Human rights groups have said that a more thorough review is needed of Israel’s interrogation process and of the military courts in which most Palestinians are tried. According to Israeli officials, at the end of 2012 there were nearly 4,500 Palestinians being held in security detention and in Israeli jails. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both filed reports detailing what they termed as widespread problems in the Israeli prison system, which included regular use of solitary confinement and harsh interrogation methods.
In 2011, a report by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that methods of interrogation included “insults; beating using batons, sharp tools, feet and hands; tying the feet and hands to a chair and beating with batons or wires; and other methods. Additionally, detainees were held in cells or small rooms, were placed in solitary confinement, and were forced to stand for long hours in cold weather or under the sun.”
Relatives and friends of Jaradat said that many of those interrogation methods were used on him and on other men in his family who had been arrested by Israeli authorities in the past.
“This is nothing new to us. In Palestinian families we tell each other what will happen in jail because this is an experience too many of us share,” said Mahmoud Abbir, a 42-year-old resident of Sair who said both his brother and his oldest son have been arrested by Israeli authorities for alleged involvement in stone throwing.
Palestinian officials said that Palestinian outrage is growing over the prisoner issue.
“Every Palestinian knows this, they know someone in Israeli jail. The Palestinian prisoner issue is familiar to all the families, familiar to everyone,” said Ziad Abu Ein, the Palestinian deputy minister for prisoner affairs. He said he spent more then 13 years in Israeli jails over the last three decades. “It is something every Palestinian feels about deeply in their heart.”
“What happened to him can happen to any of us,” said Abboud as he protested at Jaradat’s funeral. “Whether we throw rocks or not, the Israelis will come and arrest us. So why not just be part of the resistance and die a martyr?”