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Israel media reported that a judge gave the domestic intelligence agency permission to “use exceptional ways to investigate” Samir Arbeed.
44-year-old Palestinian Samir Arbeed was admitted to a hospital in Jerusalem after been interrogated and tortured by Israel’s Shin Bet - domestic intelligence service - who is accusing him to be the mastermind behind an alleged attack in an illegal West Bank settlement.
“He was in good health before he was arrested. My husband was not suffering from any illness, and his health has deteriorated because of the torture that he underwent,” Noura Miselmani, Arbeed’s wife, told the Middle East Eye.
Miselmani explained that Israeli special forces beat her husband when they arrested him in front of his workplace on Wednesday.
She added that he appeared in front of a court the following day with bruises, and told the judge he is severely suffering and unable to eat as a result of the beating.
“Despite his difficult condition, the judge issued a decision to allow a military interrogation and the use of force to extract information from him,” Miselmani added. Israeli media reported that the judge even gave the agency permission to “use exceptional ways to investigate” Arbeed.
The intelligence agency released a statement on Saturday saying that the members of the cell accused of the attack in the occupied West Bank leading to the death of one Israeli, all belonged to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
In the same statement it added that “during the investigation of the head of the terror cell responsible for the attack on the Ein Buvin spring that killed Rina Shnerb, the investigator reported that he did not feel well. According to the procedure, he was transferred to the hospital for medical examinations and treatment. No other details can be provided."
Arbeed's wife said Shin Bet only made this statement as a way to protect itself and avoid any legal responsibility if her husband were to die.
“We call on all the international human rights organizations to rapidly interfere and save my husband Samir, and help secure his immediate release,” she said.
Arbeed’s lawyers said they were only given permission to see him at 22.30 GMT on Sunday when they discovered he had arrived unconscious, with a fractured rib cage, bruises, signs of beating all over his body and severe kidney failure. His family says they have been restricted from seeing him.
Sahar Francis, director of Addameer, recalled that torture of detainees is illegal and any confessions obtained under such circumstances is unreliable and shouldn’t be taken into account.
“What Samir underwent is a war crime according to the Rome Charter, especially as he entered critical condition within 48 hours as a result of being tortured,” she told the Middle East Eye, adding that his hospitalization “confirms that he was subjected to violence and severe torture.”
Francis explained that the use of methods amounting to torture during military interrogations of Palestinian detainees is extremely frequent in Israel and commonly employed by the country's authorities.
“There are decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court that allow the Shin Bet to use torture as a means of extracting confessions,” she explained.