Publish date7 Feb 2024 - 11:35
Story Code : 624409

Reactions pour in after release of images of Palestinian man tortured by Israeli soldier

Outrage and concern raised over the fate of Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces after a viral image shows a stripped, handcuffed Palestinian man being tortured by an Israeli soldier.
Reactions pour in after release of images of Palestinian man tortured by Israeli soldier
An image of a stripped, handcuffed and wounded Palestinian man with a soldier towering over him is the latest to cause widespread outrage and serious concern about Israeli soldiers documenting atrocities against civilians in Gaza. 

This “trend” was included by South Africa’s legal team in its argument to the International Court of Justice last month that there was “evident of genocidal intent” in its actions in Gaza. 

The now viral image, reportedly posted by Yosee Gamzoo, who appears to be the featured soldier, has since been deleted, and his account closed. The tortured Palestinian, stripped to his underwear, with blood pouring from a wound in his leg, stares defiantly at the soldier. The soldier’s hand, visible in the image, appears bloodied.
Another image posted by reporter Younis Tirawi on X shows the detainee being escorted in a street by a group of soldiers. He is
already stripped in that image.  
Tirawi posted that according to local sources, the detainee has been identified as “Hamza from Shujaiyah neighborhood, East Gaza City.” 

“Before his arrest in the footage above, Israeli military killed his father, his brother’s wife and his two nephews (infant and a child 2 yrs),” Tirawi said. 

Social media users denounced the image, with some likening it to the atrocities committed against detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. 

“If they don’t have any shame or conscience publishing this, think about all the scenes they won’t publish,” was one comment.

On X, another comment was that “this powerful image perfectly encapsulates the Palestinian struggle. Israeli oppression. Humiliation. Brutality. The asymmetry of the conflict. And Palestinian defiance in the face of it all.” 

Questioned about the image during a press briefing on Monday, Vedant Patel, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department said it was “deeply troubling” but had “no knowledge or information as it relates to the circumstances surrounding that incident.”

He said the Israeli military should “speak to those specific situations”, adding that “we have been clear to them that humanitarian law needs to be respected.”

Images shared previously by Israeli soldiers have shown scores of blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian men who were stripped to their underwear before being transported on the backs of trucks to undisclosed locations.

Soldiers have also shared images and video footage of their actions in Gaza including detonating buildings and
setting homes on fire. A Telegram channel called “72 Virgins – Uncensored” was reportedly set up to document soldiers’ activities. 

According to an article in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “the channel’s administrators posted graphic content, including videos in which the bodies of terrorists can ben seen…”. The paper reports that “the military admitted to Haaretz earlier this week” that “an IDF Psychological Warfare unit” operated the “unauthorized” channel. 

On Tuesday, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor issued a statement highlighting testimonies of torture and ill-treatment received from recently released Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip, including women and children. The rights organization cited revelations of crimes such as forced nudity, sexual harassment, and threats of sexual torture, calling for urgent international action to stop these violations.

The rights body stressed that “Israeli forces are forcibly disappearing Palestinian detainees and subjecting them to brutal violence and even severe torture from the very first moment of their arrest right up until the moment of release.”

Euro-Med pointed to the concerning lack of an accurate count of detainees from Gaza. “The Israeli army recently claimed that there are 2,300 detainees in Gaza; however, estimates based on the testimonies of those released suggest that the actual number of detainees is much higher,” it said.
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