Whistleblowers Further Expose Israel’s Torture of Detainees

The details provided to CNN are consistent with those that a doctor at the field hospital of the Sde Teiman prison camp included in a recent letter to top Israeli officials.

(Josh Hallett, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

Three Israeli whistleblowers who worked at the notorious Sde Teiman prison camp in the Negev desert offered horrifying accounts of the treatment of Palestinians held there, telling CNN that the facility’s doctors have amputated limbs due to handcuffing injuries, allowed detainees’ wounds to rot, and carried out vicious beatings.

A medic who worked at Sde Teiman’s field hospital said that Palestinian detainees there are stripped “of anything that resembles human beings” and that the harassment and torture are done not to “gather intelligence” but “out of revenge” for the Oct. 7 attacks.

Israel has detained thousands of Gaza residents since October, with many of them held under a recently amended law that empowers Israeli authorities to imprison people indefinitely without charge or due process. 

Human rights organizations have documented Israeli forces’ brutal and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees, including women and children.

At the field hospital, CNN reported, “wounded detainees are strapped to their beds, wearing diapers and fed through straws.”

One Israeli whistleblower took a photograph of a room at the facility, which the person said was filled with a “putrid stench” and the sound of “men’s murmurs” as they were “forbidden from speaking to each other.”

“We were told they were not allowed to move,” the whistleblower said. “They should sit upright. They’re not allowed to talk. Not allowed to peek under their blindfold.”

The whistleblower accounts, according to CNN,

“paint a picture of a facility where doctors sometimes amputated prisoners’ limbs due to injuries sustained from constant handcuffing; of medical procedures sometimes performed by underqualified medics earning it a reputation for being ‘a paradise for interns’; and where the air is filled with the smell of neglected wounds left to rot.”

The testimony provided to CNN is consistent with details that a doctor at the camp’s field hospital included in a recent letter to top Israeli officials. The doctor described unlawful and inhumane conditions; in a single week, the person said, “two prisoners had their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries, which unfortunately is a routine event.”

A report published last month by Al Mezan, a Palestinian human rights organization, also documented “harrowing accounts of torture and inhumane treatment” of people detained by the Israeli military.

“A 19-year-old detainee told an Al Mezan lawyer that he was tortured from the moment he was arrested,” the group said.

“He described how three of his fingernails were removed with pliers during interrogation. He also stated that investigators unleashed a dog on him and subjected him to shabeh — a form of torture which involves detainees being handcuffed and bound in stress positions for long periods — three times over three days of interrogation. He was then placed in a cell for 70 days, where he experienced starvation and extreme fatigue.”

Mohammed Al-Ran, a Palestinian doctor who was arrested by Israeli forces in December, told CNN that he was

“stripped down to his underwear, blindfolded and his wrists tied, then dumped in the back of a truck where … the near-naked detainees were piled on top of one another as they were shuttled to a detention camp in the middle of the desert.”

Al-Ran was held by Israeli forces for 44 days. Just before his release, he told CNN, “a fellow prisoner had called out to him, his voice barely rising above a whisper.”

According to CNN: “He asked the doctor to find his wife and kids in Gaza. ‘He asked me to tell them that it is better for them to be martyrs,’ said al-Ran. ‘It is better for them to die than to be captured and held here.'”

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, said in response to the new reporting that “what we know about Gaza is only tip of the atrocity iceberg.”

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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11 comments for “Whistleblowers Further Expose Israel’s Torture of Detainees

  1. Tommy Payne
    May 12, 2024 at 13:00

    CNN and the NYT serve the role of occasionally doing ‘reports’ which reveal the various crimes of America and its allies. These are usually released on a Friday, which used to be known as “Take out the Trash Day” as that was when the PR flacks recommended that ‘bad news’ be released ….. just as everyone turns off the ‘news’ and heads out for the weekend. It was the best time to release something that had to be released but that someone really wanted to be forgotten by Monday.

    Of course, these days, there will be no follow up. The reports come out, but then they are forgotten, and MICIMATT moves on. Those of us who do not properly flush everything down the Memory Hole remember the reports, but the American War Machine rolls onwards and nothing changes. The Trash has been Taken Out, and successfully buried in the capitalist dump, and the capitalist corporate media can point to the Friday ‘report’ to deflect the cries that they are a biased and willing part of the war machine.

