THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE FROM THE ISRAEL SECURITY AGENCY (ISA) TO THE GUARDIAN
1. The claims that Palestinian minors were subject to interrogation techniques that include beatings, prolonged periods in handcuffs, threats, kicks, verbal abuse, humiliation, isolation and prevention of sleep are utterly baseless.
2. The Israel Security Agency acts in accordance with the ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice, at the center of which stands the court ruling regarding ISA interrogations from 1999. In this context, it must be mentioned that in 2009, the Supreme Court of Justice rejected a petition that claimed that the 1999 High Court of Justice ruling regarding ISA interrogations was allegedly being violated.
3. The Israel Security Agency and its employees work solely within the law and are subject to oversight and internal and external examination, including by the State Comptroller, the State Prosecutor, the Attorney General’s Office, the Israeli Knesset and Israel’s courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court.
4. Those detained for ISA questioning receive the full rights for which they are eligible, in accordance with international treaties of which the State of Israel is a signatory and according to Israeli law, including the right to legal counsel and visits by the Red Cross.
5. The ISA categorically denies all claims with regard to the interrogation of minors. In fact, the complete opposite is true – the ISA guidelines grant minors special protections needed because of their age.
6. No one questioned, including minors being questioned, is kept alone in a cell as a punitive measure or in order to obtain a confession, etc.
7. Regarding the other claims regarding torture, humiliation, etc, it is hereby emphasized that the investigators act in accordance with the law and unequivocal guidelines which forbid such actions.
8. The claims regarding the prevention of legal counsel are also completely groundless – indeed, there are specific cases in which a meeting between a prisoner and his lawyer are not allowed, however there is legal oversight on ISA interrogations, including the issue of postponing meetings with lawyers, including the possibility of filing a petition with the Supreme Court in Israel. It should be mentioned that a fundamental petition that was filed in this regard with the High Court of Justice in 2009 was withdrawn by the petitioners after a discussion in the Supreme Court.
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