The Palestinian Suha Jabara has revealed that the Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) members subjected her to various harsh interrogation techniques after she was arrested in late 2018. Abuses included physical and psychological torture, threats, and the denial of food, sleep, and the use of the bathroom over four days.
Jabara made the allegations at the Jericho Criminal Court on Sunday 7 March. The session, Gebara’s 41st at the court, was attended by a number of human-rights organisations’ representatives.
It was the first time that Jabara was able to talk about her experience at the PPS building in Jericho, following her arrest on 4 November 2018.
Palestinian security services arrested Jabara at her home in the village of Turmus Ayya, near Ramallah. Turmus Ayya is within ‘Area C’, which falls under the control of the Israeli occupation forces, as per the Oslo Accords.
The Jericho court accuses Jabara of collecting funds for illegal groups, and of communicating with the enemy. Gebara denies both charges.
As well as being subjected to numerous forms of mistreatment whilst detained, the public prosecutor interrogated Jabara whilst she was held in PPS headquarters in the presence of investigating officers, including from the Joint Security Committee. This was a clear violation of laws prohibiting investigating officers’ presence during such interrogations.
Gebara began an open-ended hunger strike in protest against such abuses 19 days after her arrest. On the 12th day of her hunger strike, she was moved to Jericho Hospital on account of her deteriorating condition. After her release from the hospital, she continued her hunger strike for a further 27 days, after which, on 9 January 2019, she was released on bail.
Jabara is being tried alongside Palestinian detainee Ahmed al-Salik, who is also accused of collecting funds for proscribed associations.
The prosecution has presented just one witness, who testified only after himself was detained, during which he was subjected to torture by a PPS officer, as the witness has subsequently alleged. As of the last session, the defence team has presented six witnesses.
The next session of the trial is scheduled for 25 April.