Hundreds riot over Duma suspects' treatment

Angry protestors block entrance to Jerusalem over ISA torture of suspects.

Eliran Aharon, | updated: 23:01

המהומות בכניסה לירושלים
המהומות בכניסה לירושלים
צילום: אלירן אהרון

Hundreds of people rioted in Jerusalem Sunday night, over the unusually cruel interrogation methods the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) have employed against a group of youths arrested on suspicions of an arson attack in Duma in July. 

During the riots, the crowd began to move toward the entrance to the city, near the iconic Chords bridge. Traffic has stopped for the time being as police attempt to disperse the crowd; tear gas has been dispersed. 

Rabbi Dov Lior, rabbi of Hevron and Kiryat Arba, spoke to protestors at the site. 

"It cannot be that Jews are cruel to Jews," he said. "Cruelty is being allowed to run rampant." 

"There are people who feel the pain of their brothers," he continued. "We are blessed that we have a healthy generation of young people like this." 

Four people have been arrested during the riots, the Honenu legal rights organization stated Sunday night. An Arutz Sheva reporter at the scene was also attacked by police during the tumult. 

Earlier Sunday, it was revealed that ISA torture of the suspects has been so severe that one of the youths has attempted suicide. Damning audio evidence surfaced of the suspect begging for mercy and revealing several torture methods - including having his hands burnt, being kept awake all night, and having his back pummeled to the point of needing medical attention - but the ISA denied all charges of wrongdoing. 

The dramatic announcement comes just hours after the Shin Bet claimed to have made "significant progress" in the investigation into the deadly arson attack, which killed three members of the Palestinian Dawabshe family.

Outrage over the handling of the Duma case has snowballed after it was revealed the suspects had reportedly been refused basic religious rights such as lighting Hanukkah candles, been banned from seeing their lawyers or family, and that at least one has been denied medical treatment after being beaten during arrest. Recently, a suspect was even denied clean underwear.

Civil rights groups have called for the ISA to be investigated over the torture, which - if proven - may run contrary to Israeli law. In one case, the ISA was found to have illegally detained one of the suspects, a minor, for longer than the 20 days mandated by law. 

Both Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) have admitted there is no evidence against the suspects to stand them on trial, raising fears that the brutal investigation is meant to force the suspects to make false confessions.



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