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Limbs of Palestinians detained by Israel amputated because of injuries caused by shackles, doctor says

April 5, 2024 at 10:45 am

A view of Ofer Prison an Israeli incarceration facility, and its surroundings in Ramallah, West Bank on November 24, 2023 [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Two Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip had their legs amputated due to injuries sustained from leg cuffs during their detention, an Israeli doctor said yesterday.

The doctor, at the field hospital set up at the Sde Teiman Detention Camp in the Negev desert, said Palestinian detainees face deplorable conditions and violations at the facility.

“Just this week, two prisoners had their legs amputated due to injuries from leg irons, which unfortunately is a routine event,” he said in a letter to the defence and health ministers and the attorney general cited by Haaretz.

According to the Israeli doctor, Palestinian detainees at the facility are blindfolded, fed through straws and defecate in nappies.

He said all Palestinian patients at the field hospital have their four limbs shackled.

“From the first days of the medical facility’s operation until today, I have faced serious ethical dilemmas,” the doctor said.

“More than that, I am writing to warn you that the facilities’ operations do not comply with a single section among those dealing with health in the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law.”

The physician said half of the Palestinian patients at the hospital were transferred to the facility due to injuries caused by leg irons during their detention.

The leg irons, the doctor said, cause serious injuries that “require repeated surgical interventions”.

“Under these conditions, in practice, even young and healthy patients lose weight after a week or two of hospitalisation,” he warned.

Three other sources confirmed to Haaretz that a Palestinian detainee had one hand amputated due to injuries caused by the handcuffs.

One source said that many of the detainees suffered cuts which subsequently became infected due to their cuffs.

An army spokesman, for his part, claimed that detainees are cuffed “in accordance with the law and according to an individual determination of the dangerousness of each detainee, with the aim of ensuring the safety of the troops and the medical staff.”

He said the army changed the type of leg irons used at the facility due to injuries caused to the detainees.

“Guards ensure that there is sufficient space between the leg irons and the detainees’ limbs,” he added.

More than 9,100 Palestinians are estimated to be held by Israel in its prisons, according to Palestinian figures. Many held without charge or trial under administrative detention.

There are no specific figures of how many Gazans were detained during Israel’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip.

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