New reports confirm Israeli torture, abuse, and sexual violence against Palestinian prisoners

For months Palestinian prisoners have shared testimonies of torture at the hands of Israeli military and prison authorities. New reports shed more light on the abuse, particularly sexual violence, carried out inside Israeli detention centers

Palestinian detainees from Gaza show signs of abuse and torture on their bodies after being released from Israeli custody

Yumna Patel reports in Mondoweiss on 27 February 2024:

Two new reports came out last week regarding the torture and cruel treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centers since October 7, including reports of sexual violence against Palestinian women and girls. The reports have renewed conversations around the harsh conditions of Palestinians being held in Israeli captivity, which Palestinian detainees themselves and rights groups have been sounding the alarm over for months.

On February 19, UN human rights experts expressed their alarm over what they described as “egregious human rights violations” carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza. In addition to the extrajudicial and arbitrary execution of women and children in Gaza, the UN experts highlighted the treatment of female Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

“Many have reportedly been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, denied menstruation pads, food and medicine, and severely beaten. On at least one occasion, Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food,” the statement said.

“We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence,” the experts said, adding that photos of Palestinian female detainees in “degrading circumstances” were also reportedly taken by the Israeli army and uploaded online.

“Taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute,” the experts said. “Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice,” they added.

On the same day of the UN experts’ statements, Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) released a 41-page report about the condition of Palestinian detainees inside Israel’s prisons since October 7, which the group described as having become “an apparatus for revenge and retribution.”

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