Human RightsPalestine

Israel Torture Bill: It’s Not News At All


The news that the Israeli cabinet has passed a bill that approves the force-feeding of hunger striking prisoners is not news at all. The US-backed regime has been torturing Palestinian prisoners for decades.

Israeli officials have openly referenced the US practice to justify the bill. When advocating for the legislation, Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu directly cited the US policies at Guantanamo Bay. After all, if the regime can blockade an enclave and kill its civilians, why not torture them too?

According to The Committee on the Rights of Children, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and United Nations Human Rights Council, Israel Security Agency and the military court system carry out “systematic crimes perpetrated from the time of arrest, during transfer and interrogation, to obtain a confession but also on an arbitrary basis as testified by Israeli soldiers and media, international lawyers, detainees, as well as during pretrial detention.”

Under the torture program, Palestinians prisoners are:

Sexually abused
Attacked and bitten by dogs
Forced to stand in electrically charged water
Dragged by rope around neck
Tortured in front of family members
Crushed under bulldozer
Blindfolded and hung from helicopter…

All these horrifying practices are still ongoing in Israeli prisons and the international civil society is not doing anything about it. According to Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, in April 2015 there were 5,800 political prisoners in Israeli jails, including 414 people in administrative detention.

Many of those incarcerated are children. Defense for Children Palestine reports, “Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children.”

Little wonder coordinated hunger strikes among those incarcerated continue to the present. Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that the latest wave of strikes began in April with hundreds joining in since then. The torture bill has to be understood within this context.

Nevertheless, Western media outlets are taking us for fools to claim that the torture bill only includes force-feeding. The US-backed regime at every level, from the prime murderer and the security agency down to the military police, colludes with the torture program – with international impunity and no accountability.

It’s a violation of international law, but expect no criticism or condemnation by the UN human rights office.

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