News   /   Palestine

Rights advocates slam ‘systematic abuse’ of Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails

In this file picture, Palestinian prisoners are seen inside Ofer Prison, north of occupied al-Quds. (Via social media)

Rights advocates have warned that record numbers of Palestinian prisoners are filling Israeli detention centers in light of the bloody onslaught on Gaza, stating that the inmates are subjected to “systemic abuse” and torture.

Members of several Israeli NGOs traveled to Geneva earlier this week to sound the alarm before the United Nations about the serious “crisis” inside the regime’s jails.

“We are extremely, extremely concerned,” Tal Steiner, the executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), told AFP news agency.

“What we’re looking at is a crisis,” she said, adding that nine people have reportedly died behind bars since October 7 last year, when the Israeli military launched its unrelenting ground and aerial offensives against the besieged Gaza Strip.

“There are almost 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody right now, ... a 200-percent increase from any normal year,” the activist pointed out, stressing that the situation has deteriorated dramatically since Israel waged the war on Gaza.

At least 31,490 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have lost their lives since the start of Israel’s genocidal war following Operation al-Aqsa Storm by Gaza-based resistance movements on October 7, 2023. Another 73,439 individuals have also sustained injuries.

The Israeli military offensive has left a trail of destruction in Gaza, leaving hospitals in ruins and displacing around half of its 2.4 million residents.

Israel has additionally enforced a comprehensive blockade on the coastal sliver, severing the supply of fuel, electricity, sustenance and water to the population of over two million Palestinians residing there.

Miriam Azem of the Adalah legal center also said her organization had managed to document “19 clear cases” of torture, including sexual violence, within Israeli prisons since the outbreak of the Gaza war.

“We’re seeing really widespread and systemic use of many, many tools in order to inflict torture and ill-treatment on Palestinians.

“This crisis requires the immediate intervention of the international community,” Azem said.

Steiner described the current situation as “an ongoing crisis,” warning that “People are (suffering) in detention right now... An urgent intervention is very much needed.”

At least 27 Palestinians have reportedly died inside the Israeli military camps holding those detained inside Gaza since early October, Steiner said, adding that this was “unprecedented and extremely severe.”

There was no access to the camps, nor had her organization, or foreign journalists, been permitted to enter Gaza to speak with those released, she said.

Steiner pointed out that all those detained in Gaza, including children and reportedly even an 82-year-old woman, were being held under Israel’s unlawful combatants law. That law denies protections typically granted to detainees and prisoners of war.

“The law in its current form is unconstitutional,” she said.

Her remarks come as testimonies provided by former camp prisoners indicate that detainees are frequently confined in “open-air enclosures”, where they are “handcuffed and blindfolded round the clock.”

It has been reported that prisoners were compelled to rest on the bare floor of their cages in chilly conditions, endured physical abuse, and were not provided with medical attention.

NGOs estimate that approximately 1,000 individuals are presently held in the camps, although no official figures have been released.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku