The Plight of Civilians Arrested by Israel in Gaza Featured

By Gamal Khattab January 21, 2024 1884

 

  According to a French newspaper called Le Monde, people living in neighborhoods occupied by Israeli forces are being arrested in large numbers. These arrests involve stripping people of their clothes, beating them, and treating them in a humiliating way. 

The Arrests

The newspaper's report, written by Clotilde Mravko, tells us that the Israeli soldiers are taking residents of Beit Lahia out of their homes at gunpoint. They are then stripping the men of their clothes, leaving them in their underwear on the sidewalk. This is happening to people of all ages, from teenagers to those in their sixties.

There are even videos that show these mass arrests. The soldiers surround groups of homes, call out the names of families over loudspeakers, and separate children and women from the men. Some women who wear veils have even had them removed and were arrested.

The Treatment of Prisoners

The Israeli army claims that they strip the men to make sure they are not wearing any dangerous items, like explosive belts. But the videos and testimonies collected by Le Monde show that the prisoners are left half-naked for hours. This is a clear violation of international law, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Deliberate Targeting

Once the Palestinians are arrested, they are identified using a facial recognition system. Then, most of the time, they are taken away from their neighborhoods. Some people have reported hearing gunfire and never seeing the people they were arrested with again. This has led to suspicions that extrajudicial executions are taking place.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights also received reports of Israeli forces killing unarmed men in front of their families. This kind of deliberate targeting and killing of civilians is a serious violation of human rights.

The Stories of the Prisoners

One freelance photojournalist named Saeed Kilani was arrested during an Israeli raid on a hospital. He said that one of the soldiers threw his press card on the ground and threatened to kill him. Another prisoner, Ayman Labad, was blindfolded, tied up, and transferred to different locations. He described being treated in a degrading and abusive way.

Some prisoners have even reported being tortured with electricity. They also mentioned the lack of care, food, and access to toilets. Although the Israeli army denies these accusations, an Israeli reserve soldier who was in charge of security supports the prisoners' stories.

 International Law Violations

Israel refuses to talk about the prisoners, but the Israeli Prison Service has reported detaining 661 "unlawful combatants." These detainees are not recognized as prisoners of war, which goes against international law. The International Committee of the Red Cross has also been unable to contact any Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons since October 7, 2023.

Many families have no information about their loved ones who were arrested, including journalists and doctors. However, some prisoners have been released after weeks of detention. They often have to walk long distances to reach their families, who remain in closed-off areas of Gaza.

Source: Le Monde