ISRAEL-OPT: Torture and Illtreatment in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Treatment


In its 2008 Annual Report, the United Against Torture Coalition (UAT Coalition), a coalition of 14 Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, has undertaken an in-depth and critical analysis of Israel's compliance with the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

The report examines the continued and systemic use of torture by the State of Israel, in both Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

In accordance with the mandate of the UAT Coalition, the Annual Report focuses on violations against Palestinians, in both the oPt and Israel. The Annual Report is based on material submitted by the UAT Coalition to the United Nations Committee against Torture (the Committee) in September 2008, pending the Committee’s periodical review of Israel's compliance with CAT, scheduled for May 2009.

The Annual Report draws upon the considerable experience of the UAT Coalition membership including more than 80 pages of affidavit material, extracts of which are interspersed throughout.

In preparing the Annual Report, the UAT Coalition examined the use of torture and ill-treatment by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians from the point of arrest, through interrogation and detention as well as the use of coerced confessions in the military courts. The Annual Report also considers:

  • The use of torture and ill-treatment in non-conventional circumstances, including house demolitions, the Gaza siege and the coercion by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) of medical patients attempting to exit Gaza in order to access necessary medical treatment. 
  • The continued use of incommunicado detention and lack of prompt access to lawyers for Palestinians detainees. 
  • The discriminatory nature in which laws and practices are applied to Palestinian detainees compared to Israeli citizens. 
  • The impunity with which ISA interrogators, police officers and members of the Israeli army torture and abuse Palestinian detainees, including children as young as 12. 
  • A legislative exemption that allows the ISA to interrogate Palestinian detainees without audio visual recordings as is required in other investigations. 
  • The failure of the State of Israel to clearly prohibit the use of torture and ill-treatment in its domestic legislation as recommended by the UN Committee.

The UAT Coalition concludes in its Annual Report that the use of torture and ill-treatment by Israeli authorities against Palestinians is both widespread and systematic. The State is either unwilling or unable to fulfill its treaty obligations under CAT.

The UAT Coalition has observed and recorded evidence of acts, omissions and complicity by agents of the State at all levels, including the army, the intelligence service, the police, the judiciary and other branches of government. The UAT Coalition is of the view that until this culture of impunity is addressed the situation is unlikely to improve.

Contact a DCI-Palestine if you wish to receive a hard copy of the report or read it online in English, Arabic or Hebrew.

Download UAT's report 2007: A study on the implementation of the EU guidelines on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or Punishment 

Further Information:

** Under Attack: Settler Violence against Palestinian Children in Occupied Territories (DCI/PS)

** Submission to Human Rights Council UPR of Israel (DCI/PS)

** No Defence: soldier violence against Palestinian detainees (Public Committee against Torture in Israel)

** More resources on Israel




Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.