On torture, rapes and killing in Zionist prisons

Yossi Schwartz ISL (The section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 14.12.2023

Under Zionists and its supporters’ pressure on December 1st UN Women issued a statement condemning Hamas’ use of sexual violence during the October 7 attack. This statement was based on Zionists propaganda lacking any forensic evidence while Israel is famous for spreading lies. Hamas denied this allegation but the UN women organization doesn’t believe Arabs, after all Hamas is not a European organization.

Israelis hardly see on TV the horrific actions of the Zionist army in Gaza. They prefer to see the humiliation of the Gazans like men in underwear raising their hands. It boosts their morale.

The people around the world see the genocide and the destruction and oppose it. For the Israelis and the Zionists around the world the protest against the genocide reflects Anti-Semitism.

Israeli journalist and activist Anat Saragusti, who has lived and reported from both southern Israel and the Gaza Strip addresses the fact that Israeli mainstream media barely shows images of what’s happening in Gaza and isn’t regularly reporting on the dire situation in the Strip.

“The fact that Israeli audiences don’t see images from Gaza means that journalists are not doing their jobs,” she says. “They have to show the images. Hebrew-speaking Israelis watching television news are not exposed at all to what’s going on in Gaza. We don’t see the atrocities, the rubble, the destruction and the humanitarian crisis. The world sees something completely different” [1]

This week information obtained by Al Jazeera show bodies piled up inside the Shadia Abu Ghazala School in al-Faluja area, west of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. [2]

Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive testimonies from Gaza residents of the sights they encountered. Israeli soldiers took civilians sheltering in the school into a room “and executed them, even the children”, a Palestinian woman told Al Jazeera “They were infants. They executed them” [3]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has decried reports of “execution-style” killings of civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces, which were published earlier in the day by Al Jazeera, citing local residents.

“Because the Biden administration stands almost alone on the world stage in defending and enabling the far-right Israeli government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza, administration officials must respond to the reported execution-style massacre of women, children and babies seeking refuge in a school in Gaza,” CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement” [4]

My murdered friend by the Zionist the national Palestinian poet M. Darwish wrote on this:

“Write down: I am an Arab. And my ID number is 50,000. I got eight kids

And the ninth is due after the Summer. So will you be mad?

Write down: I am an Arab. And I work along with my labor buddies in a stone quarry. And I have eight kids. I secure them bread, clothing, and notebooks. Hacked out from the rocks. And I don’t beg for charity at your door. And I don’t lower myself at the footsteps of your court. So will you be mad?

Write down: I am an Arab. I am a name without an epithet. Patient in a country where everything has a tantrum. My roots were deeply entrenched before the birth of time and prior to the ushering of eras before cypresses and olive trees and even before the grass grew.

My dad hails from a family of plowers, not blue-blood barons. My grandpa was a farmer, totally unknown. Taught me about the zenith of the soul before teaching me how to read. And my home is a cabin made out of sticks and bamboo. So are you displeased with my status?

I am a name without an epithet! Write down: I am an Arab Hair color: coal-like; eye color: brown

Distinguishing marks: I wear a headband on top of a keffiyeh. And my palm is rock-solid, scratches whoever touches it. As to my address: I am from an isolated village, forgotten. Its streets are unnamed. And all its men are in the field or in the stone quarry. So will you be mad?

Write down: I am an Arab. You stole the meadows of my ancestors and a land I used to cultivate. Together with all my kids. You didn’t leave us or to my offspring. Anything—except these rocks. So will your government take them away as well, as it’s been announced. In that case: Write down on top of the first page: “I don’t hate people, and I don’t rob anyone. But… If I starve to death, I’m left with nothing else but the flesh of my usurper to feed from. So beware, beware of my hunger and anger”

Israel is using every means it has to force admission that Israeli women were raped on October 7th even though it does not have forensic evidence to back this claim.

It also claims that the Israeli prisoners held in Gaza suffered from lack of food, clean water and medicine while Israel blocked food and water to Gaza. The Zionist reporters and the western imperialist mass propaganda happily repeat this absurd complaint. This propaganda ignores and hides the condition of Palestinian women and men who were in Zionist prisons.

As Palestinian teens and women were liberated in prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel, chilling accounts emerged of dire conditions in Israeli prisons.

Detainees gave testimonies on how Israeli prison authorities subjected them to food deprivation, medical negligence, regular beatings and menacing threats aimed at them and their families.

Despite many of the prisoners being released from different prisons across historic Palestine with no way of communicating with one another prior to their release, their accounts have been consistent.

“total of 240 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel as part of this deal – including 107 children, 65 teens 18 and older and 68 women.The vast majority of Palestinians released had never been charged with a crime, and most had been in Israeli detention for less than one year, The New York Times reported.Throughout the seven days of prisoner exchanges, Israel detained more Palestinians than it released amid what the UN human rights office in Palestine called a “dramatic growth in the number of Palestinians arrested and detained by Israeli security forces across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”Six Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since 7 October, the UN office said. This is “the highest number of cases reported in such a short time-period in decades,” the office added” [5]

“Testimonies gathered by +972 Magazine from Palestinians released from Israeli prisons in recent weeks — both as part of the ceasefire agreement and independently of it — paint a picture of a surge in abuse and humiliation inside prison cells, in interrogation rooms, and during arrests. According to these testimonies, Israeli forces and prison authorities have used methods of torture, threatened to rape a female detainee and her young daughter, and beaten a prisoner to death — one of six Palestinians known to have died in Israeli custody since October 7” [6]

at least 260 Palestinians that Israel defines as “unlawful combatants,” including those who participated in the attacks of October 7. Members of that group, say the former inmates who spoke to +972, are being held in a designated section of Ofer Prison, west of Ramallah, and their constant screams can be heard alongside the barking of dogs. Israel is concealing the names and detention conditions of many of the detainees from Gaza and is preventing lawyers and the Red Cross from visiting them” [7]

“Mahmoud Katnani, one of the prisoners released in the exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, was in the same prison cell where Abu Assab was held. “On Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. during the security count, the forces [from the IPS’s rapid response unit, Keter] began to break into the room. There were 10 prisoners in the room, and we sat as usual: kneeling with our hands over our heads and heads down. Suddenly, the forces attacked us for no apparent reason, beating us with batons and kicking us.

