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Strapped down, blindfolded and held in diapers: Israeli whistleblowers detail abuse of Palestinians in the shadowy detention center

Part 2

Detained in the desert The regime’s military, as CNN reported, has acknowledged partially converting three different military facilities into detention camps for Palestinian detainees from Gaza since the Hamasled October 7 attack on Israel, in which Israeli authorities say about 1,200 were killed and over 250 were abducted, and the subsequent Israeli offensive in Gaza, killing nearly 35,000 people, mostly civilians; children and women, according to the strip’s health ministry. These facilities are Sde Teiman in the Negev desert, as well as Anatot and Ofer military bases in the occupied West Bank. The camps are part of the infrastructure of the Israel regime’s Unlawful Combatants Law, an amended legislation passed by the Knesset last December that expanded the military’s authority to detain suspected militants. The law permits the military to detain people for 45 days without an arrest warrant, after which they must be transferred to Israel’s formal prison system (IPS), where over 9,000 Palestinians are being held in conditions that rights groups say have drastically deteriorated since October 7. Two Palestinian prisoners associations said last week that 18 Palestinians – including leading Gaza surgeon Dr. Adnan al-Bursh – had died in Israeli custody over the course of the war. The military detention camps – where the number of inmates is unknown – serve as a filtration point during the arrest period mandated by the Unlawful Combatants Law. After their detention in the camps, those with suspected Hamas links are transferred to the IPS, while those whose militant ties have been ruled out are released back to Gaza. CNN interviewed over a dozen former Gazan detainees who appeared to have been released from those camps. They said they could not determine where they were held because they were blindfolded through most of their detention and cut off from the outside world. But the details of their accounts tally with those of the whistleblowers. “We looked forward to the night so we could sleep. Then we looked forward to the morning in hopes that our situation might change,” said Dr. Mohammed al-Ran, recalling his detainment at a military facility where he said he endured desert temperatures, swinging from the heat of the day to the chill of night, CNN interviewed him outside Gaza last month. Al-Ran, a Palestinian who holds Bosnian citizenship, headed the surgical unit at northern Gaza’s Indonesian hospital, one of the first to be shut down and raided as Israel carried out its aerial, ground and naval offensive. He was arrested on December 18, he said, outside Gaza City’s Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, where he had been working for three days after fleeing his hospital in the heavily bombarded north. He was stripped down to his underwear, blindfolded and his wrists tied, then dumped in the back of a truck where, he said, 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. The details in his account are consistent with those of dozens of others collected by CNN recounting the conditions of arrest in Gaza. His account is also supported by numerous images depicting mass arrests published on social media profiles belonging to Israeli soldiers. Many of those images show captive Gazans, their wrists or ankles tied by cables, in their underwear and blindfolded. Al-Ran was held in a military detention center for 44 days, he told CNN. “Our days were filled with prayer, tears, and supplication. This eased our agony,” said al-Ran. “We cried and cried and cried. We cried for ourselves, cried for our nation, cried for our community, cried for our loved ones. We cried about everything that crossed our minds.” A week into his imprisonment, the detention camp’s authorities ordered him to act as an intermediary between the guards and the prisoners, a role known as Shawish, “supervisor,” in vernacular Arabic. Monitoring Desk/ Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.