Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, March 28, 2016

(JNi.Media) The Jerusalem District Court published a nearly 2,000 page ruling that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the detainment and torture of over 50 people who were accused of collaborating in Israel dating back from the 1990s. The ruling of District Court judge Moshe Drori included the legal justification for publishing the report in addition to horrendous accounts of torture experienced by the victims.

The court ordered compensation of the victims but did not yet specify the amount. Some torture victims were not offered compensation because they were not detained and harmed related to spying with Israel or were kidnapped from areas that are not officially under Israeli control. Most of the victims were Arabs, but there was at least one israeli plaintiff.


In the historic decision, Judge Drori ruled that the Israeli courts could take action in cases in which the Palestinian Authority detained suspects on the grounds of suspected collaboration with Israel, because the detainment is for security reasons (from the PA’s point of view) and is not within the PA’s authority, according to the Interim Agreement. Therefore, such arrests are illegal. Many of the victims were abducted in area of C of the West Bank and in areas of Jerusalem where the PA is not allowed to operate.

The details of the torture described in the report paint a picture of extreme violence and psychological terror. The detainees were deprived of sleep and food, were gagged with feces-soaked clothes, were made to sit in sewage and lie down on broken bottles, had their bones broken, were penetrated with objects, and had their genitals mutilated. A number of prisoners died from these torture methods. One method of torture known as “shabah” involved hanging prisoners at different angles and exposing them to extreme heat and cold.

Torture of suspected collaborators was particularly severe during the war in Gaza. Amnesty International reported that Hamas tortured Arab prisoners suspected of collaborating with Israel. In addition to extreme and prolonged torture, it is estimated that 23 Arabs were executed by Hamas in the summer of 2014. Following Israeli airstrikes that killed 3 Hamas commanders, 17 Arab detainees were killed in one day by Hamas.