New testimonies emerge of Israel torturing detained Palestinians in Gaza – Mondoweiss

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Casualties

  • 27,585+ killed* and at least 66,978 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
  • 562 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**

*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 35,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

Key Developments

  • Israeli soldier takes video of interrogating handcuffed Palestinian man from Gaza and posts it on his social media account.
  • Israeli forces kill three sheep while standing in middle of road with persistent gunfire in Bani Suheila town.
  • Israeli forces prevent ambulances from accessing Ansar Square, Abu Mazen Roundabout, and Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City.
  • Euro-Med publishes testimonies of detained Palestinians subjected to torture in Israeli jails, including “forced nudity, sexual harassment, and threats of sexual torture, calling for urgent international action to stop these violations.”
  • Israeli forces lay siege on Al-Nasser Hospital and trap 300 medical staff, 450 wounded, and 10,000 displaced Palestinians inside it.
  • UN chief Antonio Guterres announces independent panel to “assess the neutrality of UNRWA” and respond to allegations of “serious breaches”.
  • Guterres says Israel’s accusation of UNRWA comes when “it is working under extremely challenging conditions to deliver life-saving assistance to the two million people in the Gaza Strip”.
  • Israel’s Foreign Minister calls UNRWA chief to resign and says Israel “will submit all evidence.”
  • President Joe Biden threatens to veto standalone aid package for Israel amid row with GOP representatives over powers to restrict migrants crossing to Texas. 
  • Israeli forces kill 14-year-old Palestinian in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers “show off” genocidal acts against Palestinians

Israeli forces killed 107 Palestinian martyrs and injured 143 others in 12 massacres in the past 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health.

Since October, Israel has killed at least 27,585 Palestinians and injured 66,978 others; the majority are women and children, while thousands remain missing and buried under the rubble caused by Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling.

An already infamous image of an Israeli soldier standing in front of a tortured Palestinian man came to summarise nearly five months of Israeli brutality, aggression, and disregard for Palestinian lives in Gaza.

An Israeli soldier has taken a video of him interrogating a Palestinian man from Gaza and posted it on his social media account. The Palestinian appears handcuffed, with signs of blood and torture on his body and a wound in his right thigh and sitting naked on a chair while the soldier is standing, fully armed, in front of him.

The picture is reminiscent of those leaked from the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib in 2004 when U.S. forces engaged in tortuous methods against Iraqi prisoners, hooding and forcing them to strip naked and perform demeaning acts to humiliate them.

Israeli soldiers have been “showing off” their genocidal acts in the Gaza Strip, from detonating buildings, rampaging empty Palestinian houses or setting them on fire to shooting civilians, and have created a Telegram channel called “72 Virgins – Uncensored” to document their action as part of psychological warfare, according to Haaretz.

In Khan Younis, Israeli forces had shot three sheep in Bani Suheila town on Monday. A Palestinian filmed the moment the three sheep were killed one after the other while standing in the middle of a road, with persistent gunfire. Palestinian media said Israeli forces were “having fun.”

“We were subjected to daily insults and beatings”

Israeli forces bombed four houses in Al-Sabra and Al-Zaytoun neighbourhoods in Gaza City, killing at least ten people on Monday evening. It also killed five Palestinians and injured 15 in a bombing of a house in the Tal Al-Hawa neighborhood.

Israeli forces prevented ambulances from accessing areas in the west of Gaza as it bombed homes in Ansar Square, Abu Mazen Roundabout, and the Al-Rimal neighborhood in the city.

Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinians from areas west of Gaza City on Monday. Wafa news agency reported that Israel had taken the Palestinians, handcuffed and blindfolded, to unknown destinations. The majority were aged between 15- and 65-year-old. 

On Tuesday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor published horrifying testimonies of detained Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, who were subject to torture and ill-treatment in Israeli jails, including “forced nudity, sexual harassment, and threats of sexual torture, calling for urgent international action to stop these violations.”

“We were subjected to daily insults and beatings,” a 70-year-old man arrested in Khan Younis told Euro-Med.

“We went four days without drinking [anything]. They poured water on the ground in front of us as a form of torture. We were made to sit on our knees, given little food, and only allowed to use the restroom once,” he said.

Euro-Med said that Israeli jailers subjected other detainees to dog attacks, strip searches, and denial of food and bathroom access.

Israeli forces besiege Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis

The Al-Nasser Hospital remains under Israeli siege and fire with an artillery shell hitting the facility courtyard on Monday evening.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday morning that there are 300 medical staff, 450 wounded and 10,000 displaced Palestinians trapped inside the facility.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, the spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, said the Al-Nasser suffers from “a severe shortage of anesthesia, intensive care and surgical medications, and a severe shortage of surgical supplies and sutures.”

