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Removing Shackles from Palestinian Hostages at Israel’s Sde Teiman Black Hole Not Enough – It Must Be Shut Down! 

Though a blanket of secrecy has shrouded the settler colonial regime’s notorious black hole known as Sde Teiman, it does not behove media platforms to allow a conspiracy of silence to prevent it being exposed.

Unlike the gory details of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo being widely known and condemned, Sde Teiman’s illegal criminal conduct inflicting gruesome torture on Palestinian detainees who are held hostage there behind an iron curtain is largely off the radar.

Until now.

Thankfully 972mag has blown its cover by documenting a recent encounter by a lawyer who managed to gain access to it.

Titled ‘More horrific than Abu Ghraib’, lawyer Khaled Mahajneh recounted his visit to the Sde Teiman Israeli detention center, where he found a detained journalist unrecognizable as he described the facility’s violent and inhumane conditions.

“The situation there is more horrific than anything we’ve heard about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,” is how Mahajneh described the Sde Teiman detention center as the first lawyer to visit the facility as per 972mag.

It is believed that thousands of Palestinians arbitrarily arrested in Gaza by Benjamin Netanyahu’s murderous army, have been detained here, without charge and denied access to legal recourse.

Sde Teiman is situated in a military base in the Naqab/Negev area, cut off from the outside world. Though reports indicate that some have been released, most of the estimated 4000 remain in detention.

According to 972mag report, 

Mahajneh was initially approached by Al Araby TV, which was seeking information about Muhammad Arab, a reporter for the network who was arrested in March while covering the Israeli siege of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

“I contacted the Israeli army’s control center, and after providing them with a photo and an ID card of the detainee, as well as my official power of attorney document, I was informed that [Arab] was being held at Sde Teiman and that he could be visited.”

It adds that when Mahajneh arrived at the base on June 19, he was required to leave his car far away from the site, where an army jeep was waiting to transport him inside.

This was “something I had never encountered on any previous visit to any prison,” he told 972mag.

They drove for about 10 minutes through the facility — a sprawling network of trailers — before arriving at a large warehouse, which contained a trailer guarded by masked soldiers.

Baker Zoubi who wrote the account that detailed Mahajneh’s experience, said most Palestinians at Sde Teiman do not even know where they are being held; with at least 35 detainees having died in unknown circumstances since the war began, many simply call it “the death camp.”

“I have been visiting political and security detainees and prisoners in Israeli jails for years, including since October 7,” Mahajneh noted. “I know that the conditions of detention have become much harsher, and that the prisoners are abused on a daily basis. But Sde Teiman was unlike anything I’ve seen or heard before.”

All detainees, Mahajneh noted, face deteriorating health conditions due to the poor quality of the daily prison diet: a small amount of labaneh and a piece of cucumber or tomato.

He added that they also suffer from severe constipation, and for every 100 prisoners, only one roll of toilet paper is provided per day.

“The prisoners are prevented from talking to each other, even though more than 100 people are kept to a warehouse, some of them elderly and minors,” Mahajneh told 972mag.

“They are not allowed to pray or even read the Qur’an.”

Among the shocking revelations 972mag reported was that in just the past month, according to the journalist Arab, several prisoners were killed during violent interrogations.

Other detainees who had been wounded in Gaza were forced to have their limbs amputated or bullets removed from their bodies without anesthesia.

Zoubi’s report pointed out that most of the detainees as per  Mahajneh, are not formally charged. Neither are they accused of belonging to any organization or participating in any military activity; Arab himself still doesn’t know why he was detained or when he may be released.

Zoubi’s report reveals that since arriving at Sde Teiman, soldiers from the Israeli army’s special units have interrogated Arab twice. After the first interrogation, he was informed that his detention had been extended indefinitely, based on “suspicion of affiliation to an organization whose identity was not disclosed to him.”

Since his visit to Sde Teiman, Mahajneh has felt deep frustration and anger — but above all, horror. “I have been in this profession for 15 years … I never expected to hear about rape of prisoners or humiliations like that. And all this is not for the purpose of interrogation — since most prisoners are only interrogated after many days of detention — but as an act of revenge. To take revenge on whom? They are all citizens, young people, adults, and children. There are no Hamas members in Sde Teiman because they are in the hands of the Shabas [Israeli Prison Service].”

The report by Zoubi contains both a plea and a clear message relayed by attorney Mahajneh:

“Muhammad Arab and the other prisoners in the detention center call on the international community and the international courts to act to save them. It is inconceivable that the whole world talks about the Israeli abductees, and no one talks about the Palestinian prisoners.”

Commenting on “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time”, Niayesh Afshordi, Robert B Mann & Razieh Pourhasan offer the following observation by Plato:

“In his Allegory of the Cave, Greek philosopher Plato described prisoners who have spent their entire lives chained to the wall of a dark cavern. Behind the prisoners lies a flame, and between the flame and prisoners parade objects that cast shadows onto a wall in the prisoners’ field of view. These two-dimensional shadows are the only things that the prisoners have ever seen —their only reality”. 

I am certain Plato would have described the terrible conditions prevalent at the Sde Teiman black hole, in much the same way as Mahajneh did.

However, the challenge facing the world is to respond to the call by Arab: Free him along with all Palestinian detainees and shutdown Sde Teiman.

Iqbal Jassat

Executive Member

Media Review Network


South Africa






Iqbal Jassat