Doctor Said Abdulrahman Maarouf described the abuse he endured during his 45-day captivity, including sleep deprivation, constant shackling, and blindfolding.
He recounted being forced to sleep on pebbles without a mattress, pillow, or cover, while loud music played. The Israeli military has not responded to requests for comment.
Maarouf, who lost over 25 kilograms during his imprisonment, emphasized that the reality of the torture and insults can only be fully understood by those who have lived through it. He was blindfolded throughout his detention and is unsure of the exact location where he was held. He was eventually released at the Kerem Shalom crossing and picked up by the Red Cross.
The war between Israeli forces and Hamas militants began when the latter crossed the border into Israeli towns, resulting in numerous casualties. The Israeli military assault, which started with a bombardment and continued with a ground assault, has led to the deaths of many Palestinians.
Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals and other medical facilities for military operations, while Hamas denies these allegations.
Maarouf tearfully recalled his last phone conversation with his daughter before leaving the hospital. Due to the devastation in Gaza, communication has been severely disrupted, leaving families separated and unable to contact one another.
Maarouf believes he was one of more than 100 prisoners held in the same location, all wishing for an end to their suffering. Despite the trauma, Maarouf has returned to work in a children’s ward in Gaza, where he continues to provide care to those in need.