A court in Israel has ruled that a Palestinian prisoner should not be subjected to waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that uses a blunt instrument to break down skin and force prisoners to repeat a series of interrogations.
The court rejected the Palestinians claim that the techniques amounted to torture, and said they were necessary in order to gain crucial information, but also noted that the court was not required to rule on the matter of whether waterboarding constituted torture under Israeli law.
The prisoner, Mahmoud Abu Marzouk, who is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, had argued that the technique amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment and that he was not entitled to any damages.
The Israeli army rejected his plea in a ruling published on Tuesday, saying that the treatment had violated international humanitarian law and had been used on other prisoners without any court oversight.
A spokeswoman for the army said that the Israeli army was investigating the matter.
The ruling is the latest legal setback for the Palestinians, who are seeking the release of more than 100 prisoners held in Israeli jails for the last five years.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that waterboarding was “inhumane” and called on Israel to stop using it.
In a statement, the committee said that “it is deeply concerned that waterboardings are being used by the Israeli authorities, and that the methods are used without any regard for their human rights obligations.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a history of supporting the Palestinian cause, condemned the ruling.
“It is a shameful day for Israel and for the whole world when Israeli soldiers, through torture and force, forcibly break the body of an individual,” he said.
Israel’s army said in a statement that it had been “investigating and responding” to the court ruling.