How Israel Legitimizes Torture

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

With the help of Israeli high courts, Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service) has managed to become impervious to international law. This has allowed them to engage in torture, sometimes with lethal consequences, as in the case of Arafat Jaradat, who died in custody at  Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility on February 23, 2013.

The Israeli human rights organizations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Public Committee Against Torturing in Israel (PCATI) have filed petitions requesting that the Israeli attorney general launch criminal investigations into allegations that Shin Bet tortures, but the Israeli High Court rejected the petitions.  In early February 2013, two weeks before Jaradat’s death, the Israeli high court rejected a petition submitted by Adalah, demanding that Shin Bet video- and audio record its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.    In its defense, the Israeli state maintains that “national security” require its interrogation techniques not be made public.

According to the prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect.


Charlotte Silver, “How Israel legitimises torturing Palestinians to death,” Al Jazeera, February 25, 2013,

Student Researcher: Aqil Bassa, College of Marin

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman, College of Marin