Israel 'summarily executes' four Palestinian prisoners near Karem Abu Salem

Israel 'summarily executes' four Palestinian prisoners near Karem Abu Salem
Israel has allegedly carried out the field execution of four Palestinian prisoners amid a climate of worsening prisoner abuse during the war on Gaza.
3 min read
07 July, 2024
Israel is committing widespread abuse of Palestinian captives across the occupied territories [Getty]

The Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) condemned on Sunday the reported summary execution of four Palestinian prisoners by Israeli forces near the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing.

According to a statement issued by the PPC, based on eyewitness accounts from survivors, the four prisoners were among a group of 15 people arrested by Israel and detained for four days. During this time, all of the prisoners were subject to torture, beatings and being held in harsh and humiliating conditions.

At the time of the prisoners being released at Karem Abu Salem, Israel targeted the group, deliberately killing the four as-yet unidentified Palestinians, according to witness testimony. Photos of their retrieved bodies show signs of torture, with the four dead still wearing handcuffs.

It is believed that those killed belonged to a local group of aid workers.

The PPC stated that the field executions of Palestinians by Israel has become normal since the beginning of its devastating war on Gaza. The rights group also noted that Palestinian detainees are routinely killed in Israeli prisons and camps, such as the notorious Sde Teiman camp in the Negev.

The group also emphasised that Israel conceals the identities of Palestinian captives killed in prisons and camps, due to its widespread practice of enforced disappearances.

Alarmingly, the rate of abuses of Palestinian detainees is not diminishing as Israel’s war on Gaza stretches into its ninth month.

“As we have previously noted, even though 275 days have passed since the genocide, the testimonies of the detainees and prisoners are still at the same level as the testimonies we received at the beginning of the war,” the PPC said in a statement.

“The policy of torture is part of a series of systematic policies and crimes imposed by the occupation system on the prisoners since the beginning of the war, most notably the crime of starvation and medical crimes, which collectively led to the martyrdom of dozens of prisoners and detainees,” they added.

The killing of the four workers comes amid multiple exposes of widespread abuses faced by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention camps such as Sde Teiman, where whistleblowers have described routine torture, limb amputations and even the deaths of detainees.

It also comes as Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir  reiterated his call for Palestinian prisoners to be summarily executed.

The far-right minister recently took to X to respond to Shin Bet accusations that the government had ignored months of warnings about prison overcrowding with at least 21,000 Palestinian detainees held since 7 October.

“Since I assumed the position of Minister of National Security, one of the highest goals I have set for myself is to worsen the conditions of the terrorists in the prisons, and to reduce their rights to the minimum required by law,” Ben-Gvir said

“I have already proposed a much simpler solution, of enacting the death penalty for terrorists, which would solve the overcrowding issue,” he added.