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Palestinian journalist from Gaza lists catalogue of abuses in Israeli detention 

June 20, 2024 at 9:50 am

Palestinian detainees are viewed after they have been released by Israeli army, in Deir Al Balah, Gaza on June 20, 2024 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian journalist arrested by Israeli occupation forces three months ago in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza has provided his lawyer with a shocking catalogue of abuses taking place in Israel detention centres. Alaraby television correspondent Mohammad Saber Arab, 42, told lawyer Khaled Mahajneh that detainees are killed, raped, tortured, abused and humiliated.

During his first visit to speak to Arab under strict restrictions and supervision by occupation troops, Mahajneh said that the first thing that he was asked by the journalist was “Where am I?” He had no idea that he was being detained in the Sde Teiman camp. Arab’s testimony is the latest of many listing the abuses that Palestinian detainees face in Israeli detention camps.

“Detainees are kept handcuffed and blindfolded for 24 hours a day,” Arab told the lawyer. He was not allowed to change his clothes for almost two months, and was only allowed to change his pants on the day of the visit.

The journalist said that throughout their detention, detainees are subjected to torture, abuse and other assaults, including sexual assault and rape, which led to the killing of some detainees. The beatings, abuse, humiliation and insults are non-stop, he said, and no detainee is allowed to talk to any other detainee. Those who speak to one another are beaten severely. No prayers or other religious rituals are allowed. Sick and wounded detainees, he added, have had limbs amputated, and bullets were removed without anaesthesia.

While being surrounded by police dogs at all times, said Arab, every four detainees are allowed to use the toilet for one minute; anyone taking longer is punished. They sleep on the floor, using shoes as pillows, and are given one minute per week to bathe. They are forbidden from sleeping during the day.

Food, said Arab, is a few mouthfuls of labneh — strained yoghurt — and a piece of cucumber or tomato; that’s all, every day. His message to the world sent through lawyer Mahajneh is that the conditions in which Palestinian detainees are held by Israel are no less than the genocide of the people in Gaza. He called for immediate action to save them and end their suffering.

READ: UN Rights office accuses Israel of violating laws of war in Gaza