Fri 17-May-2024

Sufian Abu Salah, arrested by the occupation with two legs, and came out with one

Friday 19-April-2024


“With two legs I entered prison, and with one I came out.” With these words, the released prisoner Sufian Abu Salah bitterly summarized what he faced in terms of torture and medical neglect during his detention in the Israeli prisons.

The Israeli occupation forces released Abu Salah a few days ago after 50 days of detention, during which he lost 30 kilograms of weight in addition to his leg, and he came out to recount the horrors of the torment and torture he endured.

The released prisoner Abu Salah suffered an inflammation in his leg during his detention, which developed into gangrene, leading to amputation due to intentional neglect by the Israeli occupation forces.

In Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, Abu Salah walked on one foot and told journalists: his leg suffered severe infections that lasted for 7 days, and when he requested treatment, the occupation refused, and after his condition deteriorated, he was transferred to one of the Israeli hospitals, where his leg was amputated.

Abu Salah confirmed that he entered prison without any illness, but the conditions of detention and deliberate medical neglect led to this result.

Horrific atrocities

The Hebrew newspaper Haaretz revealed the horrific atrocities committed against Palestinian prisoners from the Gaza Strip, who were arrested during the current war and transferred to various prisons, including field prisons.

An Israeli doctor working in a field hospital revealed, in a letter he handed over last week to the Minister of War, Yoav Gallant, the Minister of Health, and the legal advisor to the occupation government, the harsh methods used against the prisoners, especially in the field prisons.

According to the doctor’s letter, “this exposes the detainees to danger, and the state itself risks violating the law,” pointing out that in the past week alone in the investigation published on April 4th, “two detainees had their legs amputated due to injuries that started from handcuffing their hands, and unfortunately, this has become a routine occurrence.”

He also pointed out that inside the field hospital, nutrition is provided in an abusive manner, and detainees are forced to defecate in diapers, and their hands remain handcuffed all the time, which contradicts medical and legal standards.

The doctor said, “Since the early days of operating the field hospital until today, I have faced difficult ethical dilemmas, and what is more, I am writing to warn that the characteristics of the hospital’s activities do not comply with any of the health-related departments according to the laws regarding the detention of illegal combatants (according to his words).”

He mentioned that the hospital does not receive regular supplies of medicine and medical equipment, and all patients are shackled from all four limbs regardless of their severity, their eyes are covered, and they are fed in abusive ways. Under these conditions and the current reality, even young and healthy patients lose weight after about a week or two of treatment in the hospital.

The doctor emphasized in his letter that “the hands of the detainees in the field hospital are restrained throughout the day, and they are forced to remain blindfolded. More than half of the patients are present due to injuries that developed during detention because the restraints remain in their hands for a long time, causing them serious injuries requiring repeated surgical interventions.”

Amputations and executions

Other sources confirmed to Haaretz that since the beginning of the war, one of the detainees had his hand amputated after being injured due to the prolonged use of plastic handcuffs.

The doctor mentioned that the detainees do not receive appropriate treatment, stating that “there was no patient transferred to the hospital and remained there for more than a few hours. It happens that patients after extensive operations, such as abdominal surgeries to remove the intestines, return after about an hour of monitoring, which is carried out by only one doctor working with a nursing team. Some of them train paramedics only. This is instead of staying for observation in the surgical department to monitor the case. Also, the available doctor may be an orthopedic or gynecologist, which sometimes leads to complications and sometimes even the death of the patient.”

Furthermore, the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz revealed in another investigation that 27 detainees from the Gaza Strip were martyred while being held in the Sde Teyman base near Beersheba or the Anatot base in Jerusalem or during interrogations in other investigation facilities within the 1948 territories. The newspaper underlined, in its investigation, that the Israeli occupation army did not provide any information about the circumstances of their martyrdom.

Forced disappearance

It is worth mentioning that since the beginning of the aggression, the Israeli occupation government has worked to adapt the law to solidify the crime of forced disappearance against Gaza detainees.

According to information provided by the Israeli Prison Service to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the occupation authorities have arrested about 793 citizens from Gaza under this law, in addition to several hundred others detained under criminal procedures, and others who are still held by the army.

Amnesty International confirmed that it has testimonies and photographic evidence indicating that Palestinian detainees are subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including beatings and humiliation, and orders not to raise their heads and to kneel on the ground, in addition to forcing them to sing Israeli songs, in horrifying detention conditions.

Amnesty International points to videos that have been widely circulated on social media showing Israeli soldiers assaulting and humiliating blindfolded and naked Palestinian detainees, who are also handcuffed.

Martyred prisoners

The Israeli Prison Service continues to commit the worst crimes against Palestinian prisoners inside prisons and detention centers, including medical negligence, torture, and direct killing. Sixteen martyr prisoners have risen inside the prisons since October 7 until today due to the horrendous crimes committed by the occupation forces against them amidst deliberate blackout.

The occupation army also exploited its aggression on Gaza to carry out forced disappearances against Gaza residents, kidnapping them, arresting them, and torturing them to death.

Over 9,500 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in Israeli prisons, including 3,660 administrative detainees, 56 journalists, at least 80 women, over 200 children, and 17 deputies from the Palestinian Legislative Council.

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