Release Details on Fate of Forcibly-Disappeared Detainees – Rights Body Urges Israel

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has called on Israel “to promptly reveal the whereabouts, and fate of all forcibly disappeared detainees”. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel has been called upon to reveal the whereabouts and fate of all Palestinian detainees as more testimonies of abuse and torture from freed detainees come to light.

Following testimonies from recently released Palestinian detainees, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has called on Israel “to promptly reveal the whereabouts, and fate of all forcibly disappeared detainees,” and to immediately stop “its policy of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the Geneva-based rights group said Israel’s Sde Teman army camp, located between Beersheba and Gaza, “has been turned into a Guantánamo-like prison.” 

 “Detainees there are held in extreme conditions akin to open-air chicken cages, without access to food or drink for long periods of time,” the statement said.

The organization said it has received testimonies about “the deaths of two detainees inside the Sde Teman camp, one of whom had an amputated foot.”

“Israel has not officially announced their deaths,” it said.  

Euro-Med Monitor also pointed to the concerning lack of an accurate count of detainees from Gaza.

The Israeli army “recently claimed that there are 2,300 detainees in Gaza; however, estimates based on the testimonies of those released suggest that the actual number of detainees is much higher,” the organization stressed.

One detainee said that Israeli officers had personally informed them that there are thousands of Gazan detainees, said Euro-Med.

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

Beatings and Strip Searches

The statement on Tuesday 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.

The female detainees, who preferred to remain unidentified due to safety concerns, said that “Israeli soldiers had harassed them by touching their genitals as well as making them remove their headscarves.”

According to Euro-Med Monitor, the Israeli army systematically humiliates detainees, holding them for extended periods of time without providing any valid reason.

“Some Gazan detainees have been blackmailed by members of the Israeli army and Shin Bet, exchanging information with them in order to alleviate their torture, obtain certain “privileges”, or secure their release,” it said.

‘Transported in Cages’ – Shocking Details of How Israel Treats Female Gaza Prisoners

Crime against Humanity

EuroMed Monitor stressed that “Israel’s ruthless assaults on Palestinian detainees, which violate their dignity and purposefully cause them great pain and suffering, are tantamount to crimes against humanity and/or torture, which fall under the purview of war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

According to the Rome Statute, enforced disappearance is considered a crime against humanity, the organization said.

It called on the International Committee of the Red Cross “to bear its responsibilities and verify the detention conditions of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.”

Urinating on Prisoners: How Palestinian Pride Canceled Israel’s ‘Politics of Humiliation’

Euro-Med Monitor further called on the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to “open an urgent and impartial investigation into the grave situation”. 

This investigation is needed, it said, “to probe the Israeli army’s liquidation of Palestinian civilians after their arrest in different areas of the Gaza Strip, to hold those responsible accountable, and to provide justice to all survivors as well as the families of victims.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out