Injured Gazans say they were abused in Israeli detention

AFP , Thursday 1 Feb 2024

Gazans released from Israeli detention on Thursday displayed injuries at a hospital in Rafah and told AFP they had been abused by their jailers.

Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian
Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. AFP


Israeli soldiers have rounded up scores of Gazans during their months-long ground offensive in the territory, holding them without charge before releasing some in groups.

Khaled al-Nabrisse, a resident of the southern Khan Yunis area, was among those freed Thursday.

Wearing a neck brace, he recounted in comments to AFP that Palestinians had been "tortured relentlessly".

"During the first 72 hours, drinking, eating or going to the toilets was banned, and we were handcuffed and blindfolded for those seven days" in detention, the 48-year-old said.

"The situation was really tough and we suffered torture like we never saw before" including the use of dogs to threaten them, said Nabrisse.

The Gaza crossings authority said 114 detainees, including four women, were sent through Israel's Karm Abou Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing on Thursday.

The health ministry said the group included Mohammed al-Ran, head of the surgery department at the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza.

Ran was taken by soldiers who stormed the hospital two months ago, a health ministry statement said.

At Najjar hospital in Rafah, near the border with Egypt, AFP journalists saw multiple freed Gazans with their wrists and feet bandaged.

Abu Khamis, from the central Bureij refugee camp, told AFP of what he said was "torture, hits and insults" while in detention.

"As you see, these (wounds) happened in prison. My hands were hurt and are going to be treated," said the 50-year-old, a blanket around his shoulders.

Nearby, a man lying on a trolley bed struggled to lift his head, a black zip tie around one of his wrists.

Similarly to Gazans released previously from Israeli detention, they showed wounds on their wrists while one man had cuts on his head.

The United Nations human rights representative in the Palestinian territories told reporters last month of the "horrific" conditions faced by Gaza detainees.

Ajith Sunghay said "thousands" of Gazans have been detained by Israeli forces 7 October and are held in unknown locations.

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