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UNRWA estimates more than 4,000 Palestinians were detained in Gaza since October 7.

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

An UNRWA report, being circulated internally at the UN, documents testimony from freed Palestinian detainees including physical beatings, attacks by dogs, and widespread sexual assault.

An internal report describing widespread abuse of Palestinian detainees in Israeli detention centers, including beatings, dog attacks, and sexual assault has been circulated within the UN, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

The report, seen by the paper, was compiled by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) and it said, is “largely based on interviews of Palestinian detainees released at the Kerem Shalom crossing point since December, when UNRWA staff were present to provide humanitarian support.”

It stated that more than 1,000 detainees have been released since December, but estimates that more than 4,000 men, women, and children have been detained in Gaza since October 7.

The UNRWA report said that its employees have been detained, many while carrying out aid work, subjected to abuse and put under pressure to smear the agency, according to The Guardian.

Israeli forces, reportedly “through beatings and other mistreatment and threats, sought to elicit operational information and forced confessions.”

The report also said that among the 1,002 detainees released since December at the Kerem Shalom crossing, there were 29 children as young as six, 80 women, and 21 UNRWA staff. Some had Alzheimer’s or were cancer patients, the paper added.

‘Urinated On’

In addition, the report mentioned that methods of ill-treatment “included physical beatings, forced stress positions for extended periods of time, threats of harm to detainees and their families, attacks by dogs, insults to person dignity and humiliation such as being made to act like animals, or get urinated on, use of loud music and noises, deprivation of water, food, sleep and toilets, denial of the right to practice their religion (to pray) and prolonged use of tightly locked handcuffs causing open wounds and friction injuries.”

The report further stated that the beatings “included blunt force trauma to the head, shoulders, kidneys, neck, back and legs with metal bars and butts of guns and boots, in some cases resulting in broken ribs, separated shoulders and lasting injuries.”

Some Palestinians reported that while “in an off-site location”, they were “forced into cages and attacked by dogs, with some individuals including a child exhibiting dog bite wounds on release.”

The allegations in the report could not be independently verified but are consistent with accounts given to the Guardian, and collected by human rights organizations.

‘Groped While Blindfolded’

The Guardian further stated that the report included “allegations of widespread sexual assault.”

Women detainees reported being groped while blindfolded, and some male prisoners said they were beaten in the genitals, the paper said.

Another detainee “reported being made to sit on an electrical probe, causing burns to his anus, the scars for which could still be seen weeks later,” the UNRWA report said.

The detainee reportedly indicated that another Palestinian captive “had also suffered the same treatment and died as a result of his infected wounds.”

The Guardian said that the Israeli military has denied the allegations contained in the report.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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