Israel investigates alleged inhumane treatment of Palestinian detainees News
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Israel investigates alleged inhumane treatment of Palestinian detainees

Israel announced on Tuesday it is investigating the deaths of Palestinian detainees captured during the war in Gaza, as Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi appointed a committee to investigate the conditions of prisoners in Israeli military facilities.

As reported by local media, a board led by Major General Ilan Schiff will evaluate compliance of the detentions with international law. This follows a series of reports by human rights organizations and international pressure.

The organization Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), together with other NGOs, filed a High Court petition calling for the closure of the. Sde Teiman facility, a military base that has been used to detain Palestinians from the Gaza Strip shortly after the start of the Israel-Hamas War. PHRI argues the conditions on the site are inhumane, leading to severe violations of detainee’s rights. The organization describes the situation in the facility as “detainees … confined in open-air enclosures surrounded by barbed wire, lacking beds and essential supplies.”

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Alice Jill Edwards called the Israeli government on May 23 to investigate the allegations of torture and inhumane treatment against detained Palestinians. This demonstrates local and international pressure to find justice against the numerous cases of violations of human rights presented against the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

International law protects the basic rights of detainees under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Under Article 16 of the convention, states shall prevent in their territory any act of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Israeli General Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi argues Israel is “treating these allegations very seriously and is taking action to probe them.” New reports on the investigations are expected.