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The UK calls for an investigation into alleged Israeli abuses of doctors in June

The UK calls for an investigation into alleged Israeli abuses of doctors in June

The British Foreign Secretary called for an investigation into a report that medical staff in Gaza were subjected to violent and humiliating treatment after the Israeli raid. Foreign Minister Andrew Mitchell confirmed in the House of Commons that the British government demanded a “full explanation and investigation.”

On February 15, the IDF raided Han Gonesh Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza – one of the few hospitals still operating in the Strip – saying intelligence indicated that Hamas activists were hiding in the building. According to reports by several doctors, doctors and health workers who were in the hospital during the raid were subjected to severe abuse at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Staff were reportedly blindfolded, stripped naked and subjected to repeated beatings. One of them, Ahmed Abu Sobha, said that he was detained for a week, threatened with muzzled dogs, and an Israeli soldier broke his hand.

The Israeli army described the raid as “accurate and limited.” The army later said that nearly 200 suspects were arrested during the operation. In its response to the BBC, the Israeli army did not comment on specific reports of ill-treatment, but denied that medical staff were subjected to ill-treatment.

Many NGOs and governments have classified Israeli attacks on hospitals in Gaza, which are already in a very difficult situation, as a violation of international humanitarian law. According to Israel, militants' use of medical facilities as hideouts or bases to launch operations makes these sites legitimate targets.

An internal UN report earlier this month also provided details of abuses against Palestinian detainees, including beatings, attack dogs, prolonged stress and sexual assault. The report estimates that Israeli soldiers have arrested more than 4,000 men, women and children in Gaza since the conflict began in October.

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(guardian)

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