NYT: Israel Tortured, Sexually Abused Palestinian Detainees at Israeli Military Base

Chris Menahan
Jun. 07, 2024

The Israeli Defense Forces have been systematically torturing and sodomizing Palestinian detainees at a military base in southern Israel, according to testimonies from released captives shared in a new report from the New York Times.

Dozens of Palestinians died in the camp and many described being stripped naked, tortured, sodomized with a metal pole or cattle prod and forced to wear a diaper.

Whereas The Times did everything they could to hype up and sensationalize their now-debunked atrocity propaganda tale about "Hamas committing mass rape" on Oct 7th, they did their best to downplay Israel's alleged torture and sexual abuse of Palestinian detainees and buried the most sensational details at the bottom of their 3800 word article.

From The New York Times, "Inside the Base Where Israel Has Detained Thousands of Gazans":
Once an obscure barracks, Sde Teiman is now a makeshift interrogation site and a major focus of accusations that the Israeli military has mistreated detainees, including people later determined to have no ties to Hamas or other armed groups. In interviews, former detainees described beatings and other abuse in the facility.

[...] Fadi Bakr, a law student from Gaza City, said he was captured on Jan. 5 by Israeli soldiers near his family home. Displaced by fighting earlier in the war, Mr. Bakr, 25, had returned to his neighborhood to search for flour, only to get caught in the middle of a firefight and wounded, he said.

The Israelis found him bleeding after the fighting stopped, he said. They stripped him naked, confiscated his phone and savings, beat him repeatedly and accused him of being a militant who had survived the battle, he said.

"Confess now or I will shoot you," Mr. Bakr remembered being told.

"I am a civilian," Mr. Bakr recalled replying, to no avail.

The circumstances of Mr. Bakr's arrest mirror those of other former detainees interviewed by The Times.

[...] Roughly four days after his arrival, Mr. Bakr said he was called in for interrogation.

Like others who spoke to The Times, he remembered being brought to a separate enclosure that the detainees called the "disco room" because, they said, they were forced to listen to extremely loud music that prevented them from sleeping. Mr. Bakr considered it a form of torture, saying it was so painful that blood began to trickle from inside his ear.

The Israeli military said that the music was "not high and not harmful," played within earshot of Israelis and Palestinians alike, and was meant to prevent the detainees from easily conferring with each other before interrogation. The Times was not shown any part of the interrogation complex, including the area where music was played.

Wearing nothing but a diaper, Mr. Bakr said, he was then brought to a separate room to be questioned.

The interrogators accused him of Hamas membership and showed him photographs of militants to see if he could identify them. They also asked him about the whereabouts of hostages, as well as a senior Hamas leader who lived near Mr. Bakr's family home. When Mr. Bakr denied any connection to the group or knowledge of the pictured men, he was beaten repeatedly, he said.

Mr. al-Hamlawi, the senior nurse, said a female officer had ordered two soldiers to lift him up and press his rectum against a metal stick that was fixed to the ground. Mr. al-Hamlawi said the stick penetrated his rectum for roughly five seconds, causing it to bleed and leaving him with "unbearable pain."

A leaked draft of the UNRWA report detailed an interview that gave a similar account. It cited a 41-year-old detainee who said that interrogators "made me sit on something like a hot metal stick and it felt like fire," and also said that another detainee "died after they put the electric stick up" his anus.

Mr. al-Hamlawi recalled being forced to sit in a chair wired with electricity. He said he was shocked so often that, after initially urinating uncontrollably, he then stopped urinating for several days. Mr. al-Hamlawi said he, too, had been forced to wear nothing but a diaper, to stop him from soiling the floor.

Ibrahim Shaheen, 38, a truck driver detained in early December for nearly three months, said he was shocked roughly half a dozen times while sitting in a chair. Officers accused him of concealing information about the location of dead hostages, Mr. Shaheen said.

Mr. Bakr also said he was forced to sit in chair wired with electricity, sending a current pulsing through his body that made him pass out.

Released Without Charge

After more than a month in detention, Mr. Bakr said, the officers seemed to accept his innocence.

Early one morning in February, Mr. Bakr was put on a bus heading to Israel's border with southern Gaza: After a month of detention, he was about to be released.

He said he asked for his phone and the 7,200 shekels (roughly $2,000) that had been confiscated from him during his arrest in Gaza, before he reached Sde Teiman.

In response, a soldier hit and shouted at him, Mr. Bakr said. "No one should ask about his phone or his money," the soldier said, according to Mr. Bakr.

The military said all personal belongings were documented and placed in sealed bags after detainees arrived at Sde Teiman, and returned on their release.
Is Sheryl Sandberg going to make a documentary on these rape stories?

Are media figures going to get fired if they question these reports as just happened with Briahna Joy Gray?

Mondoweiss last month shared a segment from Israeli TV where they proudly aired "snuff videos" showing how they were systematically torturing Palestinian detainees.

If those are conditions they'll brag about on television for the world to see, it's not hard to imagine they're committing the horrors detailed in The Times' report when the cameras are not rolling.

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