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They break you down: Ex-Israeli officer on torture tactics after release from jail

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former Israeli officer, Ezzat Nefsous

A former Israeli officer reflects on torture tactics employed by the occupying regime’s so-called internal security service, Shin Bet, which saw him get arrested, tormented, and imprisoned for years on end.

The security apparatus apprehended Ezzat Nafsous, a ranking official at the time, in 1980, and forced him to confess to “spying for Lebanon.” He was eventually indicted at an Israeli court and incarcerated for “seven years and a half.”

In an interview with the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, which was published on Thursday (November 11), Nafsous was asked why “innocent people” were being forced by the agency to admit to crimes they never committed.

‘Crazy to resist Shin Bet’

“Because, even if you are innocent, it would be crazy to choose not to confess to what they want you to confess,” said the 66-year-old. “Anyone who insists on refusing to confess, even falsely, is crazy.”

“Because they break you down psychologically,” he noted.

He went on to explain how the interrogation process unfolds by saying, “They try to discover you over the first two days” before realizing your weak points and starting to use them against you.

He was subjected to other forms of torture as well, which he enumerated as sleep deprivation and cold shower as well as being tired out excessively and threatened.

“It was under these circumstances that I admitted to what I had not committed,” Nafsous noted, saying the person under interrogation ends up coming up with the security apparatus’ desired type of confession because he or she would “just want them to leave you alone.”

The former officer, meanwhile, asserted that the Shin Bet was still deploying the tactics against victims.

“Despite formation of regulatory committees, Shin Bet’s performance has not undergone any changes.”

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