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Israel humiliates Palestinian prisoners from Gaza by torturing them in front of settlers: Rights body

File photo shows Israeli forces transferring abducted Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)

A Geneva-based human rights organization says Israeli forces allow settlers to watch the torture and humiliation of Palestinians who have been abducted from the Gaza Strip during the regime's ongoing genocidal war.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor revealed the information on Monday, citing shocking testimonies by recently released Palestinians.

According to Euro-Med, the development took place at the Zikim military base to the north of Gaza's border with the occupied territories and the Negev prison to the south of the besieged Palestinian territory.

Released Palestinian abductees told Euro-Med that groups of settlers were brought into those detention centers on many occasions, and were allowed to watch and even film and take pictures of the prisoners who were being subjected to various types of inhumane and degrading treatment.

Various instances of ill-treatment of Gazan abductees ranged from being forced to appear naked before the settlers to being beaten with metal batons and electric sticks, and showered with hot water.

"I was subjected to torture and abuse at all stages. The arrest lasted for about 52 days," 43-year-old Gazan Omar Abu Mudallala told Euro-Med, pointing out that Israeli troops brought settlers to watch "our nude torture."

Upon bringing in the settlers, the Israeli forces would tell them that the prisoners were the same Palestinian fighters, who staged Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupied territories on October 7, 2023, following which the Israeli regime launched its genocidal war on Gaza, the rights body said.

"The settlers were filming us on their mobile phones while we were subjected to beating, abuse, and torture. They were making fun of us," Abu Mudallala said.

"This happened five times while I was being held. The first time was in Barkasat Zikim, where we were blindfolded.... The other four incidents took place in the Negev detention facility, where successive Israeli groups were taken inside tents to witness our abuse and record the torture methods we were subjected to without allowing us to speak or interact with them. Since we were not wearing blindfolds at the time, I saw them all four times with my own eyes," he noted.

Euro-Med Monitor said in its report that it was taken aback by the evident falsity of the Israeli army's claim that the Palestinian civilians subjected to torture in the presence of Israeli settlers were fighters involved in the October 7 operation.

It added, "...the subsequent release of the detainees serves as proof that this narrative is untrue and was intended as a means of exacting revenge on Palestinian civilians and attacking their dignity."

The rights organization asserted that the vast majority of those abducted from within the Gaza Strip "have been subjected to arbitrary detention without being charged or brought to justice, with no legal measures taken against them."

"The Israeli army's torture and inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners and detainees is illegal under the Rome Statute and constitutes crimes against humanity," the Euro-Med said, adding that staging of these abuses as entertainment for Israeli settlers "and subsequent photography of the victims amounts to a grave violation of the dignity of these individuals, as well as the commission of war crimes."

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