Teen Jewish Terror Suspect in Custody Claims Shin Bet Is Torturing Him

Teenager tells Petah Tikva judge at closed-door hearing that he has tried to commit suicide; 'claim is baseless,' Shin Bet says.

Protesters scuffle with police at a demonstration against the detention conditions of the Jewish terror suspects, Jerusalem, December 20, 2015.
Olivieh Fittousi

A minor who has been detained on suspicion of involvement in Jewish terror activity claimed Sunday he is being tortured by the Shin Bet security service.

The teenager, A., lives in a West Bank community and was arrested three weeks ago. He was allegedly prevented from seeing a lawyer until last Wednesday. He cried during Sunday's closed-door hearing at Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court and told the judge he had tried to commit suicide in detention.

“They turn me upside down until my hands start burning – it feels like they are burning me with a lighter,” A. told the judge, according to sources involved with the case.

A. and the judge were alone in the courtroom during the discussion.

“Every day it goes up a level I didn’t sleep last night and I won’t sleep tonight either, unless something changes. They are violently questioning me about something I can’t help them with, because I don’t know. They are taking me apart, bending my whole back, laughing and looking at me with contempt. The hell with it, what am I supposed to do?

“They yell at me, ‘Murderer, murderer!’” A. continued. “Where can I run? Where is their doubt that maybe I’m actually right? This is the worst injustice the State of Israel can do to a person.”

The judge asked the teen if he had been given the shot he needed for a medical condition he suffers from. “I would prefer not to get any medicine and that they just stop with all these beatings,” the boy replied. He later burst into tears and said, “I can’t go on.”

The boy then added, “It’s a whole night of abuse. I told them, ‘Kill me, bring me poison!’ I’m begging you, your honor, I can’t [take] anymore. Does the court have any way of controlling the investigation?”

Despite A.’s descriptions, Judge Erez Nurieli ordered the teen’s remand extended. He did not ask the police or Shin Bet for any clarifications regarding the investigation.

A.’s attorney, Adi Keider, complained that his client had “recounted all these terrible things, and nobody opens his mouth. This is horrible. It should concern all of us that the judicial system is in cahoots with the prosecution, police and Shin Bet.”

The Shin Bet said it was a state organization and all its activities were lawful: “Shin Bet investigations are conducted in accordance with the law, and are subject to the oversight of the attorney general, state prosecutor and the courts. The claim that one of the detainees tried to commit suicide is baseless.”