Photos from Gaza circulated on social media on Thursday showed a mass arrest by the Israeli military of men forced to strip to their underwear, kneel in the street, wear blindfolds, and place them in the cargo bed of a military vehicle.
The exact circumstances and dates of the arrests are unclear, but the identities of some detainees have been confirmed by colleagues or family members.
At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation with armed groups, according to a CNN conversation with a relative and a statement from one of their employers, a news network.
the The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory published a photo of one of the detainees She said in a statement on her website on Thursday “The Israeli occupation army arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians and seriously mistreated them.”
The Euro-Med Monitor said: “The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory received reports indicating that the Israeli occupation forces launched random and arbitrary arrest campaigns against the displaced, including doctors, academics, journalists, and the elderly.”
The Israeli army did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the photos. CNN has identified the geographical location of some of the images in Beit Lahia, north of Gaza City.
The Israeli media, without citing a source, portrayed the photos as a surrender to members of Hamas. A journalist asked Israeli army spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari about the photos during a press conference on Thursday, saying: “We saw photos of many prisoners, Hamas terrorists, who were arrested by the Israeli army during the ground maneuver.”
Hajjari said that in the fight against Hamas, “those who remain in the area are gradually leaving.”
He said: “We are investigating and verifying who has ties to Hamas and who does not.” “We arrest them all and interrogate them. We will continue to dismantle every one of those strongholds until we finish this.”
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The men can be seen in the cargo bed of a military vehicle.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed channel said in a statement on Thursday that one of its correspondents and a number of his family members were among those detained in connection with the incident that appeared in the pictures.
Today, Thursday, the Israeli occupation forces arrested the journalist and director of the “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed” office in Gaza, colleague Diaa Al-Kahlot, from Market Street in Beit Lahia, along with a group of his brothers, relatives and lovers. Al-Araby Al-Jadeed wrote that other civilians.
“The occupation deliberately forced the residents of Gaza to take off their clothes, searched them, and insulted them when they were arrested, before taking them to an unknown destination, according to what the people there told us. Pictures and video clips spread showing occupation soldiers arresting dozens of Gaza residents in a criminal and humiliating manner.
Hossam Kanafani, editor-in-chief of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said in the statement that Al-Kahlot and his family are still missing.
Kanafani said: “We will make every effort, in cooperation with international institutions and organizations concerned with the rights and freedoms of journalists in the world, to determine the whereabouts of our colleague Diaa and release him as soon as possible.”
CNN spoke with a relative of the other detained men, Hani Al-Madhoun, from his home in the United States.
Al-Madhoun told CNN: “The Israeli forces arrived on the street and called on all the men to come out, and they complied.” “This house was their refuge after two houses were destroyed.”
Al-Madhoun said that he is in contact with his sister, who is in Gaza.
He said that he recognized his cousin Abboud in one of the photos and saw his brother Mahmoud in a video clip. He said that Mahmoud is a shop owner and Aboud “does not participate in any activities; He helps his father in construction.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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