Tortur av anholdte er helt vanlig, både hos Fatah på Vestbredden og blant Hamas på Vestbredden, erklærte to menneskerettsgrupper mandag. Human Rights Watch mener Vesten bør kreve mer av Fatah siden de mottar vestlig støtte.

The Palestinian human rights group Al Haq said Monday that arbitrary arrests of political opponents have been common since Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, with each side trying to defend its turf.

«Arrests for political reasons haven’t stopped for a second,» Al Haq director Shawan Jabarin told reporters. He estimated that before the latest sweeps, more than 1,000 people had been seized by each side.

An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the detainees suffered torture, including severe beatings and being tied up in painful positions, said Jabarin, citing sworn statements from 150 detainees.

He said three died in detention in Gaza and one in the West Bank.

«The use of torture is dramatically up,» added Fred Abrahams, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based group that is releasing its own report on abuse this week.

Jabarin said that while he had no proof of an official torture policy, he believed political leaders were indirectly encouraging abuse by looking the other way.

Report: Torture widespread in Palestinian jails