“The beating continued violently,” Katnani went on. “They slammed the prisoner Thaer Abu Assab on the floor and dragged him to a corner near the bathroom, beating him on his head and body for several minutes. Then they exited the room, leaving Thaer covered in blood flowing heavily from his head. We approached him [and realized that] his heart had stopped beating. We pulled him to the middle of the room; he had died.

“We covered him with a blanket and began screaming at the guards for an hour and a half until a nurse, guards, and members of the same force arrived in the room,” Katnani continued. “Abu Assab’s body was taken away. Shortly after, a member of the force arrived and informed us of his death” [8]

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of several other Palestinians in Israeli custody in the past two months are less clear. Two Palestinians from Gaza — including 32-year-old laborer Majed Ahmed Zaqoul who was arrested inside Israel sometime after October 7, and another whose details are not known — died at the Anatot Detention Center just outside Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. Abd al-Rahman Ahmed Muhammad Mar’i, a 33-year-old resident of the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the northern West Bank, died at Megiddo Prison in northern Israel on Oct. 13, where he had been held since February without trial.

Omar Hamza Daraghmeh, a 58-year-old from Tubas in the northern West Bank and a senior Hamas member, was arrested with his son Hamza at their home on Oct. 9. He was transferred from Anatot to Megiddo prison Oct. 23, where he stood trial via video conference. Later that day, he was dead; Hamas has accused Israel of assassinating him.

Daraghmeh’s brother, Abdel Hakim, told +972: “My brother was ill. Shortly before his arrest, we had conducted a coronary artery catheterization with stent transplantation for him. He required daily medication, the most crucial of which was a blood thinner to prevent clotting. My brother died in prison, where there was neither medical treatment nor care” [9]

The sixth Palestinian killed in Israeli custody since October 7 is Arafat Yasser Hamdan. On Oct. 22, Israeli forces raided his home in the village of Beit Sira, near Ramallah. Hamdan, a 25-year-old with diabetes and pancreatic dysfunction and the father of an infant daughter, was handcuffed and had a bag placed over his head in front of his wife and mother, before being taken into custody. Two days later, Israeli authorities informed his family that he had died. The family has received no further information from them since.

S.A., a 58-year-old from southern Hebron, was with Hamdan the day he died. “On the morning of Oct. 24, we were placed in a vehicle that would take us from the Gush Etzion Detention Center to [Ofer Military] Court,” he recounted. “Arafat was with me. Suddenly, he collapsed unconscious inside the vehicle, his face pale. Despite our pleas, none of the soldiers paid attention.

“After about 10 minutes, a soldier finally arrived holding a small plastic cup of water, which he gave to Arafat to drink,” S.A. continued. “The soldier seated Arafat in the front of the vehicle. After another 10 minutes, the soldier returned Arafat to us, making him sit on the ground with his hands and feet cuffed like the rest of us. His condition was deteriorating.”

Throughout the journey, S.A. explained, the other detainees repeatedly informed the guards that Arafat was experiencing a lot of pain due to a lack of sugar — having not eaten for two days due to the poor quality of food that they had been given — and that he needed to take his medications. “None of the soldiers paid any attention,” he said. “It was as if we did not exist.” [10]

In its reports, AF3IRM compiled multiple press sources and firsthand accounts from Palestinian prisoners, presstv reported.

“I left little girls in my prison cell crying. Why? Because unspeakable things are happening to them there… Unimaginable things at the hands of the [Israeli] soldiers,” Israa Ja’abis said upon her release from an Israeli jail.

Freed prisoner Lama Khater also said that she was blindfolded and threatened with rape as a form of intimidation against her.

The report cited another freed female prisoner as saying that “over 15 Palestinian women were sexually assaulted” by Israeli forces who sought to force a confession out of them.

The occupying regime’s forces even keep videotapes of the raping to blackmail the abductees following their release, according to the report.

AF3IRM noted that even male prisoners were sexually abused, adding that sex trafficking is “an elevated threat for Palestinians”.

The situation in the prison is devastating. The prisoners are abused. They are constantly beaten. They are being sexually assaulted. They are being raped,” freed prisoner Ramzi Al-Abbasi said” [11]

Down with the double standard in favor of the Zionists!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!


[1] https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/podcasts/2023-12-13/ty-article-podcast/israelis-dont-see-images-from-gaza-because-our-journalists-are-not-doing-their-job/0000018c-5e34-de43-affd-fe36d3a70000

[2] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/12/13/israel-hamas-war-live-world-calls-for-ceasefire-as-israel-bomb

[3] https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/podcasts/2023-12-13/ty-article-podcast/israelis-dont-see-images-from-gaza-because-our-journalists-are-not-doing-their-job/0000018c-5e34-de43-affd-fe36d3a70000

[4] Ibid

[5] https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/released-palestinians-reveal-horrors-israeli-prisons

[6] https://www.972mag.com/palestinians-abused-israeli-prisons-torture/

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] https://www.972mag.com/palestinians-abused-israeli-prisons-torture/

[11] https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020914000770/Repr-Palesinians-Sbjeced-Sexal-Vilence-in-Israeli-Prisns

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