Gaza Detainees Recall Horrific Conditions At Israel Hospital: 'You Are Cuffed, You Are With Diapers, You Need Water'

The Israeli army maintained that detainees at the facility received treatment “appropriately and with care.” The two whistle-blowers interviewed were both in positions to evaluate the medical care of detainees. Read on to know more

Medical professionals in Israel have informed a leading publication that Palestinian detainees from Gaza are regularly restrained to hospital beds, often blindfolded, sometimes stripped naked, and compelled to wear diapers – practices described by one healthcare worker as tantamount to “torture.”

A whistle-blower disclosed how procedures in a military hospital were routinely conducted without the administration of pain relief, resulting in “an unacceptable level of suffering” for detainees. Another whistle-blower revealed that pain relief was administered “selectively” and “sparingly” during an invasive medical procedure on a Gazan detainee in a public hospital.

Furthermore, it was stated that critically ill patients held in makeshift military facilities were being denied appropriate treatment due to public hospitals’ reluctance to transfer and care for them.

One detainee, taken from Gaza for interrogation by the Israeli army and subsequently released, recounted to the BBC that his leg had to be amputated because he was deprived of treatment for an infected wound. A senior physician at the military hospital central to the allegations refuted claims that any amputations resulted directly from conditions there but acknowledged the use of shackles and other restraints by guards as a form of “dehumanization.”

The Israeli army maintained that detainees at the facility received treatment “appropriately and with care.” The two whistle-blowers interviewed were both in positions to evaluate the medical care of detainees. Both requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue among their peers.

Their testimonies are corroborated by a report released in February by Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, which asserted that Israel’s civilian and military prisons had evolved into “a mechanism of punishment and retaliation” and that detainees’ human rights, particularly their right to health, were being violated.

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“You Are Cuffed, You Are With Diapers”

One of the whistle-blowers said, “The army create the patient to be 100% dependent, like a baby. You are cuffed, you are with diapers, you need water, you need everything – it’s dehumanisation.”

Dr. Donchin stated that there was no individual assessment regarding the necessity of restraints, and even patients who were unable to walk, such as those with leg amputations, were handcuffed to their beds. He criticized the practice as “stupid.”

Two witnesses present at the facility during the initial weeks of the Gaza war reported that patients were kept naked under blankets. A doctor familiar with the conditions there indicated that prolonged cuffing to beds resulted in “huge suffering, horrible suffering,” characterizing it as “torture” and noting that patients would begin to experience pain after just a few hours. Others have highlighted the risk of long-term nerve damage from such practices.