Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Gaza: Outrage against Israel runs high as reports of rape, torture and execution came out

Outrage against Israel’s horrendous war crimes runs high as Al-Jazeera publishes heart-wrenching testimonies of Palestinians trapped inside the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza.

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Shifa Hospital sheltering over 7,000 patients and displaced Palestinians, which has been besieged for the last six days, on Monday.

The occupation army carried out executions and widespread arrests while bombing the building and its vicinity, leaving dozens dead and wounded.

“They raped women, kidnapped women, executed women, and pulled dead bodies from under the rubble to unleash their dogs on them.”

Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who was besieged for six days in a building in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, told Al Jazeera.

“No matter how much I try to explain it to you, no words can describe what we are experiencing: hunger, thirst, displacement, destruction, bombardment,” she added.

“There were sick Palestinians and wounded people that we left to bleed till death.”

Al-Hissi was ordered to evacuate the building where she was holed up along with 65 Palestinian families.

“We do not know where we are going,” she said, “there are so many wounded: children, women, elderly.”

“While I am talking to you, everything around me is burning,” she told Al-Jazeera, explaining that they are still surrounded by Israeli drones, quadcopters and snipers.

“Nothing can compare to what we saw,” she said, adding that women were sexually assaulted and kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers.

“They pulled out bodies from under the rubble and had their dogs attack them,” the woman also said.

Al-Hissi explained that Israeli forces entered other buildings in the area, killing and burning Palestinian men, women and children.

“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” she said.

Al-Hissi’s testimony was confirmed by other eyewitnesses, including a child who survived the executions carried out by the Israeli occupation forces. He told Al-Jazeera that all those who were with him were killed by Israeli snipers, after being detained for several hours.

Canadian doctors volunteering in Gaza have also reported women being sexually humiliated by Israeli occupation forces in front of their families.

“One woman was raped for 2 days until she was unable to speak, yet nothing is being done about it,” Clinical Professor of Medicine Dr Aliya Khan told Middle East Monitor(MEMO).

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that Israel is still detaining about 240 patients, their companions, and ten medical staff in the Prince Nayef Center in the Al-Shifa Complex and that it bombed several buildings and burned a whole department.

Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that Israeli forces blew up residential squares in the vicinity of the hospital.

This is the second time that Israeli forces have stormed the Al-Shifa Medical Complex since the beginning of the war on October 7.

They stormed it for the first time on November 16, after besieging it for at least a week and destroying buildings and equipment, they withdrew from the hospital premises.

Meanwhile, a US official who holds the ‘Israeli-Palestinian portfolio’ accused the Israeli army of systematically sexually abusing Palestinian women during a private meeting, according to the Jerusalem Post

Earlier, in February, UN experts had said they received reports of Palestinian female detainees being subjected to “multiple forms of sexual assault” in Israeli detention since 7 October. 

At least two detainees were reportedly raped while others were allegedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.

The experts added that hundreds of Palestinian women and girls have been arbitrarily detained since the war started. 

They were subjected to “inhumane and degrading treatment,” including sexual assault, beatings, and the denial of food, medicine and period products.

Palestinian women detained by Israeli forces in Gaza and later released recalled such abuses to the media. 

A Palestinian mother of three told Middle East Eye she was strip-searched multiple times while she was in detention. 

“At every point during my detention, whenever we were transferred between locations, we were strip-searched,” she said. “The officers would stick their hands in my chest and inside my trousers. They hit and kicked us and if we made any move or sound, they screamed at us to shut up.”

At one point, a group of Palestinian female detainees were stripped naked and put together in one room, she said. 

“I saw a group of Palestinian women naked. The female soldiers were kicking me and asking me to undress. I refused but she kept kicking and hitting me. The soldiers kept going in and out of the room, while we were undressed,” she told MEE. 

So far, 32,226 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,518 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza since October 7, according to G

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