Israeli human rights organization BICOM on Tuesday found that “the vast majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” do not suffer “torture” or “extrajudicial” detention, and that the number of cases of torture and ill-treatment is “minimal.”
“The vast majority (93 percent) of Palestinian prisoners who have undergone torture and abuse do not report it, and are often not even aware of it,” the group said in its report.
“They have not experienced it, nor did they witness it.”
The report comes as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ administration announced on Monday that it would allow the transfer of 1,000 additional prisoners to Israel in an effort to increase the Palestinian population of the West Banks.
The report’s authors were led by Baruch Goldschmidt, an Israeli human-rights activist and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who has been leading a campaign against Israel’s imprisonment of Palestinians.
“The majority of the prisoners are peaceful, and many of them have served their sentences and are not involved in violent activities,” Goldschamps said in a statement.
“Some have been arrested and held for months.
They are not criminals, and there is no evidence they committed any crimes, but rather the Palestinians who were arrested, charged and sentenced for the crimes they committed, they are simply trying to make a living, and they are subjected to systematic abuse and physical and psychological torture.”
The number of Palestinian adults in Israel is expected to increase by a factor of more than 10 in the coming years.
In its findings, BICom said the vast majority were released after “fewer than three months of detention,” with only 11 percent of those released having been in Israeli custody for longer than five years.
It also found that the vast bulk of the detainees are men, who constitute the majority in Palestinian jails.
“This means that the majority (78 percent) are under 25 years of age, and those aged over 40 account for the bulk of detainees,” the report said.
The group found that of the men who had been released by the end of the year, only 15 percent had ever been convicted of a crime.
Of those who had served their time, a total of 42 percent had been convicted in court, with the remainder sentenced to prison or suspended sentences.
Of the men held for up to five years, the report found that almost half had been charged with a crime and sentenced to a minimum of six months in prison.
The report also said that of those who have been imprisoned for more than five and a half years, only 20 percent were convicted of any crime, and of those, more than half had served more than six years in prison, while less than half were convicted.
According to the report, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are “often subjected to torture in the custody of Israeli authorities, with some being subjected to physical and mental abuse, and other prisoners receiving verbal and psychological abuse.”
The BIComs findings are consistent with other recent studies of Israeli prisons that found that most Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons, rather than in Palestinian civilian jails, and in Israeli military jails.
The Israeli military also holds detainees for interrogation and interrogation without charges, while Israeli civilian courts hold them for trial without charges.
The Israeli government has repeatedly denied any use of Palestinian detainees as human shields.
In October, the Israeli parliament voted to grant the Palestinians “full sovereignty” over their lands and borders, but it was not until February that the Palestinian Authority, which holds the bulk on-the-ground authority in the occupied West Bank, signed a joint declaration with the Israeli government and the UN Human Rights Council that stated it “condemns any incitement or incitement to violence and calls on the Israeli authorities to ensure the security of Palestinian communities and residents in occupied Palestine.”
In March, the United Nations Human Rights Office released a report calling for the Palestinian people to be treated with “respect, dignity and dignity of every human being,” and calling for a “right to self-determination.”
In a statement released in July, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said the report “provides compelling evidence that the use of detainees for political purposes and to intimidate or coerce them into compliance with their decisions constitutes torture.”
In response, Bicoms said it will present the findings of its report to the High Commissioner, the Office of the High Contracting Parties, and the Palestinian government for approval.