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NYT details sadistic Israeli abuse of Palestinian detainees from Gaza

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters hold placards against rape as they gather for a protest in central London on March 30, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The New York Times has disclosed sadistic methods used by Israeli forces including raping and torturing defenseless Palestinian detainees brought in from the Gaza Strip.

The report is the result of a three-month investigation, the paper said, revealing that Gazan detainees held at Israel’s Sde Teiman detention facility had been subjected to gruesome acts of abuse, torture, and mistreatment.

It is based on interviews since October 7 with former detainees, Israeli military officers, doctors, and soldiers who served at the prison facility. 

The Times drew a harrowing picture of some 4,000 Palestinian inmates, many of whom died in custody, due to the inhuman condition created at the Sde Teiman prison.

The report revealed that the Israelis had used cruel techniques against Palestinian detainees, including rape and sexual abuse.

One Palestinian nurse, Muhammad Al-Hamlawi, recounted how a brutal Israeli female interrogator ordered two soldiers to lift him in the air and press his rectum down against a metal stick fixed to the ground. The penetrating stick wounded his rectum, causing it to bleed and leaving the Palestinian male detainee in “unbearable pain.”

A leaked draft report by UNRWA, the main UN relief agency managing Palestinian affairs, cited similar cases of torture, including one detainee who said interrogators “made me sit on something like a hot metal stick and it felt like fire.”

According to a UN report, another detainee had “died after they put the electric stick up” his anus.

In total since October, 35 Palestinian detainees had died either at the Sde Teiman prison site or after being transferred to nearby hospitals, the report revealed.

Israel’s Sde Teiman detention facility, located in a military base by the same name in southern occupied territories, has become the makeshift torture center where most Gazans incarcerated by the occupation forces are brought for initial integration.

Palestinian inmates held at the site are classified as “unlawful combatants” under Israeli legislation and can be held in the lock-up for up to 75 days without judicial permission and 90 days without access to a lawyer or a trial. The whereabouts of these prisoners remain undisclosed to the public during this period.

Legal experts, rights groups and even the International Committee of the Red Cross have slammed the practice by the Israelis. They say keeping detainees’ locations undisclosed is a blatant violation of international law, which is just one of many crimes committed by the US-backed Tel Aviv regime.

In addition to rape, former detainees at the site reported a variety of abuses inflicted on them while in custody, including beatings in the form of punches and kicks, being beaten with batons, rifle butts, and a hand-held metal detector, electric shocks, etc.

Some of the inmates said their ribs were broken as a result of the beatings during interrogation. One inmate said he was kneed in the chest, while another reported being kicked and beaten with a rifle.

The detainees were sometimes forced by interrogators to wear diapers.

Other dehumanizing conditions the Palestinian detainees were subjected to included being blindfolded, handcuffed and stripped naked.

They were crammed into military trucks and driven to Sde Teiman, where they were held in open-sided hangars, and forced to sit handcuffed in silence on mats for up to 18 hours a day. If detainees fell asleep after many hours of waiting, they were summoned by the staff and beaten as punishment.

Part of the torture was that the detainees were taken to separate “disco” rooms where extremely loud music was played in their ears.

This caused one detainee’s ear to bleed, and wearing nothing but a diaper, they were questioned and accused of being members of the Palestinian Hamas resistance group which participated in a special operation against the Israeli regime on Oct. 7. If they denied having links to Hamas, the interrogators would beat them.

Human rights experts say despite the Israeli regime’s denial of “systematic abuse” of defenseless Palestinian inmates, the sheer number of consistent accounts from former detainees, coupled with the testimony of Israeli personnel at the site, proves a disturbing pattern of mistreatment and torture at the Sde Teiman.

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