unfairly detains Palestinians


(JTA) — Amnesty International says Israel is guilty of torture and human rights violations.

The nongovernmental organization’s report, "Starved of justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel," states that Israel must end its policy of detaining Palestinian prisoners without charge or trial.

The report said that the Israeli Prison Services punished Palestinian hunger strikers by placing them in solitary confinement, claiming that holding the action was against prison regulations, Haaretz reported.

Israel denied the charges and said torture is forbidden in Israel. Spokeman Mark Regev also said administrative detention is used only to hold those who present an immediate security threat. "If we get information from someone whose neighbor is making explosives for suicide bombers and that evidence is presented in court, then terror groups will take violent action against him and his family," Regev said, according to The Associated Press.  

He also said that international law allows for adminstrative detention, and that Israel detains suspected Jewish extremists as well.

NGO Monitor, meanwhile, has accused Amnesty International of hiring a researcher with an “extensive background in anti-Israel activism," the London Jewish Chronicle reported. NGO Monitor says Deborah Hyams previously had volunteered as a human shield in Palestinian villages. She also had written that Israel was a “terrorist state” guilty of “ethnic cleansing” before she began working for the charity in 2010.

"When you hire someone like Deborah Hyams there’s no leg to stand on in claiming to have no bias," NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg said, according to the Chronicle.

"“NGO Monitor repeatedly attacks A.I. and other organizations that report on Israel. We do not give any credence to their comments,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

Recommended from JTA