Human rights groups: Israel tortures Palestinians

Two Israeli human rights groups claimed in a report Sunday that the Shin Bet security service uses torture in its interrogation of Palestinian prisoners, violating a 1999 court ruling outlawing such practices. The physical abuse includes "beating, painful binding, back bending, body stretching and prolonged sleep deprivation," according to the report. These methods constitute torture under international law, according to the report by B'Tselem and The Center for the Defense of the Individual. In 1999, the Supreme Court outlawed what the Shin Bet called "moderate physical pressure," such as sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures and tying up detainees in painful positions. According to the report, despite the ruling, prisoners are shackled to chairs in painful positions for protracted periods of time and subjected to humiliation, swearing and threats by the interrogators.