World Bulletin / News Desk
Muhammad Abdulaziz, a Palestinian man who was detained by Israeli troops while trying to cross into the West Bank from Gaza and was beaten by them for 12 hours continuously, talked to the Anadolu Agency (AA) about getting partially paralyzed due to the kicks he received from Israeli troops and his 12 years stay in Israeli prisons.
Abdulaziz is now 35-years old. He was only 23 and a student when he was detained by Israeli troops. He was dreaming about becoming an electrical engineer and talked to the AA about his "terrible life" after getting detained at the Gaza-West Bank border.
Staying at a guest house of a Palestinian aid association in Istanbul, Abdulaziz said that his life changed for worse when he was taken prisoner by Israeli troops on July 2, 2000 in Askalan city close to Gaza.
Abdulaziz wanted to be an electrical engineer as his father. He was the son of a family with nine children, one of which was martyred. While dreaming about attending a university, Abdulaziz was detained by Israeli troops.
Abdulaziz talked to the AA about his 12-year captivity in Israel prisons that began with a torture of 12 hours.
"I was detained by Israeli troops for no reason on one night while trying to cross into the West Bank from Gaza. Israeli troops took me to a vehicle and tied my eyes and hands. They took me to a small room. In that room, they hit my head and back with sticks and hard elements. They beat me continuously for 12 hours. They took off my clothes. They untied my eyes and began questioning me. In the meantime, the troops asked me questions on Israel. Later on, other troops entered the room. They took me to a prison in Askalan. During the torture, my spinal cord was injured. I got ill in pain. Israeli authorities did not treat me and I was partially paralyzed," Abdulaziz underlined.
"On hunger strike three times in prison"
Following a trial of five years, I was sentenced to 12 years in prison, Abdulaziz stressed.
Abdulaziz was in tears as he described his years with other ill 8 Palestinians.
"The wing that was allocated to the ill was in a bad condition. There were six ill people who were paralyzed. I waited for six months to receive treatment as a paralyzed individual and my health got worse during this time. Although I requested from Israeli officials for medical treatment, I was not treated for 12 years. They did not accept the requests of my friends at the wing for treatment. The meals given to the ill people were terrible. It was as if they were not dealing with humans. I went on hunger strike three times while in prison due to maltreatment. My last hunger strike continued for 28 days," Abdulaziz noted.
"I was forced to depend on a wheelchair in prison," Abdulaziz stated.
"I was partially paralyzed after going through torture and injuries on my spinal cord. I lived as a paralyzed individual for eight years as the court did not permit me to receive medical treatment. Five years ago, a decision was made so I could be operated in the prison's hospital. My surgery went through successfully. However, I was not allowed to rest even though my doctor suggested so. Israeli troops took me to the prison again before my medical treatment was completed. There was a long way and I felt bad on the way. My health got worse as my medical treatment did not continue in the prison. I had entered the prison as a healthy person but became paralyzed within," Abdulaziz stated.
"I wish to return to Palestine by walking"
Abdulaziz, while not being able to walk and sitting on a wheelchair, was released from prison after 12 years. He was now 35 years old. Having been released two months ago, Abdulaziz stayed with his family for sometime.
"I got in touch with a Palestinian aid association and was brought to Turkey for medical treatment on August 9," Abdulaziz noted.
"Following a medical check-up, I was taken into surgery on August 24. I had a long and difficult surgery that was successful. I am still on a wheelchair but will begin physical treatment soon. I wish to return to Palestine by walking. I still have hope and my medical treatment will continue," Abdulaziz indicated.
"I can not forget Turkish blood that spilled in Mavi Marmara"
"Turkey is a great state. The Palestinians love the Turks more than the Turks love the Palestinians," Abdulaziz stated.
"I learned about the attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship while I was in prison. I just can not forget the Turkish blood that spilled in Mavi Marmara. It was a ship carring aid from a free people to a free people. This is the first time such an incident happened. The Arabs have not conducted such an incident themselves. Those who made the attack on Mavi Marmara did not know the Arabic language. I look at the Mavi Marmara aid ship with pride. I thank the Turkish people for electing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Palestinians love Prime Minister Erdogan. I thank the people of Turkey on behalf of the Palestinian people for all their works on Palestine and Gaza," Abdulaziz also said.