Twenty Palestinians have filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian Authority in an Israeli court, seeking up to $100 million in damages after they were detained for alleged collaboration with Israeli intelligence, a PA security officer told Ma’an on Sunday.
The officer in Qalqiliya, who wished to remain anonymous, said that 10 PA security officers were summoned to a Jerusalem court on Thursday last week to give testimony in the case.
Adnan Dmeiri, chief spokesman for the PA security forces, denied the report, saying he had not heard anything about the alleged case.
However, the security officer told Ma’an that the 20 Palestinians seeking damages had “fled” to Israel after they suffered harm during interrogations carried out by Palestinian security forces.
He said that a lawyer representing the Palestinians is asking that the PA award each of the plaintiffs 20 million shekels (around $5 million) in compensation for the harm they suffered, including psychological damage, as well as being denied contact with their families.
He said that the lawyer questioned all 10 PA security officers during Thursday’s hearing. “(The officers) proved before the judge that the Palestinian judiciary found the suspects guilty of collaboration with the Israeli occupation,” the officer said.
He added that the witness hearing ended at 7 p.m. without any verdict.
The officer did not provide any information about the alleged collaborators. He did not say when they were detained by the PA, or how or when they fled to Israel.
Israel has resettled a number of Palestinian collaborators in the past.
Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel may be punishable by death.
Information passed to Israel’s security services by Palestinian collaborators is often used to make arrests and assassinate high-profile political and militant figures.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem says that Israeli intelligence often offers Palestinians permits necessary to earn a livelihood, medical treatment, or money in exchange for information.
There have also been reported cases of Israeli intelligence using personal information to blackmail Palestinians into collaboration.
B’Tselem has also documented cases where the PA has executed Palestinians convicted of collaboration in “patently unfair” judicial processes.