UN Report Finds Palestinians Sexually Abused and Beaten in Israeli Detention

by | Mar 3, 2024

UN Report Finds Palestinians Sexually Abused and Beaten in Israeli Detention

by | Mar 3, 2024

screenshot 2024 01 24 143934

Palestinians receive medial care after release from Israeli detention center

A document compiled by the UN Palestinian agency (UNRWA) found rampant abuse of Palestinians in Israeli detention facilities. The detainees report frequent beatings, sexual abuse, and even the deaths of prisoners. Thousands of Palestinians have been rounded by the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza over the past four months. 

The New York Times viewed a UNRWA report that documents pervasive abuse in Israeli detention camps. “Detainees said they were beaten, stripped, robbed, blindfolded, sexually abused, and denied access to lawyers and doctors, often for more than a month,” the outlet wrote. “Some detainees, according to the report, told UNRWA investigators that they had often been beaten on open wounds, had been held for hours in painful stress positions, and had been attacked by military dogs.”

One prisoner reported he was “beaten so badly that his genitals turned blue and that there was still blood present in his urine,” adding that “guards made him sleep naked in the open air, next to a fan blowing cold air, and played music so loudly that his ear bled.” 

The draft document describes “a range of ill-treatment that Gazans of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds have reported facing in makeshift detention facilities in Israel.” Such treatment, the report concluded, “was used to extract information or confessions, to intimidate and humiliate, and to punish.”

Several outlets and agencies have reported severe and ubiquitous abuse in Israeli detention facilities that could amount to torture, including Israeli outlets +972 Magazine and Haaretz. “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.”

Israeli forces appear to be arresting Palestinians indiscriminately. According to the UN report, several Gazans in Israeli detention have been barred access to lawyers. Some of the detainees have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, intellectual disabilities, and cancer. 

The UN document also put a spotlight on the sexual abuse suffered by Palestinians at the hands of their Israeli captors. “Both male and female detainees reported incidents of sexual abuse, the report said. Some male detainees said they were beaten on their genitals,” the report said, according to The Times. “Some women said they experienced ‘inappropriate touching during searches and as a form of harassment while blindfolded.’” 

About 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.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles