Palestinians taken hostage by Israeli soldiers during a ground operation in the Ez-Zeytun neighborhood to the east of the besieged Gaza Strip, have alleged that they were subjected to various forms of torture by military personnel, Anadolu Agency reports.
Those detained during Israel’s Oct. 27 ground operation in the neighborhood spoke to Anadolu after their release.
They described enduring threats and brutal torture, including severe beatings, electric shocks and hanging by their legs for hours, during the time they were detained.
– Blindfolded, taken to unknown locations
Cihad Yasin, 43, expressed said his detention was terrifying and brutal.
Yasin told Anadolu that the Israeli army detained him for 11 days and he was tortured with electric shocks.
He was chained and endured severe and lasting torture.
Yasin stated that Israeli forces blindfolded and transported Palestinians to unknown locations.
Israeli soldiers detained people, keeping them bound without food for two days, he said.
Yasin said Israeli soldiers sprayed unknown substances on them that attracted insects.
Emphasizing that the soldiers took them to different unknown places, he said: “Later, they left us naked outdoors in the cold.”
Yasin revealed that due to torture, including electric shocks, the detainees could not sleep and were forced to sit on their knees until midnight.
He mentioned being woken up by soldiers in the early morning after they managed to sleep for a few hours.
Stressing that Israeli soldiers gave them bad food with mold, he said, they were forced to ingest hallucination-inducing pills.
“I still suffer headaches and dizziness from beatings and pills. No news about my family in Gaza; worried about their safety,” he added.
-Israeli soldiers were given spoiled and moldy food
Mahmud el-Alul, another detainee who was released in the Ez-Zeytun neighborhood, said soldiers gave them spoiled food.
Al-Alul said soldiers brought three pieces of spoiled bread for each detainee. Despite having their hands and feet tied, they would place the bread in front of them.
“We couldn’t take and eat it. During my week of detention, I refused to eat due to the spoiled food and remained hungry,” he said.
“Israeli soldiers refused to untie our hands and feet when we needed to use the restroom,” he said.
-Detainees faced torture for talking among themselves
Alul said soldiers subjected him and others to severe beatings and described being forced to sit on their knees with hands tied for six hours at the beginning of the detention.
He recounted being marched to different areas in Israel for at least six hours, during which soldiers brutally beat those who could not recall their ID numbers and punished detainees who spoke among themselves by hanging them by their feet for hours.
-Severe attacks launched on Ez-Zeytun neighborhood
Due to the attacks on the Ez-Zeytun neighborhood, forcibly displaced Palestinian Hanan Avde told Anadolu that Israeli forces suddenly attacked homes in the early morning, even though there were people inside.
“We thought our house would collapse on us. Later, women and children started screaming in fear. We heard Israeli soldiers instructing us to come out of the house one by one. Israeli soldiers didn’t allow us to take any bags or belongings with us,” said Avde, adding that the soldiers separated women and children from the men.
Despite the cold weather, they told men to remove their clothes, confiscated their IDs, phones and money, then took them outside, said Avde.
Later they heard gunshots but they have no information about the fate of the men, he said.
Avde pointed out that Israeli soldiers detained children, including a 16-year-old, and she was threatened with death when she tried to resist.
-Detainees forcibly displaced
Avde revealed that Israeli forces forced women and children with white flags to move to the southern Gaza Strip.
Blindfolded, they were taken to the Al-Kuwait intersection near the checkpoint, where Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers were present.
One of the soldiers at the checkpoint randomly selected women for interrogation while instructing others to quickly leave the area. He left the women as late-night conflict sounds echoed from everywhere, she said.
Avde mentioned that her husband was released after being detained in the attack on Ez-Zeytun neighborhood, but she still does not know the fate of her child.
“My husband had some health issues before the attacks. His health deteriorated further due to the brutal torture during detention. He is currently hospitalized at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital,” she added.