Israel Detains Random Palestinian Boys, Tortures Them for Days

Israel fights for our values.

It’s who we are in a democracy.


Nimer Abu Ras’ wrists are bruised and lacerated. His hands are swollen.

He is one of hundreds of Palestinian men and boys who have been detained, many of them stripped and blindfolded, in recent weeks by Israeli forces conducting clearing operations in northern Gaza. Many of those detained have already been identified as civilians by relatives and employers after images of the mass detentions circulated on social media.

Abu Ras was among a group of six boys and four men interviewed by CNN at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza, where they were being treated for injuries and dehydration after being detained for five days.

Like Abu Ras, many of them emerged from Israeli custody with swollen hands and bruised wrists from being handcuffed throughout that time. All of their hands were numbered with red marker by Israeli soldiers. They all told CNN they had been given little food or water during their detention and described instances of alleged abuse and humiliation. A doctor at the hospital said all of them had arrived “physically and psychologically exhausted.”

They would tie your hands behind your back and drag you like a dog – plastic handcuff scars on your arms. Depending on the mood of one of them, they would come kick you with their boots,” said 14-year-old Mahmoud Zendah, a recent wound marking the bridge of his nose.

Zendah said an Israeli soldier had kicked him in the face.

I didn’t do anything to him. He just decided to come and kick me,” Zendah said. “He came to me and asked me, ‘Are you Hamas?’ I told him, I don’t know Hamas or the resistance. I’m only a child that goes to school and back home. I eat, I play with my friends and go back home. I don’t do anything else in life.”

Another 14-year-old, Ahmad Nimer Salman Abu Ras, was initially too afraid to even describe his detention.

“I’m afraid,” he said. “I’m scared of the Israelis. I don’t want them to do something to us.”

Like the others being treated at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gazan city of Deir Al-Balah, they were detained as Israeli forces moved through the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

“Suddenly, we heard people screaming and soldiers yelling and bulldozers destroying the houses,” Zendah’s father, Nader, said. “[The soldiers] opened the door of the house and separated women from men, they made us take off our pants and raise our shirts and lined us up against the wall…Then they put us outside of the house and blindfolded us.”

They were then loaded into trucks and taken from one location to another.

“They put us on the floor and put their feet on our heads, they would ask, ‘Are you Hamas?’ and beat [us]. When we wanted to sleep, we couldn’t because it was so cold. And when we asked for something to wear or cover ourselves with, they would beat us,” 16-year-old Mohammad Odeh said.


That’s not very nice.