  2. Share
    May 11, 2024 at 11:46

    Genocide and torture is Joe Biden’s legacy. It’s been downhill ever since he shut down Anita Hill and besmirched her character. I’ll stop now or the expletives will start flying.

    • MeMyself
      May 12, 2024 at 09:27

      Let the expletives fly, they will at least do better at staying airborne than the Boeing 737 Max.

  3. susan
    May 11, 2024 at 11:11

    So, the Israelis aren’t equating their prison camps with ‘concentration camps’? WOW Israel, you learned well from your Nazi teachers! I’m sure those Jews who were maimed and starved then gassed would be so proud of you and your actions against the Palestinians.

  4. May 11, 2024 at 10:55

    There is no act that the purported leading Western “democracies (e.g., the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany) have ever condemned as horrendous that they themselves have not engaged in and which Israeli Zionists during the past 75 years have not gleefully copied. Hypocrisy uber alles leading to Huxley’s brave new world.

    • Tommy Payne
      May 12, 2024 at 13:35

      Even during the war, it took a fair bit of whitewash to make ‘the democracies’ look much better. For example, it is interesting to watch the way that aerial bombing of cities is discussed. In the late 30’s, and in the early stages of the World War, Hitler is a monster for doing such horrendous things. Picasso’s Guernica still hangs outside the UNSC meeting hall. But, by 1943, planes flying over cities and unleashing tons of high explosives is patriotic and just great. The Brits didn’t even bother to aim. They flew at night and just tried to make sure they were over a city when they released the bombs from high altitude. The Americans tried to aim in daylight, but the technology was very, very non-smart, and dropping a bomb from 20,000 feet is always going to drift with the various wind currents at the various levels between bomber and ground. Either way, the result is the pictures to which Gaza is compared today.

      The ‘democracies’ were very careful to make sure that the Nuremberg Trials did not address the actions of the democracies. And of course, in America’s very racist war against the Japanese, all the rules were off and there were no red lines and the soldier that sends a Jap skull back to his fiancee at home makes the cover of Life Magazine in honor of his fine American values.

      It is always big problem when a people are deluded into thinking that they are somehow superior, exceptional or generally better than the other human beings. The Americans coming out of World War 2 did not have the clean hands and the garb of saints that they like to mythologize. But these myths were apparently the birth of the American Exceptionalism that now powers today’s genocides and war for world domination.


  5. Vera Gottlieb
    May 11, 2024 at 10:22

    There must be a mistake here…Isn’t israel’s army the most ‘humane’ one??? Scum bags…

    • Tommy Payne
      May 12, 2024 at 13:45


      I remember reading Robert Fisk’s accounts of the Israelis bombing ambulances in Lebanon. The Israelis did not commit the massacres in the refugee camps with their own troops, but they got their Christian Lebanese allies to do the dirty deed while their troops sat on the hillside and watched. Did they have the reputation for their ‘humane’-ness then? So, exactly when did the Israeli occupation army have the reputation of being ‘humane’? Nakba 1.0 in 1948? Making the Palestinians flee to Gaza in 1967? When snipers were firing an the non-violent Gaza protest marches on their own side of the fence? When they ran over Rachael Corrie with a Caterpillar? I am probably out of touch, as I refuse to watch American ‘news’, so can someone help me out about when it was that the Israeli occupation forces were known as ‘humane’?

  6. Ewan Meigh
    May 11, 2024 at 09:37

    Neither the embedded corporate/military media, the State Departmemt or the White House can be separated from the influnece and manipulation of The Council on Foreign Relations —


  7. MeMyself
    May 11, 2024 at 07:21

    Sounds like a CIA black Ops site, Hmmm… Bush League students. My how they learn so quickly.

    • Tommy Payne
      May 12, 2024 at 14:01

      They are usually the trainers. American police forces like to hire Israeli ‘experts’ for their training. Both the FBI and the CIA have official offices in Israel, can thus rotate people through Israel, and of course never would openly say that they do it to train their recruits in the latest Israeli methods. Both work so closely with the Israelis that this would happen by osmosis if nothing else, and there is nothing from the US side that says that this is opposed and not encouraged.

      Of course, at this point, America and Israel are so intertwined in their beliefs that they are exceptional and chosen and all together on a holy mission from God, that it is rather pointless to try to find a dividing line between them. Watch actions and what really happens and pay no attention to the words that are only a magician’s chatter to distract. In action, the USA and Israel are merged so closely together that making Israel officially a 51st state would be a demotion.

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