The journalist who was interrogated by Israeli soldiers after arriving in Israel’s main military hospital on Monday said she was treated as a human being and was not treated like a spy.
The interrogation at the Ben Gurion military hospital by soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces was part of a larger interrogation of at least a dozen journalists, including two from the Associated Press, the New York Times and The Associated Press Breaking Israel, a news outlet based in New York.
A group of Israeli soldiers also held the Israeli journalist and two AP journalists captive, including the AP’s Alissa Scheller, who was in critical condition after being questioned.
She told Israel Radio on Monday that the Israeli army had interrogated her for over an hour before releasing her, despite her being on the verge of suicide.
“I was on the brink of suicide and I was not allowed to breathe,” Scheller said.
“It was horrible, I really had no idea what was happening.
I was told by the interrogators that I was going to die, that I would die in a couple of hours, and I wasn’t allowed to move.”
After the interview, Scheller told Israel’s Channel 2 that she had been treated as if she were a spy for the last three days.
“It was humiliating and humiliating,” she said.
“They just said: ‘You are not a human, you are an informer.
You are a spy.’
They didn’t tell me how or why they were doing it.
I asked them: ‘What is this?’
And they didn’t give me any explanation.”
She said that the interrogation continued for nearly an hour after she left the hospital.
“The soldiers were very angry, they were very rude, and they were yelling at me,” she added.
“There were no answers.
It was really bad.
I thought: This is just not going to end well.”
Israeli officials denied the account of the questioning, saying that it had been routine.
“These interrogations are carried out with the highest standards, and there are no signs of abuse in the medical facility,” the Israel Defence Forces said in a statement.
“In this instance, the soldier made no attempt to prevent the detainee from breathing, even though she was on a ventilator.
As such, the detainee was able to leave the hospital with minimal complications.”
But the AP reported on Monday evening that the soldiers who interrogated the journalists also questioned another AP journalist, James Rosen, and two other journalists at the same hospital.
The AP reported that Rosen was interrogated at the facility and was treated with a temperature of 41 degrees Celsius.
The AP also reported that the IDF claimed the AP was being “tortured.”
“These were serious accusations, and we are deeply concerned about the treatment of journalists in detention,” said the AP in a joint statement with the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
“If the IDF truly believes that the AP is being tortured, we will call on the Israeli authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account.”
Rosen, who is also an AP foreign correspondent, said he was denied a phone call from the IDF that morning, after the soldiers asked him why he was being held there.
He said that while the soldiers did not answer his questions, the soldiers were threatening him.
“They said: We will call the press, we’ll come and kill you,” Rosen told The Associated Book.
“I just thought: ‘This is a joke.'”
He said he and his colleague, Aaron Zelin, were taken to the barracks where they were handcuffed and interrogated for an hour and a half, before being released.
He said that he and Zelin were interrogated for another three hours.
“We were not told why we were being interrogated, but we were told that we were to tell the story of the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the murder of three Israeli soldiers,” Rosen said.
Rosen said he spoke with his family at the hospital after being released and that his mother and sister were also there.
“When I got out I felt very bad, but I was very scared because I knew that if I left I would not be able to go back home,” he said.
“Now, I am still feeling very sick, and it’s hard to speak about this because I don’t want to upset anyone.”
Roen said he would be calling on the Israelis to investigate the matter and release the journalists, and to stop interrogating reporters.
“All of us who were there have a right to be heard, and Israel must respect the rights of journalists,” he added.
The Israeli military declined to comment on the allegations.