Middle EastWorld News

Traumatized Palestinians account broad range of ill-treatment in Israeli custody: UN report

including women and men, during the war after the detained Palestinians reported mistreatment by the regime’s forces.

Compiled by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the unpublished report says that hundreds of Gazans were improperly detained by Israel during the conflict. At least 1,000 detainees were held by Israel without any charges at three military locations within the occupied territories, adding that some of them died in custody.

The top UN agency for Palestinian affairs said on Monday that after release, the Gazan detainees came back “completely traumatized,” reporting abuses while in captivity.

They have been subjected to a “broad range of ill treatment” including threats of electrocution, being photographed naked, sleep deprivation and having dogs used to intimidate them, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini told a media briefing.

A team of UN experts also said that they received information from institutional and civil society sources and direct interviews, about “sexual violence against Palestinian men and women in detention settings (in Israel), during house raids and at checkpoints.”

“The soldiers were very harsh, they beat us and screamed at us in Hebrew,” said a 39-year-old woman from Gaza City, whose identity has not been revealed.

“If we raised our heads or uttered any words, they beat us on the head,” she added.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, the mission said they had learnt about the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of Palestinian women and men in detention.

The mission said that Palestinian detainees reported various forms of assault, from “unwanted touching of intimate areas and forced unveiling of women wearing Hijab; beatings, including in the genital areas; threats of rape against women and threats of rape against female family members (wives, sisters, daughters) in the case of men.”

Last month, a group of experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council raised the alarm over the rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

“We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing,” the team said, adding, “Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces.”

“We remind … Israel of its obligation to uphold the right to life, safety, health, and dignity of Palestinian women and girls and to ensure that no one is subjected to violence, torture, ill-treatment or degrading treatment, including sexual violence,” they added.

Meanwhile, UNRWA also criticized Israeli authorities for ill-treatment of “several of its staff from the Gaza Strip,” who were detained by Israeli forces and subjected to abuses while in custody.

“Our staff have reported atrocious events while they were detained and during interrogations by the Israeli authorities. These reports included torture, severe ill-treatment, abuse and sexual exploitation,” UNRWA said in a statement.

It also revealed that its staff members were forced to ink confessions about Hamas’s October 7 operation, which was launched in response to Israel’s crimes and aggression against Palestinians.

“Some of our staff have conveyed to UNRWA teams that they were forced to sign confessions under torture and ill-treatment” while being asked about the Hamas operation.

Israel’s aggression in Gaza, which was launched after the Hamas operation, has killed 30,534 people, mostly women and children, according to the latest toll from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

Related Articles

Back to top button