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Torture

A group of 52 Arabs, residents of the Palestinian Authority, who needed costly medical evaluations in order to apply for compensations following a court ruling finding the PA guilty of torturing them, turned to fifteen different human rights organizations for support but were rejected by 13 of them, Israel Hayom reported Friday.

Out of the 15 NGOs, only Physicians for Human Rights and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture offered assisted the applicants. The rest refused to help or ignored the pleas. The Yesh Din organization expressed their “feelings of anger and pain,” but explained that they cannot help because they only “represent victims of violations when they are harmed by Israeli authorities or Israeli citizens.”

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Another NGO, Adalah, stated they “only help the Palestinian who are suing the State of Israel.”

Amnesty International said that their organization “does not have the professional tools to address the needs of these refugees.”

Good to know.

Last August, Judge Moshe Drori of the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the murder, abduction, imprisonment, torture and rape of 52 Arabs who are citizens of Israel or the PA. The verdict on these cases—dating back to the years 1995-2002—described torture that included electric shocks; castration; prolonged hanging by the legs with the prisoner’s head down; pouring boiling plastic on prisoners’ bodies; pulling teeth and nails; sleep deprivation and food deprivation; as well as murder and rape of family members.

Justice Drori ruled that the PA should bear tort liability for the plaintiffs. The ruling was a huge victory for the plaintiffs, but it soon became clear that in order to realize their reparations from the PA they had to provide the opinions of medical experts in a variety of areas, which was a very costly undertaking.

To help the plaintiffs, attorneys Barak Kedem and Aryeh Arbus applied to 15 human rights organizations, which are regularly at the forefront of the struggle against the Israeli “occupation,” the plight of Israeli Arabs, and the demolition of houses belonging to terrorists’ families – and which benefit from very large funds from foreign governments and charities, and the New Israel Fund – but received few responses, never mind actual offers to help.

The New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel were among the groups that ignored the plaintiffs’ pleas.

Curiously, Honenu, a legal aid society most often associated with rightwing causes, came through for the plaintiffs. “It is clear to us that this is part of the work that we have taken upon ourselves in Honenu,” said Director General Shmuel (Zengi) Meidad. “The abandonment of people who help the people of Israel is an unforgivable act of depravity.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.