NGO sounds alarm over Palestinian detainee torture by Israel

Palestinian groups have expressed concerned over life of man tortured in Israel’s Gilboa prison [Getty]

Palestinian institutions have expressed alarm over the condition of a Palestinian man tortured in Israeli prison.

The Prisoners’ Affairs Commission (PAC) and the Palestine Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said they hold the Israeli Prison Administration responsible for the fate of 59-year-old Ibrahim Hamed.

According to the Palestinian Wafa news agency, a prisoner held in Israel’s Gilboa Prison gave initial testimonies to say that Hamed was subjected to horrific torture.

The prisoner, whose name has not been made public, said Hamed was assaulted on Wednesday.

“All parts of his body sustained bruises, scratches or cuts and his head bled profusely,” they said.

“Following the assault, I left him unable to stand on his feet by himself, suffering from very serious health condition. No matter how I attempt to describe his health condition, it can not be described.”

According to the prisoner, the lives of other detainees are at serious risk due to widespread torture at the notorious prison.

According to PAC and PPS, the case of Hamed is just one out of a series of similar cases of increased torture in Israeli prisons since 7 October.

The institutions state at least 19 prisoners have been killed in Israeli jails since the start of the war on Gaza, with torture methods including isolation, beatings, and a ranger of other abuses.

In a joint statement, PAC and PPS said the torture of Hamed amounts to “attempted murder”, which they say has happened to thousands of other detainees.

Hamed, from the occupied West Bank town of Silwad, was given a life sentence of 54 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Birzeit University and worked as a researcher on refuge issues, authoring a number of books on Palestine.

According to a report in Arabi21, Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service has long considered Hamed a wanted man, accusing him of being behind operations that led to the deaths of dozens of Israeli settlers during the Second Intifada.

Both the PAC and PPS have urged human rights organisations to open an independent international investigation into the torture of Palestinians held in prisons.

Last month, a Palestinian Bedouin detainee died in Israeli prison following reports of medical negligence and systematic abuse in Israeli jails.

Juma Abu Ghanima died five days after reports emerged that his health was seriously deteriorating.

The 26-year-old was transferred from Eshel prison in the Naqab (Negev) Desert to an Israeli hospital after he was found unconscious in his cell with his health rapidly declining.

Several testimonies have revealed the widespread abuse and collective punishment of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli prison guards in the weeks that followed the 7 October attacks on southern Israel by Hamas.

Detainees, including young girls, described being hit with sticks, having muzzled dogs set on them, and their clothes, food and blankets taken away.

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