Gaza Detainees Injected with Unknown Substance as Torture Escalates – Euro-Med Monitor

New testimonies from released Gaza detainees have revealed an escalation of abuse. (Photo: screen grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“I was beaten and subjected to electric shocks since I refused to be injected with (the unknown substance). Torture continued throughout my detention period.”

New testimonies from released Gaza detainees have revealed an escalation of abuse and torture including prisoners being forcibly injected with an unknown substance, according to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

In its latest report, Euro-Med said the Israeli military released dozens of prisoners from the Zikim area, in the northern Gaza Strip, on June 11.

Once freed, the Israeli army opened fire on them and forced them to run or walk “hundreds of metres to return to their residential areas,” the organization said on Wednesday. “Due to exhaustion, they arrived in (a) deplorable condition, exacerbating existing health issues that many had developed while being tortured and abused during their detention.”

Thirty-three of the detainees were treated at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, in the north.

“Throughout the interrogation, they used electric shocks to extract ‘confessions’ about Hamas and the tunnels,” the recently freed Samir Abdullah Jamal Marjan, 23, told Euro-Med.

“I was beaten when I replied that I did not know because I was a civilian, and did not know about other issues (either).”

Electric Shocks

Marjan, who was imprisoned since March 11 and subjected to solitary confinement, said detainees were questioned every ten days.

“I saw people suffer from serious health declines; some even got sick there and were not given medical care, and some inmates were also given unknown injections by the army,” he said.

“I was beaten and subjected to electric shocks since I refused to be injected with (the unknown substance). Torture continued throughout my detention period.”

Marjan said he was “given electric shocks” the day before his release, “for exceeding the allotted time in the toilet.”

“The effects of that are still (visible) on my body. You would be exposed to electricity if you spent more than four minutes in the toilet, because even using the restroom has a set time,” he added.

Arrested Thrice

Another detainee, Amr Abdel Fattah Al-Aklouk, said he was a Gaza resident undergoing medical treatment in Jerusalem.

Since October 7, he has been arrested thrice by the Israeli army, most recently on June 5.

Al-Aklouk verified the death of another detainee due to torture.

“I met a detainee named Muhammad Al-Kahlot, who lives in Al-Faluja, (in the) north of the Gaza Strip, about five days ago. He asked me to get in touch with his family and let them know he was okay if I got out. I did not know that I would be released when I was speaking with him in the room across from us,” he said.

“After our conversation, he died the following day due to torture, and the army put his body in a body bag and transported it to an unknown location.”

‘Security Prisoners’

According to Al-Aklouk, there was a group of Gaza detainees in custody who were designated as “security prisoners.”

“All day long, they endure oppression and random, violent beatings that cause their bodies to bleed. Muhammad was killed (through) the torture he endured at various points throughout the day.”

In another testimony, a 65-year-old detainee who requested anonymity for safety reasons described his arrest and imprisonment to the Euro-Med Monitor team.

He said that when Israeli forces stormed the Jabalia camp last month, “we chose to remain in our house in Al-Qasaib neighbourhood, behind the Jabalia Camp UNRWA clinic.”

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The detainee shared that the army stormed his home, saying: “They forced us all out, and took me and two of my nephews, while the rest were evacuated to the western areas.”

He said they were blindfolded “from the start” and had no idea “where to go or what was going on around us.”

“We were detained for about 20 days, but it seemed like 20 years at the time. There were abuse, beatings, and humiliation on a daily basis,” he said.

Elderly Detainees

Food was scarce, and using the restroom was “a difficult and humiliating experience.”

Israeli forces did not consider his age, adding that he was “not the oldest person there” as there was another detainee over the age of 70.

He shared that there was also a detainee who was mute.

“For many days, they would not stop beating and torturing him, demanding that he respond to (verbal) questions even though he was mute,” he said.

‘Israel Responsible for War Crimes in Gaza’ – UN Commission of Inquiry Report 

The anonymous detainee said one of the guards threatened him upon his release saying “‘Do not complain about anything to the press, or we will come to you again.”

Euro-Med said Palestinian detainees who have been freed from Israeli custody attest to the fact that, despite knowing that the detainees are civilians, the Israeli forces are still abusing their power by torturing and treating them inhumanely.

“The international community’s continued silence—most notably; that of the pertinent United Nations bodies—will lead to the inevitable perpetuation of this torture,” the rights body emphasized.

UN Report

A June 12 report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in Israel, found that Palestinians from the Gaza Strip in general, and Palestinian detainees in particular, have been subjected to torture and inhumane treatment, including sexual violence.

Euro-Med highlighted that according to the report, the abuse included being stripped in public while blindfolded; tied to chairs while kneeling or with their hands tied behind their backs; subjected to physical and psychological abuse while being interrogated; and made to perform humiliating acts while in their underwear, like dancing barefoot while being filmed.

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The rights body slammed Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) saying he “has disregarded the grave offenses committed by Israeli security and military forces against Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a whole.”

“This is especially egregious in light of the numerous credible international reports and evidence released by human rights and media organisations which attest to the widespread and systematic use of torture and violence against Palestinians by Israel,” Euro-Med said.

The rights body recommended that an independent international inquiry committee be established with a focus on the crimes committed during Israel’s current military assault on Gaza, in addition to facilitating the work of the committee already established in 2021 regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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