Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails have claimed guards committed the abuse and retribution within the first few weeks following attacks by Hamas attack on Israel on the 7th of October.
Released Palestinians allege abuse in Israeli jails: They’ve been able to describe being beaten with sticks, being muzzled dogs set upon them, as well as their clothing, blankets, and food were taken away.
A female prisoner claims they threatened her with rape and that guards have tear-gassed two times prisoners in the cells.
The BBC interviewed six people and all of them claimed they were beaten prior to getting out of prison.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society says some guards have allegedly urined on handcuffed prisoners. Six prisoners have passed away in Israeli prisons in the last seven weeks.
Israel claims that all of its prisoners are held according to the law.
The 18-year-old Mohammed Nazzal was one of the people released from Israel this week as a payment in return for Israeli girls and women who were held as hostages from Hamas inside Gaza.
He was in a detention facility at Nafha Prison without charge since August. He says that he doesn’t know the reason the reason he was detained.
Mohammed offered me a visit to his home through a narrow alleyway located in Qabatiya close to Jenin which is located situated in northwestern Lebanon of the occupation West Bank.
The family’s reception room situated at the uppermost part of the old house was smoky from the smoke of a dozen cigarettes. one of the cousins walked around with a coffee flask and a towering stack of paper cups.
Mohammed was flanked with male cousins in rows, his hands heavily bandaged. placed before him rigidly like a boxer, with the point of his thumb visible.
A few days ago, he recalls, Israeli prison guards walked into his cell, equipped with speakers and microphones, and attempted to agitate the prisoners by shouting and clapping their names.
“When they saw we weren’t reacting,” he states, “they started to beat us.”
“They arranged us so that the elderly prisoners were put in the back and the young in front. They took me and started beating me. I was trying to protect my head, and they were trying to break my legs and my hands.”
The family members showed us medical reports and X-rays taken by Palestinian medical professionals in Ramallah who assessed Mohammed after his release on Monday.
The X-ray images were shown to two doctors from the UK They confirmed that the images showed fractures on both hands. It came as no shock to Mohammed.
“In the beginning, I was in a lot of pain,” he explains to me. “Then after a while, I knew that they were broken, so I stopped using them. I only used them when I went to the toilet.”
The other prisoners assisted him in eating, drinking and go to the bathroom and that he did not approach the guards for medical assistance out from fear that they could be again beaten.
The Israel Prison Service has disputed Mohammed’s claim, claiming Mohammed was examined by a doctor prior to leaving the prison but there was no medical issue being diagnosed.
The prison also released footage of the teenager leaving the prison and boarding the Red Cross bus before his release. The service claims that the video shows that his claims are untrue.
In the video the teens hands aren’t bandaged, and seem to hang on his sides, including as he climbs on to the bus. However, they’re away from view for the majority of the footage.
Mohammed said his first treatment he received was on the Red Cross bus.
An official medical note from an institution in Ramallah on the day he arrived back at home suggested that a plate could need to be put in place, in the event that his fractures didn’t heal on their own.
We have asked to the Red Cross to confirm Mohammed’s report. The Red Cross said in an announcement: “We speak directly with the detaining authorities if we have any concerns about the medical condition of detainees. Due to this dialogue, we do not speak publicly about individual cases.”
Mohammed says that the attitude of guards in Israeli prisons has changed since the Hamas attacks on the 7th of October.
Guards hit them with their feet, and also made use of sticks to hit them and describes one guard walking onto his face.
“They came in with their dogs,” he adds. “They let the dogs attack us and then they started beating us.”
“They took out mattresses, our clothes, our pillows, and they threw our food on the floor. People were terrified.”
He reveals the marks on his shoulder and back which he claims are the result of the beatings.
“The dog attacking me wore a muzzle with very sharp edges – his muzzle and claws left marks all over my body,” the dog informs me.
Similar beatings occurred twice in Megiddo Prison, he says that, as well as more than he can remember on the floor of Nafha Prison.
Other Palestinian prisoners we’ve spoken to have reported an identical shift in Israel’s prisons following an attack by Hamas attacks, claiming they believed it was “revenge” against Palestinian prisoners for their actions by Hamas.
The president of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Abdullah al-Zaghary has told us that a lot of prisoners seen cellmates brutally beat on their bodies and faces and that he received reports of guards peeing on prisoners in handcuffs.
We contacted to the Israel Prison Service for a response to these accusations. They stated that the prisoners were all detained as per the law and had the fundamental rights legally stipulated.
“We are not aware of the claims you described,” the statement read. “Nonetheless, prisoners and detainees have the right to file a complaint that will be fully examined by official authorities.”
Lama Khater, released from prison earlier this week, posted the video on social media claiming that an intelligence officer was “explicitly threatened her with rape” shortly following her arrest in late October.
“I was handcuffed and blindfolded,” she said to an interviewer on the video. “They threatened to rape me… It was clear the goal was to intimidate me.”
Israel claimed that these allegations were provided by her lawyer and were denied to the person in prison herself. The prison’s service has filed a complaint against Israel regarding incitement, according to the statement.
But Lama Khater informed us by phone that female prisoners, including herself were indeed threatened with rape and tear gas was employed against the prisoners who were in their dormitories located at Damon Prison.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society claims that there has been a dramatic increase in Palestinian death in prison since the attacks of 7 October which saw six Palestinians die in prison since the 7 October attacks.
Israel did not respond to the question directly, but did state that four prisoners had passed away on different dates in the last few weeks in addition to stating that the system did not know the reasons for the deaths.
The village of Qabatiya community, Mohammed Nazzal says his hands are still causing him pain, particularly in the evening.
His brother Mutaz said that the teenager he had known before was released from jail had not shown up.
“This is not the Mohammed we know,” said he declared. “He was brave, courageous. Now his heart is broken and filled with terror.”
The night before the previous night, he claimed, the Israeli army had conducted an operation in Jenin, a city of Jenin which is located 4km (2.5 miles) away: “You could see how scared he was.”
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