Among the Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli prisons in the fourth batch was the Palestinian child Mohammed Nazzal, as part of the exchange deal between Hamas and Israel during the recent humanitarian ceasefire mediated by Qatar and Egypt, with support from the United States.
Mohammed Nazzal is from the town of Qabatiya in the Jenin Governorate, located in the northern West Bank. He was arrested three months ago and was sentenced to six months of administrative detention.
Mohammed Nazzal Details the Prison Assault He Experienced
Mohammed appeared in television interviews after his release, visibly displaying fractures and bruises resulting from severe beatings endured before his release from Israeli prisons. During an interview with Al-Araby TV, Mohammed recounted his ordeal, stating that a week prior to his release, he was subjected to brutal beatings by a unit associated with Israeli prisons. He described how his assailant relentlessly attacked him, causing disfiguration to his head and back, and fracturing his hands. Mohammed revealed that he endured the effects of torture for a week without receiving any treatment or assistance from the prison authorities.
He explained that this Israeli unit routinely conducted raids on prisoners' rooms and subjected them to assault. He mentioned several occasions where he and fellow detainees were further tortured. Mohammed described the prison as a 'war zone' where they were targeted for harm and torture, portraying the inhumane conditions they faced.
Israeli Claims Deny the Assault on Mohammed Nazzal in Prison
After Mohammed Nazzal's story was widely shared on social media, Israeli accounts, notably the spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister to the Arab world, Ofir Gendelman, and accounts affiliated with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, posted a video clip of Mohammed Nazzal leaving the prison after his release, boarding a Red Cross bus.
Ofir Gendelman asserted that this footage "exposed Nazzal's lie.” He stated: “This is Muhammed Nazzal, a Palestinian prisoner who was released yesterday. He said to the Arab Media that Israeli prison guards broke his arms, but when he boarded the Red Cross’s bus at the prison, they were fine!”
Misbar investigated the claims made by Israeli accounts regarding the video footage showing Mohammed Nazzal leaving the prison and boarding the Red Cross bus after his release. Misbar found that the Israeli narrative is misleading.
Upon reviewing Mohammed Nazzal's interview with Al Jazeera upon arriving in Ramallah, he confirmed that the Red Cross organization provided him with medical treatment on the bus transporting them from the prison. He clarified that his fingers were broken, affecting his mobility.
Medical Exams and Exclusive Images for Misbar Confirm Fractures in Mohammed Nazzal’s Fingers
Ofir Gendelman claims that the footage depicting Mohammed Nazzal boarding the Red Cross bus implies his hands were unaffected, citing his support on a chair when boarding.
However, upon careful examination of the scene, it is evident that Mohammed only touched the chair while boarding and did not exert full pressure on his fingers.
For additional confirmation, Misbar contacted Mohammed's family, who confirmed that post-release medical examinations revealed fractures in his fingers, particularly in the index and thumb on both hands. The other fingers remained intact, which explains his ability to move the other hand parts normally.
Mohammed underwent examinations at the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah. Misbar obtained a copy of the initial medical report, which showcased the presence of fractures in some fingers after reviewing the X-rays.
Furthermore, Misbar received X-ray copies from Mohammed Nazzal's family, displaying the extent of the fractures in his fingers.
To gather more information, Misbar contacted the hospital administration for an additional copy of the X-rays. The Radiology Department had already forwarded exclusive images to Misbar, confirming the existence of the same fractures in some of his fingers.
A Photo Shows Signs of Torture on Mohammed Nazzal’s Back
Additionally, Misbar obtained an exclusive image from Mohammed's family depicting the moment when he was examined at the hospital. It clearly shows signs of torture on his back, consistent with his previous account of enduring severe beatings while in prison.
Torture and Degrading Treatment of Palestinian Detainees in Israeli Prisons
Mohammed Nazzal's testimony of enduring torture in Israeli prisons corresponds with the testimonies of recently released detainees involved in the recent prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel.
One of the released individuals, Omar Al-Atshan, expressed his relief upon release but also exposed the mistreatment suffered by detainees in Israeli prisons. He revealed that one detainee had died due to torture.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the released prisoner Osama Naif Marmash described how the Israeli army frequently assaulted them, confiscating their clothes, blankets, and mattresses, leaving them with just a flimsy covering.
He reported being held in administrative detention for the past five months without charges and highlighted the harsh conditions, including insufficient food, beatings, exposure to hunger, cold, and other forms of abuse.
Since October 7, Israeli authorities have notably escalated their utilization of administrative detention, an arbitrary form of imprisonment for Palestinians across the occupied West Bank. Amnesty International previously highlighted their failure to investigate cases involving torture and deaths during this period.
Testimonies from released detainees and several human rights lawyers clarify multiple forms of torture and other instances of mistreatment suffered by Israeli forces to Palestinian prisoners. These violations include severe beatings and the humiliation of detainees, such as coercing them to keep their heads lowered, kneel on the ground during prisoner counts, and compelling them to sing Israeli songs.
The Palestinian Detainees’ Toll Has Risen in the West Bank
The Palestinian Prisoners Society has reported an increase in the number of detainees in the West Bank since October 7, amounting to more than 3290 cases, with the highest count recorded in Hebron Governorate in the southern West Bank. In a statement released on the evening of Tuesday, November 28, the Palestinian Prisoners Society mentioned that among the detainees, there were 125 women, including those arrested from the lands of 1948. As for children, 145 were arrested in the past October, and the count of child detainees for the current month has not yet been made available. The Palestinian Prisoners Society clarified that Israeli authorities arrested 168 Palestinians during the five days of the ceasefire.