Human Rights

Israel’s High Court Upholds Judgments Against PA for Torturing Palestinians

Israel’s Supreme Court upheld verdicts totaling 14 million NIS ($3.81) against the Palestinian Authority for torturing Palestinians it held in custody, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The two verdicts — one from June of 13.1 million NIS ($3.57 million) for the false imprisonment of 51 plaintiffs, and the second one from December of last year for 900,000 NIS ($240,000) for attorneys’ fees — had been issued by the Jerusalem District Court and had been appealed by the PA.

The plaintiffs claimed that they had been tortured by the PA for cooperating with Israel.

The ruling, which is 1,860 pages long, was described by the Post as “bizarre,” because “it involved Palestinian citizens coming before the courts of the Israeli ‘occupation’ to get justice for their mistreatment by their own PA law enforcement.”

The PA argued that the verdict could cause its collapse. The 13.1 million NIS verdict only addresses false imprisonment; the district court has not yet ruled on the claims of torture, which could be much higher.

The ruling by Justice Yosef Elron means that the PA is technically required to pay the sum immediately, though it isn’t clear that the plaintiffs have any way to ensure payment.

In July of last year, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the men had the right to sue the PA in Israel because the PA was required by the Oslo Accords to fight terror and that the information the men gave to Israeli authorities helped avert potential terror attacks. Because the men were doing what was required of them, the court held that the PA had no right to imprison or torture them.

In the ruling, the court determined that the PA had tortured the plaintiffs by “beating them on all parts of the body, hitting them with lead pipes, extinguishing cigarettes on their bodies, hanging them in torture positions for hours and starving them.”

[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube ]