Palestinians recount 'torture' in Israeli army custody: report

Palestinians recount 'torture' in Israeli army custody: report
Former detainees who were arrested after October 7 have spoken out about undergoing repeated beatings and torture- while being deprived from food and water
2 min read
25 December, 2023
Injured men who were among Palestinians detained by Israeli forces are currently treated at al-Najjar hospital in Rafah [Getty]

Palestinians held by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip had suffered torture, two freed detainees and a medic said Sunday.

The two men were among hundreds abducted by Israeli forces during Israel's ongoing ground offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory.

About 20 men released from Israeli custody "have bruises and marks of blows on their bodies", Marwan al-Hams, hospital director in the southern city of Rafah, told French news agency AFP.

Hams said the freed Palestinians were admitted to Al-Najjar hospital upon their release.

Israeli forces rejected the claims, saying detainees are "treated in accordance with international law".

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"While detained, the suspects are given sufficient food and water and treated according to protocol," the army said  in a statement.

Nayef Ali, 22, said he was detained in Gaza City's eastern Zaitun suburb and later taken to an Israeli detention facility, and showed cuts on his wrists and other parts of his body.

He added that they were beaten consistently as Israeli forces tied their hands for two days- while they were also prevented from eating, drinking and using the toilet.

Ali said the detainees were put in an area along the border with Israel where it was "freezing cold".

"They threw cold water on us before transferring us to a prison, where it was again torture and beatings."

Khamis al-Bardini, 55, also alleged torture by Israeli soldiers, saying they poured "cold water on our heads through the night" along with "beatings during the day".

In recent weeks, the army has faced international criticism after viral footage of Palestinians stripped down to their underwear and blindfolded with their hands tied behind the backs.

The detainees included Diaa al-Kahlout, the head of TNA's Arabic-language sister site in Gaza, who is reportedly being held at Beersheba prison in Israel and denied proper nutrition.

Kahlout was detained on Thursday 7 December in the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, along with hundreds of other Palestinian men including his brothers and other relatives.