“Welcome to your GSS interrogation” – A detainee breaks his silence

Monday, July 4, 2022, 20:55 Netanel Furkowitz, a Kochav HaShahar resident who served as the youth coordinator, was brutally interrogated by the GSS for 12 days in connection with the July 2015 Kfar Duma incident. His remand was extended numerous times, and then he was released. Six months later, he was exonerated of all guilt and the case against him was closed. Now, for the first time, Furkowitz has broken his silence and recorded his account of the horrific interrogations. To watch the video, in Hebrew with Hebrew subtitles, please click here, and see below for an excerpt.

In 2015, while he was on active reserve duty, Furkowitz was detained and interrogated by the GSS on suspicion of selling a car to a hilltop youth. Initially, the GSS claimed that the car had been used in the Kfar Duma arson incident. In the end, the GSS determined that the incident did not involve a car.

Furkowitz, a recipient of the President’s Award For Excellence and a normative man, described how he found himself sent to court for remand extensions time after time, through no fault of his own, and how the GSS interrogators degraded and threatened him. “Even today, it is very difficult for me to speak about it. It has left a deep scar, and there is not a single day that I do not think about what I endured. The Jewish Department of the GSS can take me, take you, or your neighbor or anyone else they want, put them in the dungeons and do whatever they want.”

The interrogators shouted at Furkowitz that he would sit for 45 years in prison for abetting terror and murder. They called him a “traitor”, a “terror supporter,” and even told him that the entire community of Kochav HaShahar is a community of “terror supporters”. One of the interrogators added that horrors such as the hilltop youth do he has seen only in Auschwitz. “Somebody lost it,” said Furkowitz. “Kochav HaShahar is ‘mamlachti [very loyal to the Israeli government],’ and they called the community terror-supporting?”

During an interrogation on Friday, Furkowitz noticed that the sun was about to set. He was forced to enter Shabbat handcuffed and leg-cuffed to a chair. “That completely broke me, entering Shabbat like that, without having done anything.” He described his difficulty in talking about what he had endured and said that others who underwent brutal interrogations in the Duma case are remaining silent due to the emotional trauma they experienced in GSS interrogations. “Look, everyone became withdrawn from it.”

Furkowitz’s account was collected in the framework of a project that Honenu and the “Yehudi Lo Horeg Yehudi” organization have undertaken to record testimonies from individuals detained by the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police, some of whom were transferred to the GSS for interrogation. Directed and filmed by Avraham Shapira and Chen Klein, investigative work by Elhanan Gruner.

Over the next few weeks, more accounts of the treatment by the police and the GSS of Yehuda and Shomron residents are expected to be made public.

Six months after Netanel Furkowitz was detained by the GSS and interrogated under severe conditions as if he were the worst terrorist, the Attorney General’s office formally acknowledged what Honenu had asserted from the very first moment he was detained: Netanel Furkowitz, the youth coordinator of Kochav HaShahar, had been detained for no reason and he never had any connection to the Kfar Duma arson incident of July 2015. Please click here for a translation of an open letter from Kochav HaShachar’s leadership in December 2015 in response to the deplorable treatment by the GSS of detainees in the Kfar Duma case.

Excerpt of Furkowitz’s testimony, for the full-length video, please click here.

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