Gaza civilians voice out their chilling encounters with Israeli torture

Israeli army detains Palestinian men after stripping them in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya in this image from X.

A new UN report has shed light on a harrowing pattern of abuse and systematic torture endured by Palestinians detained by the Israeli army.

The report released by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) documents the distressing treatment faced by Palestinian detainees, including men, women, and children.

Data gathered at the Karem Abu Salem crossing and direct testimonies from those released from Israeli detention, paint a grim picture of the conditions within detention facilities across Israel and the occupied territories.

As detailed in the findings, detainees are transported to makeshift military barracks and other locations where they are held incommunicado, subjected to repeated interrogations, and then often moved to the Israeli prison system.

"[Detainees were] subjected to beatings while made to lie on a thin mattress on top of rubble for hours without food, water or access to a toilet, with their legs and hands bound with plastic ties. Several detainees reported being forced into cages and attacked by dogs. Some released detainees, including a child, had dog bite wounds on their body. Detainees were threatened with prolonged detention, injury or the killing of family members if they did not provide requested information," the UN report said.

'We saw worms coming out of his body'

The types of ill-treatment reported are chilling: detainees have faced physical beatings, confinement in cages, and attacks by dogs, with some bearing visible dog bite wounds upon their release.

Others recounted experiences of being forced to endure prolonged periods kneeling, blindfolded, with their limbs bound, often while being exposed to harsh conditions such as constant light exposure, cold air blasts, and wet blankets.

Sleep deprivation, psychological abuse, and humiliation form a core part of the mistreatment, with detainees subjected to degrading treatment, including being forced to act like animals or subjected to urination.

Physical violence was frequently reported, with specific cases involving blunt force trauma, threats, and the use of metal bars and gun butts, leading to serious and sometimes permanent injuries.

A 41-year-old male detainee told UNRWA: "They made me sit on something like a hot metal stick and it felt like fire – I have burns [in the anus]. The soldiers hit me with their shoes on my chest and used something like a metal stick that had a small nail on the side...They asked us to drink from the toilet and made the dogs attack us…There were people who were detained and killed – maybe nine of them. They put the electric stick up his [anus]. One of them died....he got so sick; we saw worms coming out of his body and then he died."

A female detainee told UN officials that she was shown her entire neighbourhood on a computer screen by notorious Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency and was asked to tell them about all of the persons they pointed to.

"If I didn't recognise someone, the soldier threatened to bomb my home. She [Shin Bet official] asked me who in my home did not evacuate to the south. I told her my brothers and my father stayed at home. She said if you don’t confess with all information, we will bomb your home and kill your family," the 34-year-old said.

'Male soldier took off our hijabs'

Particularly alarming are the accounts of sexual violence and harassment. Detainees, both male and female, reported threats and acts that may amount to sexual violence, including being forced to strip naked, exposure to inappropriate touching during searches, and psychological abuse.

"They were beating us as we moved and saying they would put pepper on our sensitive parts [genitals]. They pulled us, beat us, they took us in the bus to the Damon prison after five days. A male soldier took off our hijabs and they pinched us and touched our bodies," a 34-year-old female detainee revealed to the UN body.

UNRWA staff, who were among those detained, reported similar ordeals, highlighting the systemic nature of this mistreatment. They were subjected to the same harsh conditions, faced beatings, threats, and coerced into making forced confessions.


Source: TRT