The UN’s Committee against Torture is investigating Israel’s interrogation of Palestinian patients, who sought treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
The move by the UN committee comes as several rights groups have condemned the way Israel is treating Palestinian patients.
A human rights group known as Physicians for Human Rights has collected data that shows Israel’s Shin Beth internal security service has increased its interrogations of people seeking to leave the Hamas-run Gaza for medical treatment, AFP reported on Monday.
The group’s data "indicates a rise in the number of Palestinian patients interrogated and forced to provide information as a precondition to exit Gaza for medical care."
"Between January 2008 and March 2009, at least 438 patients have been summoned for… interrogations… as a precondition for the review of their applications for an exit permit for the purpose of accessing medical treatment outside of the strip," the rights body declared.
Whereas in January 2008, 1.45 percent of people who had requested to leave Gaza were questioned, that number rose to 17 percent in January 2009, the group said.
It said the Shin Beth had interrogated minors, photographed patients against their will; harassed, cursed and intimidated patients during questioning; and returned to Gaza patients who did not cooperate.
People seeking to leave Gaza for medical treatment find themselves "between a rock and a hard place", the group said.