Gaza detainees have limbs amputated due to Israeli shackle injuries

Gaza detainees have limbs amputated due to Israeli shackle injuries
A doctor serving at a hospital in Sde Teiman in Israel has documented severe abuses of the Gazan's held captive in the detention facility.
3 min read
05 April, 2024
Israel has been accused of the widespread abuse of Palestinian captives [Getty-file photo]

Palestinians from Gaza held at Israeli detention facilities have had limps amputated due to handcuff injuries and are forced to wear diapers to defecate, a doctor at the camp's hospital has revealed.

The unnamed doctor who works at a hospital in the Sde Teiman detention facility documented the horrific conditions faced by Palestinian detainees in a letter to Israel’s defence minister, health minister and the legal adviser to the Israeli government, as reported by Haaretz.

Israel has rounded up thousands of people in Gaza without charge and any oversight by international bodies, with torture and ill-treatment said to be prevalent. 

"Just this week, two prisoners had their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries, which unfortunately is a routine event," the physician wrote in the letter. 

The Sde Teiman facility, located between Beersheba and Gaza in the Negev, was established as a temporary detention facility immediately after the outbreak of Israel's war on Gaza last year.

Although the Israeli government claims it holds only "Hamas terrorists" many detainees in the facility have no known links to the Palestinian group, and Israel refuses to provide proof or legally charge the detainees.

Doctors, journalists and other innocent civilians are all known to be held at Israeli detention facilities.

The doctor states in the letter, even if every detainee was a member of Hamas, the conditions in Sde Teiman would still pose ethical and legal problems for Israel.

"From the first days of the operation of the medical facility until today, I am faced with difficult ethical dilemmas," the doctor writes.

"More than that, I am writing to warn that the characteristics of the facility’s activities do not comply with law in any of the sections related to the health of imprisoned fighters."

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The doctor also noted that the facility fails to receive regular or adequate medical supplies, despite the increasing demand. Patients with chronic conditions, including epilepsy, often go without necessary medication. Sometimes, with only one doctor on shift, patients suffer from a lack of adequate care, leading to fatal outcomes.

"It ends in complications and sometimes even in the patient's death," the physician wrote.

They also revealed how patients are handcuffed throughout the day, have their eyes covered, and are fed through straws.

Many are forced to wear diapers, often unchanged for hours.

According to the doctor, over half of the patients there are due to injuries sustained by being constantly shackled which "require repeated surgical interventions".

Amputations are a regular occurrence at Sde Teiman with Haaretz reporting that three different sources confirmed that a patient had their hand amputated last year due to the prolonged use of handcuffs.

Prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions have the right to humane treatment, proper medical care, and to be protected against violence and unnecessary harm.

If the claims of the mass abuse and inhumane conditions at Sde Teiman are true, Israel could be committing additional war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As of March 2024, more than 9,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons, with 27 dying since 7 October. Many are held without charge and amid widespread reports of similar abuses by Israeli authorities.