Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

A Rare Look at Israel’s Torture Methods

Israeli torture methods include slapping prisoners, shouting at them and forcing them to squat against a wall handcuffed for long periods of time, according to a Haaretz report that provided a rare look into torture in the Israeli prison system.

Haaretz was witness to a conversation among interrogators that yielded new details about how interrogators use torture to gain information from prisoners, usually Palestinians. In December 2015, Jewish terror suspects in a high profile arson case that killed a Palestinian family also said they were tortured.

Torture, or “special means” as the Israeli security establishment calls it, has long been shrouded from the public eye. As the report noted, usually torture accounts at the hands of Israeli interrogators come from those on the receiving end of torture.

In the conversation to which Haaretz was witness, interrogators also described back-bending, when a suspect is bent backward over a stool with his arms and legs cuffed. Another method is cuffing a suspect’s hands behind his back and forcing him to raise them to shoulder height.

Israel’s High Court outlawed torture in 1999, but a subsequent attorney general later allowed its use with restrictions. According to Haaretz, the use of torture is now on the rise in Israel.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at [email protected]


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.