Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Report: Family members used to pressure Palestinians in Israeli detention

“They said that if I confessed to everything they wanted, they would release my wife, and that she was in the isolation cell because of me.” This and similar testimonies of detainees interrogated by the Israeli intelligence during the past year indicate a phenomenon whose gravity must not be minimized: the use of a detainee’s family to “break” him. 

PCATI comments on judicial approval of assassination policy

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) that filed the petition against the assassinations policy of the State of Israel in January, 2002, regrets that that the ruling of the panel of High Court of Justice justices headed by former Chief Justice, Aharon Barak, did not outline a clear set of criteria that permit or forbid “targeted assassinations”, or extrajudicial executions, in a way that would prevent the killing of innocent civilians. According to PCATI’s data, since the beginning of the second Intifada, and following the first targeted assassination on 9 November 2000, approximately 500 Palestinians were killed during targeted assassinations, including 168 innocent civilians. 

PCATI welcomes investigation into killing of Iman al-Hams

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) welcomes today’s ruling by the High Court of Justice which accepted the petition of the parents of Iman El Hams and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and ordered the judge Advocate General and the Military Attorney’s Office to open an investigation to determine whether illegal open fire orders were given in the area of the “Girit” military post which lead to the killing of Iman Al Hams on 5 October 2004. In addition, the Court ordered the respondents to pay the petitioners the sum of 15,000 NS for their court expenses. Iman El Hams, 13 years old, was killed by IDF fire while on her way to school. 

Human rights groups condemn "targeted assassinations"

Human rights groups based in the occupied Palestinian territories are concerned regarding the intensified Israeli campaign of “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian activists. In an open letter to diplomatic missions they stated that the policy of “targeted assassination” “not only circumvents the fundamental right to due process but also risks the further destabilisation of an already volatile political situation.” With ten Palestinians killed in the last five days the human rights groups call on the international community to demand an end to the illegal Israeli practice and to ensure the respect of international humanitarian law. 

Israeli High Court rejects petition against Israeli general

The High Court of Justice today rejected a petition by Yesh Gvul, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, writers, poets, intellectuals and pilots to block Major General Dan Halutz’s recent appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff. The petitioners argued that Halutz was unfit for the post because of what they called his “brutal violation of the ethical code of war” and a “lack of remorse” over the deaths of Palestinians in extra-judicial executions. In July 2002, the Israeli air force carried out a strike against senior Hamas member Salah Shehadeh in Gaza. Shehadeh was killed, along with 14 others in his immediate vicinity. General Halutz, who was air force commander at the time, told the pilots involved in the mission that “they can sleep soundly, and that their performance was perfect.” 

Israeli human rights groups to Attorney General: "Cancel plans to demolish homes in Rafah"

Eight human rights organizations today urged Attorney General Meni Mazuz to declare the IDF’s plans to demolish houses along the “Philadelphi” route illegal and order their cancellation. The media recently reported that the IDF requested Mazuz’s opinion on a plan to dig a channel and fill it with water as a way to cope with the tunnels being built to smuggle weapons. According to the reports, the IDF presented three alternative plans for digging the channel. The most extensive plan calls for the destruction of some 3,000 homes, another plan requires the destruction of about 700 homes, and 200 homes will be destroyed according to the “limited” plan. 

Parents petition Israeli High Court over daughter killed by Israeli army

The parents of 13-year-old Iman al-Hams, who was shot to death by Israeli forces in early October, petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday to order an investigation of the shooting. Iman was shot on her way to school, as she approached the Girit military outpost in the south Gaza area of Rafah. The lawyers maintain that there is evidence that the soldiers were given blatantly illegal orders stating that they must shoot to kill anyone, including civilians who do not endanger anyone’s life, without even resorting to the procedure regulating the arrest of suspects. They also demand that the supervision of the investigation be taken out of the hands of the Military Attorney’s office because of its involvement in the drafting of the open fire regulations. 

Human Rights groups: "Prisoner Rights are Human Rights"

Nine human rights organizations placed an advertisement in the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, stating that the rights of thousands of incarcerated Palestinians are being violated and that the Israel Prison Service must respect the basic and universal principals of prisoners’ human rights. Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent diginity of the human person.The groups include ACRI, The Prisoner Association, The Arab Association for Human Rights, Adalah, B’Tselem, Mossawa, Ha’moked, and the Public Committee Against Torture. 

Israel's Internal Security Minister is "indifferent" to lives of Palestinian prisoners

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) condemns the ruthless and irresponsible remark made by Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister of Internal Security, regarding the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners that “as far as I am concerned they can strike for a day, a month and onto death”. Hannah Friedman, Executive Director of PCATI, said: “it is unthinkable that an Israeli government minister would express himself in this fashion displaying a total disregard for the lives of the people in his custody.