Palestinians mark ‘day of rage’ over torture of detainee in Israel custody

Jerusalem/PNN/

Palestinian protesters have marked a ‘day of rage’ over the brutal torture of a Palestinian detainee during interrogation by Israel’s domestic spy service Shin Bet, in what Amnesty International has slammed as “a reprehensible crime.”

In the occupied West bank, Israeli police attacked the protesters, using tear gas, sound bombs and rubber-coated bullets to break up the gathering on Tuesday, media reports said.

Dozens were treated for tear gas inhalation in the aftermath of the Israeli crackdown, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Reuters reported up to 300 protesters took part in the demonstrations in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli forces also clashed with the protesters and activists, who gathering outside the hospital where the injured detainee is being treated in occupied East Jerusalem, arresting two protesters.

Samer al-Arbid was arrested last week on suspicion of involvement in a deadly bomb attack near an Israeli settlement northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The 44-year-old father of three was, however, hospitalized on Friday with signs of beating on his body, a fractured rib cage and severe kidney failure.

Family members and lawyers speaking to the MEE have said that al-Arbid has been tortured and beaten by Israeli forces, stating that he had fully healthy prior to his arrest.

A lawyer working for the prisoner rights organization Addameer was able to briefly visit al-Arbid in hospital on Monday. The hospitalized inmate was reported to have been unconscious and in critical condition.

n a statement on September 30, Amnesty International slammed Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian inmate and said, “Under international treaties, which legally bind Israel, the use of torture cannot be justified under any circumstances. This case exposes Israel’s claims that its judiciary upholds human rights as a complete sham.”

“Resorting to torture during interrogation is also a reprehensible crime,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa director, calling on the Tel Aviv regime to end the “systematic use of torture and ensure that those responsible for the torture of Samir Arbeed, including those with command and other superior responsibility, are held to account.”

A hearing on the torture case is expected to be held in an Israeli court on Wednesday.

Palestinians and rights groups, however, doubt Israeli investigations into similar cases of mistreatment, saying such probes are a sham and serve public relations purposes.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails.

According to Addameer, 220 Palestinians have died in Israeli detention since 1967. The rights group says 60 of them lost their lives due to medical negligence, while 73 people have died as a result of torture.