‘A War Crime’ – Hamas on 27 Gaza Detainees who Died in Israeli Custody

A report by Haaretz revealed the death of 27 Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli custody. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

An exposé published on Thursday by Haaretz revealed that “27 Gaza detainees have died in custody at Israeli military facilities” since October 7.

The Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas has said the deaths of 27 Palestinians held at Israeli military facilities constitute a “war crime.”

An exposé published on Thursday by Haaretz revealed that “27 Gaza detainees have died in custody at Israeli military facilities” since October 7, according to figures obtained by the Israeli newspaper.

Hamas said the deaths are “further evidence of the magnitude of crimes, violations and atrocities that Palestinian detainees face in occupation jails, constituting a war crime that necessitates an investigation by international human rights institutions.”

The movement called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (IICRC) “to fulfill their legal and humanitarian duty … to inspect their conditions and the circumstances of their detention, especially in light of the deliberate Israeli concealment of their numbers and detention conditions.”

UNRWA Documented ‘Dog Attacks, Sexual Assault’ of Palestinians – Report

‘Died During Questioning’

The detainees died at the Sde Teiman and Anatot facilities “or during questioning in Israeli territory,” Haaretz reported.

An Israeli military spokesperson’s office said the Investigative Military Police has opened investigations into the deaths, according to the paper.

The military “did not detail the circumstances of the deaths, but said that some suffered from prior health conditions or were wounded during the war.”

Since October 7, the army has held Gazan detainees in temporary prison camps at the Sde Teiman base, the paper said.

Strip Searches, Severe Beatings, Dog Attacks – Testimonies by Freed Gazan Detainees

These detainees “were questioned by Unit 504. Under an amendment to the law that was passed during the war, detainees may be held for up to 75 days without seeing a judge.”

Workers from Gaza with permits who were in Israel at the outbreak of the conflict, “were held at the Anatot detention camp until most were released,” the paper said.

A source told Haaretz that “at least one of them, a diabetic, died there, after not receiving medical treatment.”

A Haaretz report in December revealed that detainees at Sde Teiman “were held while handcuffed and blindfolded throughout the day,” and a source told the paper that soldiers tended to punish and beat detainees.

This matches testimonies of Palestinians who were later returned to Gaza.

UNRWA Report

An internal report describing widespread abuse of Palestinian detainees in Israeli detention centers, including beatings, dog attacks, and sexual assault has been circulated within the UN, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, this week. 

The report, seen by the paper, was compiled by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) and it said, is “largely based on interviews of Palestinian detainees released at the Kerem Shalom crossing point since December, when UNRWA staff were present to provide humanitarian support.”

The report mentioned that methods of ill-treatment “included physical beatings, forced stress positions for extended periods of time, threats of harm to detainees and their families, attacks by dogs, insults to person dignity and humiliation such as being made to act like animals, or get urinated on, use of loud music and noises, deprivation of water, food, sleep and toilets, denial of the right to practice their religion (to pray) and prolonged use of tightly locked handcuffs causing open wounds and friction injuries.”

Last month, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor issued a report detailing testimonies from a group of freed detainees who spent varying lengths of time in Israeli jails and detention centers. 

The report highlighted harrowing testimonies from freed detainees, including elderly, women and the sick.

“These individuals confirmed that they were subjected to severe beatings, dog attacks, strip searches, and denial of food and bathroom access, among other cruel practices that amount to torture,” the report said.

The most concerning testimonies that Euro-Med Monitor received concern female detainees who were directly sexually harassed.

Beaten, Strip Searched – Female Palestinian Detainees Tell Harrowing Stories

Over 30,800 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,878 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,402 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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