Two prominent Palestinian rights groups have highlighted Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners, saying the Tel Aviv regime enjoys a culture of impunity in the absence of international accountability and systematically subjects the detainees to various forms of torture.
The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, which advocates the rights of Palestinian inmates, as well as the legal-aid human rights group al-Haq, made the remarks in a joint statement at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council on Saturday, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
The groups went on to say that Israel’s use of torture and "cruel treatment" against Palestinian prisoners is part of its settler-colonial and apartheid regime.
They further noted that various Israeli institutions seek to conceal crimes of torture, although they are well documented with evidence.
The groups added that the regime’s military courts also refrain from documenting the torture of detainees in court records and extend detainment for further interrogation, while disregarding the clear markings of torture on Palestinian detainees’ bodies.
Addameer and al-Haq further denounced Israel’s use of administrative detention, which allows the occupying regime to incarcerate Palestinians indefinitely without pressing formal charges, or putting them on trial, saying the practice causes psychological distress.
“The psychological impact that repeated arrests and detention has on Palestinians cannot be understated, as it easily induces stress, depression, feelings of helplessness, and desperation,” they said, adding that the number of administrative detainees has doubled currently standing at 967, including five children.
They also condemned the occupying regime’s introduction of draft bills on the death penalty and limitations on medical treatment, as well as brutal prison raids, saying the new Israeli cabinet “is implementing a particularly hostile, radical agenda against Palestinian prisoners and their families.”
The groups further warned that “these measures give way to grave human rights violations,” calling on the international community to take immediate action to stop Israeli violations against Palestinians.
There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted, which is in sheer violation of human rights. Advocacy groups describe Israel’s use of the detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.
The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. The prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
According to the Palestine Detainees Studies Center, about 60% of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails suffer from chronic diseases, a number of whom died in detention or after being released due to the severity of their cases.