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Illegal for 20 Years, Torture of Palestinians by Shin Bet Goes On

15 18 0

Twenty years ago last week, Shin Bet security services interrogations changed overnight. The High Court of Justice ruled in detail and at length on the methods used in Shin Bet interrogation rooms, and completely outlawed torture. The ruling was handed down five years after the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel filed the first petition on the matter, and only after several deaths occurred in the wake of Shin Bet questioning – that of Abdel Samad Harizat being the most well-known. Supreme Court President Aharon Barak wrote in the ruling that a “reasonable” interrogation does not include torture.

As dramatic and surprising as the ruling was, the Shin Bet decided that very day to implement the ruling in full: Ami Ayalon, who led the Shin Bet at the time, said the organization would “fall in line” with the High Court ruling. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the change that occurred on September 6, 1999. Prior to that date, hundreds of Palestinians each year were subjected to serious physical and emotional violence that was an integral part of every arrest and every security interrogation; from that moment on, as attested........

© Haaretz