‘Like Guantanamo Bay’ – Released Detainee Speaks of Torture in Israeli Prison

Palestinian detainee Muazzam Khalil Abayat after detention in an Israeli prison. (Photo: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“The Negev Prison is like Guantanamo Bay. Everything is beyond what the mind can imagine.”

After nine months in Israeli detention, Palestinian detainee Muazzam Khalil Abayat was barely recognizable, having endured daily beatings and abuse.

“Since the moment of my arrest until today, I have been severely beaten,” Abayat, 37, said after being released from the Negev (Naqab) prison on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said in a statement that “Abayat was released from the Negev prison in a grave and shocking health condition,” adding that he “was subjected to a series of vicious assaults, including torture and starvation.”

The brutal assaults included “the breaking of all his limbs,” the PPS said, pointing out that Abayat, reported to be a former boxer, did not suffer any health problems before his arrest.

‘Ben-Gvir Danced on My Body’

In footage shared on social media, Abayat is seen limping and unable to walk upright, with an injury to his right arm.

“I was stabbed on December 4. I was subjected to attempted murder in Ofer prison, and (Itamar) Ben-Gvir danced on my body,” he said in a video posted by the Institute for Middle East Understanding. “They announced my death on December 4, and I woke up to find myself in Al-Ramla Prison hospital. I didn’t receive any treatment, the situation is horribly bad.”

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“The Negev Prison is like Guantanamo Bay. Everything is beyond what the mind can imagine,” Abayat stated.

He said 2,000 prisoners are facing “severe illnesses and extremely harsh conditions.”

‘Criminal Behavior’ – Hamas

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas has said the condition of Abayat and other recently released detainees “confirm the extent of the severe violations and heinous crimes committed” in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

“What detainee Moazaz Abayat mentioned about the participation of the terrorist Ben-Gvir in the brutal torture operations himself confirms the level of sadism he and members of this extremist and fascist government possess,” the movement said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The suffering endured by our prisoners in occupation prisons far exceeds the brutality faced by detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison, proving that the occupation government and its army are devoid of ethics and have disregarded all international agreements and laws regarding the treatment of prisoners.”

Call to ICJ

Hamas said Israel’s  “criminal behavior…. necessitates immediate intervention from the international community, the International Court of Justice, the United Nations and its institutions.”

It urged “the formation of committees to enter these detention centers, investigate the violations committed therein, and bring the war criminals among the occupation leaders to international justice and hold them accountable for these crimes.”

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

Abayat is the nephew of Hussein Abayat, one of the founders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the southern West Bank, according to the PPS. Abayat was killed during the Second Intifada (uprising) in 2000.

Abayat’s case is not an isolated one, with scores of testimonies from released prisoners pointing to torture and abuse inside Israeli detention camps and prisons.

Euro-Med Report

In a recent report, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said testimonies from released Gaza detainees have revealed an escalation of abuse and torture including prisoners being forcibly injected with an unknown substance.

The recently released Director of al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, spoke about the horrifying reality facing detainees, noting that “prisoners in Israeli jails endure different types of torture.”

“The army treats them as if they were inanimate objects, and Israeli doctors physically assaulted us,” he said.

‘Worse than Abu Ghraib’ – This is How Israel Tortures Its Palestinian Hostages

He also stated that no international organizations were permitted to visit inmates, nor were they allowed access to lawyers, while the Palestinian prisoners were subjected to “severe torture and almost daily assaults inside the prisons and were denied medical treatments”.

According to statistics from various Palestinian organizations including the PPS and Addameer Association for Human Rights, a total of 9,600 Palestinians, including women and children, have been arrested across the West Bank and East Jerusalem since October 7.

(PC, Anadolu)

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