Hamas has called on the United Nations to pressure the Israeli regime into stopping the torture of Palestinians being held behind bars at prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories.
“The continuous torture of prisoners of war by Israel requires a diplomatic action in to order take the regime’s leaders to international courts,” Hamas spokesman Abdel-Latif al-Qanoua said in a statement on the occasion of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which falls annually on June 26.
The remarks came only a day after Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) pointed to the rampant torture of Palestinians by Israeli prison officials, stating that the practice is not simply confined to violent tactics used during arrest and interrogation, but is rather intended to extract confessions.
Israeli authorities utilize physical and psychological methods of torture against Palestinian detainees. Some 95% of the prisoners are subjected to torture, from the moment of their arrest, throughout interrogation, as well as in prison, the rights group said in a report published on Thursday.
It noted that Palestinian prisoners are exposed to isolation, harsh and sub-standard living conditions as well as medical neglect under torture.
During the interrogation period, the detainees are deprived of sleep and Israeli prison officials use beating, slapping, kicking and verbal abuse, besides threats to arrest members of the prisoners’ families. Other threats include home demolition, death, denial of bathroom access, and exposure to extreme temperatures or continuous noise, the PPS highlighted.
The rights group went on to say that the torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention centers continues in utter disregard for international treaties and conventions, calling on all national, Arab and international human rights institutions to intervene and stop the Israeli regime’s crimes and degrading behaviors.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently being held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.
Over 500 detainees are under the so-called administrative detention in various Israeli prisons. Some prisoners have been held in that condition for up to 11 years without any charges being brought against them.
Administrative detention is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israeli authorities to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, which could be extended for an infinite number of times.
Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detentions.