6:26 pm Eastern Time, December 7, 2023
Images from Gaza show Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men stripped to their underwear.
From CNN’s Abeer Salman in Jerusalem
Obtained by CNN
Images from Gaza that circulated on social media on Thursday showed a mass detention by the Israeli army of men who were forced to strip to their underwear, kneel in the street, blindfold them and put them on the loading platform of a military vehicle.
The exact circumstances and dates of the arrests are unclear, but some of the identities of those detained were confirmed by colleagues or family members.
At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, according to a conversation CNN had with one of their relatives and a statement from one of their employers, a news network.
He The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor published an image of an arrest and said in a statement on its website Thursday that “the Israeli army detained and severely abused dozens of Palestinian civilians.”
“Euro-Med Monitor received reports that Israeli forces launched random and arbitrary arrest campaigns against displaced people, including doctors, academics, journalists and the elderly,” it said.
Obtained by CNN
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the images. CNN has geolocated some of the images in Beit Lahia, north of Gaza City.
The Israeli media, without indicating a source, have presented the images as the surrender of Hamas members.
“We have seen images of many captives, Hamas terrorists, that the IDF arrested during ground maneuvers,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, said in response to a journalist who asked about the images during a press conference Thursday. .
Hagari said that in the fight against Hamas, “those left in the area are gradually leaving.”
“We investigate and check who has links to Hamas and who does not,” he said. “We arrested them all and interrogated them. We will continue to dismantle each of those strongholds until we are done.”
In a statement Thursday, news outlet The New Arab, or Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said one of his correspondents and several members of his family were among those detained as part of the incident portrayed in the images.
“Today, Thursday, the Israeli occupation army arrested the journalist and director of ‘The New Arab’ office in Gaza, our colleague Diaa Al-Kahlot, from Market Street in Beit Lahia, along with a group of his brothers, relatives and other civilians,” wrote Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
“The occupation deliberately forced Gazans to remove their clothes, searched them and humiliated them when they were arrested before taking them to an unknown destination, people there told us,” he said.
Hussam Kanafani, editor-in-chief of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said in the statement that Al-Kahlot and his family remained missing.
“We will make every effort, in cooperation with international institutions and organizations interested in the rights and freedom of journalists in the world, to determine the whereabouts of our colleague Diaa and release him as soon as possible,” Kanafani said.
CNN spoke to a relative of another detained man, Hani al-Madhoun, from his home in the United States.
“Israeli forces came to the street and called all the men out, and they obeyed,” al-Madhoun told CNN. “This house was their place of refuge after both of our houses were destroyed.”
Al-Madhoun said he was in contact with his sister, who is in Gaza.
He said he recognized his cousin Aboud in one of the photographs and saw his brother Mahmood in a video. She said Mahmoud is a merchant and Aboud “does not participate in any activities; “He helps his father in the construction.”