DECEMBER 9, 2022
Palestine News

Shocking abuse of Gazans inside Israeli detention camp: Whistleblowers

Shocking abuse of Gazans inside Israeli detention camp: Whistleblowers

Israel is torturing Palestinian captives at a detention facility in the Negev desert, a new investigation published by CNN on 10 May revealed, including by strapping injured captives to beds in diapers, feeding them through tubes, and amputating limbs after constant handcuffing.

CNN spoke to three Israeli whistleblowers who worked at the Sde Teiman desert camp, which holds Palestinians abducted in Gaza by the Israeli army during military operations. 

CNN writes, “They paint a picture of a facility where doctors sometimes amputated prisoners’ limbs due to injuries sustained from constant handcuffing; of medical procedures sometimes performed by underqualified medics earning it a reputation for being ‘a paradise for interns’; and where the air is filled with the smell of neglected wounds left to rot.”

One of the whistleblowers provided a photo showing rows of blindfolded men in gray tracksuits sitting on paper-thin mattresses behind a fence and barbed wire. 

The military base turned detention facility has two parts. One holds 70 Palestinian detainees from Gaza under “extreme physical restraint,” while injured captives are held in a field hospital where they “are strapped to their beds, wearing diapers and fed through straws,” CNN writes.

“They stripped them down of anything that resembles human beings,” said one whistleblower who worked as a medic at the field hospital.

“[The beatings] were not done to gather intelligence. They were done out of revenge,” said another whistleblower. “It was punishment for what they [the Palestinians] did on October 7 and punishment for behavior in the camp.”

One whistleblower who worked as a guard said he saw a man who was beaten until he had both broken teeth and bones.

The detention camp is one of three holding an unknown number of Palestinians from Gaza, who are often swept up randomly en masse and accused of fighting with the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas. 

Under Israel’s recently passed Unlawful Combatant Law, the abducted Palestinians can be held for 45 days before they are either released or transferred to the formal Israeli prison system.

Eighteen Palestinians, including leading Gaza surgeon Dr Adnan al-Bursh, have died in Israeli detention camps and prisons since the war began on 7 October.

Dr Mohammed al-Ran, who headed the surgical unit at northern Gaza’s Indonesian hospital, was held in a detention camp for 44 days. 

He told CNN, “When they removed my blindfold, I could see the extent of the humiliation and abasement … I could see the extent to which they saw us not as human beings but as animals.”

Both Ran and a whistleblower said the guards unleashed dogs on sleeping prisoners at night. “While we were cabled, they unleashed the dogs that would move between us and trample over us,” said Ran. “You’d be lying on your belly, your face pressed against the ground. You can’t move, and they’re moving above you.”

Another whistleblower said, “I was asked to learn how to do things on the patients, performing minor medical procedures that are totally outside my expertise,” he said, including without anesthesia.

“If they complained about pain, they would be given paracetamol,” he said, using another name for acetaminophen.

“Just being there felt like being complicit in abuse.”

The same whistleblower also said he witnessed an amputation performed on a man whose blood was cut off from the constant zip-tying of his wrists.

CNN added that Sde Teiman and other military detention camps have been “shrouded in secrecy since their inception. Israel has repeatedly refused requests to disclose the number of detainees held at the facilities or to reveal the whereabouts of Gazan prisoners.”

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