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Torture Chambers of the “Most Moral Army in the World”

Israeli truck in Gaza packed with Palestinian detainees, bound and blindfolded, December 8, 2023.


Israeli truck in Gaza packed with Palestinian detainees, bound and blindfolded, December 8, 2023.    Photo: AP

Benjamin Netanyahu (aka Netan-Nazi) calls Israel’s military the “most moral army in the world.” The “most moral army”??? Go here, here and here to see what this “most moral army” has been up to in Gaza. When you see the huge civilian death toll, including 15,000 children, it should come as no surprise to learn that they are torturing their prisoners. 

Since the start of Israel’s assault on Gaza in early October, the Israeli “Defense” Force (IDF) has captured thousands of men and women and thrown them into concentration camps, subjecting them to degradation, inhumane violence, and death. An Israeli law officially allows the IDF to detain people without any official charges or proof for 45 days, on the mere accusation that they are “unlawful combatants” (or “terrorists”), and that detention can be extended indefinitely

The camps they are held in are shrouded in secrecy by Israel, but there are reports that at least 27 Palestinian detainees have died in captivity.

A leaked photograph of the detention facility at the Sde Teiman desert camp


A leaked photograph of the detention facility at the Sde Teiman desert camp, which holds Palestinians detained during Israel’s invasion of Gaza, shows a blindfolded man with his arms above his head. (Photo obtained and released by CNN)    Screengrab

One of those military concentration camps is Sde Teiman, located in Israel’s Negev desert. A May 10 CNN report recounted what Israeli whistleblowers who worked at the camp revealed:

They 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…

“They stripped them down of anything that resembles human beings,” said one whistleblower, who worked as a medic at the facility’s field hospital. 

“(The beatings) were not done to gather intelligence. They were done out of revenge,” said another whistleblower. “It was punishment for what they (the Palestinians) did on October 7 and punishment for behavior in the camp.”

One former Sde Teiman prisoner is Dr. Mohammed al-Ran, who had headed up the surgical unit at Indonesia Hospital, one of the first Gaza hospitals shut down or destroyed in the Israeli invasion. When IDF troops grabbed him, “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.” CNN notes that Dr. al-Ran’s account is “consistent with those of dozens of others collected by CNN recounting the conditions of arrest in Gaza.” The doctor’s account is also supported by many images depicting mass arrests published on social media from Israeli soldiers who bragged about and celebrated the dehumanization they took part in. As CNN points out, “Many of those images show captive Gazans, their wrists or ankles tied by cables, in their underwear and blindfolded.”

As a whistleblower revealed, “We were told they [the prisoners] were not allowed to move. They should sit upright. They’re not allowed to talk. Not allowed to peek under their blindfold.” Prisoners who commit an “offense”—like speaking to other prisoners—are forced to keep their arms raised for an hour, sometimes with hands tied to the fence so they would not come out of the torture stress position. Punishment is ramped up for prisoners who are accused of repeatedly violating the ban against speaking and moving: 

Israeli guards would sometimes take a prisoner to an area outside the enclosure and beat him aggressively, according to two whistleblowers and [Dr.] al-Ran. A whistleblower who worked as a guard said he saw a man emerge from a beating with his teeth, and some bones, apparently broken. 

That whistleblower and al-Ran also described a routine search when the guards would unleash large dogs on sleeping detainees, lobbing a sound grenade at the enclosure as troops barged in. Al-Ran called this “the nightly torture.”…

The same whistleblower recounted the search in the same harrowing detail. “It was a special unit of the military police that did the so-called search,” said the source. “But really it was an excuse to hit them. It was a terrifying situation.”

“There was a lot of screaming and dogs barking.” 

If all this sounds horrifically familiar… dogs unleashed on helpless prisoners was also among the utterly despicable acts carried out by American troops at the Abu Ghraib torture chamber during the U.S. war in Iraq in the early 2000s.

Another kind of torture is carried out at the so-called “field hospital” at Sde Teiman. One whistleblower told CNN:

“I was asked to learn how to do things on the patients, performing minor medical procedures that are totally outside my expertise,” he said, adding that this was frequently done without anesthesia. 

“If they complained about pain, they would be given paracetamol,” he said, using another name for acetaminophen…

The same whistleblower also said he witnessed an amputation performed on a man who had sustained injuries caused by the constant zip-tying of his wrists. The account tallied with details of a letter authored by a doctor working at Sde Teiman published by Ha’aretz in April.

That doctor wrote in the letter that all prisoners at the Sde Teiman camp hospital are “handcuffed by all four limbs, regardless of how dangerous they are deemed. They are blindfolded and fed through a straw.” He wrote, “Just this week, two prisoners had their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries, which unfortunately is a routine event."

“Most moral army in the world”?? No! This is a military of degrading domination, torture, war crimes and dehumanization—fighting with shamelessly immoral means for reactionary ends. As revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has pointed out, “It is an important truth that any military is a reflection of the system for which it is fighting.” The Israeli military reflects and concentrates the Zionist (Jewish supremacist), apartheid state of Israel that it is fighting for—armed and backed by Genocide Joe and all the blood-soaked U.S. imperialists.

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