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The Guardian: Reports of widespread violations against Palestinians in Israeli detention camp

The Guardian: Reports of widespread violations against Palestinians in Israeli detention camp

British newspaper The Guardian reported Thursday that Palestinian prisoners were beaten, kept chained in hospital beds or forced to stand for hours, according to witnesses from sources who worked in an Israeli detention camp.

The newspaper reported on its website, citing two sources who worked on the site, that prisoners held in an Israeli detention camp in the Negev desert are subject to numerous physical and mental violations, with at least one case of he man whose limb was amputated was reported as a result of injuries he suffered from constant handcuffs.

The sources described the horrific treatment of prisoners in the Israeli Sde Teman camp, where Palestinians from Gaza and suspected Hamas members are held, including prisoners who are routinely tied to hospital beds, blindfolded and forced to wear diapers.

According to the two sources, the facility, located approximately 29 kilometers from the border with Gaza, consists of two distinct sections: a fenced area where up to 200 Palestinian detainees from Gaza are held under severe physical restrictions in cages, and a field hospital, where dozens of prisoners are held, war-wounded patients handcuffed to their beds and often without access to painkillers.

One of the sources, who worked at the facility as a prison guard, said detainees were forced to stand for hours or sit on their knees. The source, who spoke of the risk of being exposed to reprisals, added that many of them. detainees were beaten with batons and unable to move their heads or speak in public.

He continued: “The prisoners are held in what look like cages, and they are all blindfolded and handcuffed. If anyone speaks or moves, they are immediately silenced or forced to stand with their hands raised above their heads and handcuffed for up to an hour. , and in case they could not raise their hand. “The soldiers attached handcuffs to the bars of the cage and many detainees had infected wounds that were not treated properly.”

He added: “The floor is so dirty and smells so bad that we had to wear masks. Sometimes we could hear the sound of banging and shouting, and the sound of banging, as if it were against a metal wall. Palestinian prisoners suffered from malnutrition, as they were given a cucumber and a few slices of bread and a cup of cheese.

The source said the army has no proof that all the prisoners are members of Hamas, because some prisoners repeatedly asked why they were there, and most of them were considered suspects and some were released, but no formal charges were brought against them. the place was a… sorting and temporary detention camp.

According to the Physicians for Human Rights report, which called for the closure of the camp, since the start of the war, all detained Gazans have been classified as “illegal combatants”, a classification that deprives them of the status prisoners of war. This situation allows Israel to prohibit lawyers’ visits from being extended, leading to a critical lack of oversight at a time when the risks of harsh detention conditions and torture are heightened.

According to information obtained from the Israeli Prison Service, as of early April, he had classified 849 people as “illegal combatants” in his custody.

The source described the field hospital inside the detention center as consisting of tents with an emergency room, where surgeries were performed on patients on stretchers, as there were no operating table. The patients were tied to their beds and all wore diapers and clothes. were blindfolded.

The source claimed to have been informed that “some patients were brought from Gaza hospitals and that these were patients captured by the Israeli army during their treatment in Gaza hospitals and brought to this location.” Their limbs and wounds were inflamed. , and they groaned in pain. » He said he learned in In one case, an inmate’s hand was amputated because his wrists developed gangrene due to injuries from his chains.

The Physicians for Human Rights report provided details of the case of Izz al-Din al-Banna, a 34-year-old Gaza resident who used a wheelchair before his arrest and who died in another medical center last February after being transferred. from Sde Timan to receive care. Other prisoners mentioned He continued to complain of pain for several days, but no one answered him and he did not receive proper care.

The prison guard’s statements were confirmed by another source who spoke to the Guardian and who was part of the medical staff working at the Sde Timan field hospital. He said: “There were about 15 patients in total, and they were all handcuffed and blindfolded. They were naked, wearing diapers and covered with blankets. “Most of them appeared to have obvious war wounds, some had suffered amputations and others had undergone major surgeries on their abdomens or chests. They were almost naked except for diapers “

The medical staff member added: “I understand that it is difficult to treat a patient accused of heinous crimes, but this is the job we have chosen, and as doctors we must understand that every human being has the right to receive appropriate health care, regardless of one’s situation. their journey. »

In response to these allegations, the Israeli military said in a statement: “Among the detainees held in the Sde Timan center, there are trained military personnel who are at a very high level of risk. According to the Israeli army, the hands of the detainees are handcuffed. level of danger they pose and their state of health, and routine procedures are implemented regarding… Handcuffs To ensure that the handcuffs were made in such a way as not to harm the detainees, at the start of the war and After reports of injuries from handcuffs, the type of handcuffs was changed at the facility to reduce potential harm from handcuffing as much as possible.

She added that inmates had regular access to toilets in the prison complex and that diapers were only used for those undergoing medical procedures during which their movements were restricted, the aim being to maintain cleanliness.

The Israeli military said it treated detainees “appropriately and carefully” and that any allegations of misconduct by IDF soldiers were investigated and dealt with accordingly and that, in some cases, military police opened criminal investigations.

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