Al-Qudra added that “electrical generators at Nasser Medical Complex will stop within 4 days due to fuel shortages. The Israeli occupation obstructs the movement of ambulances, [and its] crews risk their lives to save the wounded as a result of the occupation preventing the movement of ambulances.”

Thousands of people remain without sufficient food in the Al-Nasser Hospital. There are 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, but only 14 of them are partially operating — nine of them in southern Gaza, including al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals in Khan Yunis.

In Deir Al-Balah, dozens of wounded Palestinians in the Israeli bombardment were transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. Israeli gunfire killed five Palestinian in Juhr Al-Dik, southeast of Gaza City, Wafa reported. 

In Rafah, the situation of thousands of displaced Palestinians has been dire for the past weeks. Wafa reported that sewage and underground water have flooded tents in various areas of Rafah, caused mainly by the Israeli destruction of urban infrastructure. 

Rafah, the southernmost district of the Gaza Strip, has seen the influx of nearly half of Gaza’s 2 million residents, who were forcibly displaced by Israeli forces. Thousands of Palestinian families are living in tents in Rafah and lack sufficient food, fresh water, and heating sources.

UN to create independent panel to assess UNRWA neutrality

Palestinians are still dependent on what little humanitarian aid Israel allows into the Gaza Strip.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), a lifeline for thousands of Palestinians, said it is still investigating an Israeli claim of staff involvement in the October 7 Operation Al-Aqsa Flood cross-fence attack.

Furthermore, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on Monday the setting up of an independent panel that will “assess the neutrality of UNRWA” and respond to allegations of “serious breaches.”

In January, the United States, the biggest donor to UNRWA, said it was suspending the money it pledged to the UN agency after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the October 7 attack. France, Germany, Britain, Australia, and Sweden followed suit.

UNRWA said that it fired nine of the employees, and a tenth is still being identified, while the remaining two were killed in the October attack.

The UN panel will be led by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna, and will submit an interim report to Guterres in March and a final one in April. 

Guterres said Israel’s accusation of UNRWA comes when “it is working under extremely challenging conditions to deliver life-saving assistance to the two million people in the Gaza Strip who depend on it for their survival amid one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz called for UNRWA chief, Philippe Lazzarini, to resign.

“We will submit all evidence highlighting @UNRWA’s ties to terrorism and its harmful effects on regional stability,” Katz wrote on the X platform.

Lazzarini said he welcomes the creation of an independent review panel “to assess how UNRWA ensures neutrality and responds to allegations of serious breaches.”

According to the The Washington Post, the U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims [about UNRWA’s employees and October 7 attack]” and Washinton rushed to end its donation to UNRWA to pressure the agency to conduct a thorough investigation.

Biden to veto standalone aid package for Israel amid row with GOP

While the U.S. is choking UNRWA of cash urgently needed to keep afoot humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, Washington is preparing to send Israel $14.1 billion, at least $4 billion of which is dedicated to the Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems.

However, President Joe Biden threatened to veto a standalone aid package for Israel on Monday evening, CNN reported. The proposed U.S. funding is part of a $118 billion bipartisan emergency bill to support Ukraine and Israel in their war efforts, and will also grant Biden significant federal powers over the State of Texas in restricting migrants crossing the border with Mexico, which Republicans oppose.

A White House statement accused the GOP representatives of a “political ploy” in holding up the funding. It said that following months of working on the bill to support Israel and Ukraine, it became “another cynical political maneuver. The security of Israel should be sacred, not a political game.”

Former President Donald Trump is leading the GOP opposition to the bill over the border provisions, putting it in jeopardy as the White House remains in favor of a broader national security package, CNN reported.

Israeli forces kill 14-year-old boy in Jerusalem, demolish houses

Israeli forces killed a 14-year-old Palestinian in occupied Jerusalem on Monday.

Wadih Shadi Owaisat, 14, was from Jabal Mukaber village. Israeli forces said he attempted to stab soldiers near the illegal settlement of Maale Adomim and the entrance of Al-Eizariya, a Palestinian town in East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces left Owaisat bleeding on the road after a soldier shot him from point-blank.

On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces demolished the house of Nayef Nujoom and notified six others of demolition orders in Al-Nuweimah village, north of Jericho.

Israeli authorities also demolished part of a house of Nidal Al-Rajabi in Silwan’s Al-Bustan neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday. Several houses in Silwan are under the threat of being demolished by Israeli authorities to make way for a settler project, dubbed “The City of David.”

In Salfit, Israeli forces destroyed equipment in a tea factory in Wadi Al-Saber, an area between Sarta and Qarawat Bani Hassan villages, and arrested the owner Muhammad Jamal Rayan, Wafa reported.

Israeli forces stormed several towns in the West Bank overnight and arrested people from Yabid, Masafer Yatta, Aqabat Jabr, and Ain Sultan refugee camps in Jericho, and Nablus, among other places. 



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