A member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has condemned as “unethical and inhumane” the methods used by Israeli soldiers to investigate Palestinians, particularly children. Dr. Afu Agbaria MK claimed that “Israel’s own statistics confirm that 14% of detained Palestinian children were subjected to sexual abuse threats by Israeli soldiers.”
He referred to a report by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Ministry which revealed that 65% of detainees, most of them children, face brutal torture and ill-treatment during their detention and interrogation; 32% apparently signed confessions without understanding their content because they were written in Hebrew. Dr. Agbaria also drew attention to one hundred complaints presented by human rights organizations to Defence for Children International (DCI) against the ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees. The organizations demanded that detainees aged 16 and 17 should be dealt with as minors, in accordance with Israeli law, and an end to prison sentences for those under 14 years old.
DCI and the Israeli Organisation for Children’s Rights has, said Dr. Agbaria, called upon Israel’s Attorney General and Army Attorney General to open an investigation into allegations that Israeli soldiers sexually abused and beat a 15-year-old Palestinian from the village of Beit Omar near Hebron. The boy was arrested on the 14th of May, 2010 for throwing stones and was kept in detention and interrogated for 5 days. The Israeli soldiers used another 15 year old Palestinian boy as a human shield during their incursion into the village. He was reported to have been forced to walk in front of the soldiers then drink dirty water, which caused him to vomit.
It is claimed that the Israeli Army commits many human rights violations against Palestinian detainees during their interrogation. The ex-soldier who took pictures of herself in front of Palestinian detainees is one example. Another is the photograph of five soldiers pointing their guns at handcuffed Palestinian detainees in order to terrify them.
The Arab MK warned against these brutal practices, which indicate the deteriorating ethical standard of the Israeli Defence Forces.