Israeli Forces Torture and Humiliate Detained Medical Staff

by | Mar 12, 2024

Israeli Forces Torture and Humiliate Detained Medical Staff

by | Mar 12, 2024

screenshot 2024 03 12 185912

Three Palestinian medical staffers released from Israeli captivity say they were severely abused and humiliated. Multiple Israeli outlets and human rights organizations have documented the systemic abuse of Palestinians in detention, including torture, sexual crimes, and mistreatment that results in death. 

Speaking with the BBC, the Palestinian medics said “they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel in uncomfortable positions for hours” and “detained for days before being released.”

The outlet obtained footage of the initial detention of the medical staff at the Nasser Hospital. The video shows men stripped to their underwear, with their doctor’s gowns in front of them. “Anybody who tried to move his head or make any movement got hit. They left them for around two hours in this shameful position,” one doctor explained.

An expert in humanitarian law described the incident as “extremely concerning,” saying it “very clearly crosses over into the category of cruel and inhumane treatment.” While some of the released doctors were able to recount their torture, families of others say they have no information on their loved ones. 

The torture of Palestinian detainees at the hands of their captors has been well documented, including in Israeli media. “Detainees and prisoners at Megiddo Prison in northern Israel have reported several cases of harsh violence and abuse carried out by prison wardens,” Haaretz reported. The torture included “guards kicking, punching, hitting their testicles, and humiliating prisoners. Some testified that a prisoner who was beaten died of his injuries.”

According to +972 Magazine, “Israeli soldiers subjected Palestinian detainees to electric shocks, burned their skin with lighters, spat in their mouths, and deprived them of sleep, food, and access to bathrooms until they defecated on themselves.” The outlet continued, “Some testified to having been beaten all over their bodies and having cigarettes extinguished on their necks or backs. Several people are known to have died as a result of being held in these conditions.”

Last week, a report by the UN Palestinian aid agency, UNRWA, found Israeli soldiers had tortured its staff members to generate false confessions about being linked to Hamas, including the use of waterboarding.

When asked by the BBC about the allegation of abusing Palestinian doctors, the IDF declined to comment. Additionally, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller declined to condemn the mistreatment or say if there would be any consequences for Tel Aviv. 

The State Department has habitually downplayed well-evidenced allegations of abuse at the hands of Israeli soldiers, vowing to raise the issue in Tel Aviv while insisting Israel respects humanitarian law. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has taken the opposite approach to charges against Palestinians, even when they lack any evidence

Blinken initially described Israeli claims that UNRWA was linked to Hamas as “highly, highly creditable.” America’s top diplomat, as well as other senior officials, have amplified other false Israeli allegations, such as the beheaded babies and October 7 mass rape myths.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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