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Hungry, thirsty and humiliated: Israel’s mass arrest campaign sows fear in northern Gaza

by Sophia Chen
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Gaza mass arrests

In northern Gaza, Israel’s extensive detention operation has caused widespread fear. Israeli forces have detained a large number of Palestinians, disrupting families and humiliating detainees by forcing them to undress. Many were transported to a beach detention camp, enduring hunger and exposure to the elements, as reported by human rights groups, affected relatives, and those released.

Residents of Beit Lahiya, Jabaliya, and areas of Gaza City recounted being blindfolded and transported in trucks, some to an unspecified detention camp, enduring harsh conditions with minimal water supply. Ibrahim Lubbad, a computer engineer, described the dehumanizing treatment during his detention.

This aggressive approach is part of Israel’s strategy in the ongoing conflict in Gaza, ai

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza mass arrests

What is the reason behind the mass arrests in northern Gaza?

The mass arrests are part of Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, aiming to consolidate control in evacuated areas in the north and collect intelligence on Hamas operations. This follows a deadly attack by militants on southern Israel, which killed about 1,200 people and abducted over 240.

How are the Palestinians being treated during these arrests?

Detainees report being bound, blindfolded, and subjected to hunger and cold. Many were forced to strip to their underwear and held in a detention camp on the beach. Allegations of mistreatment include being treated like cattle, enduring sexually explicit insults, and physical beatings.

What has been the international reaction to these arrests?

Images of Palestinian men bound and kneeling have sparked outrage on social media. The U.S. State Department expressed deep disturbance over these images and is seeking more information. Human rights groups are calling for an investigation into these mass arrests.

How has the Israeli military responded to allegations of mistreatment?

The Israeli military stated that detainees were treated according to protocol, provided with enough food and water, and questioned. They assured that in cases where detainees were not allowed to dress after questioning, measures would be taken to prevent such occurrences in the future.

What is the situation for those who have been released from detention?

Many released detainees report returning home to find significant destruction and loss. They describe harrowing journeys back home, often without clothes, phones, or IDs, and in some cases, encountering violence or losing family members on their way back.

How many Palestinians have been detained, and where are they being held?

It is estimated that at least 900 Palestinians have been detained. Most detainees from Gaza are believed to be held at the Zikim military base just north of the enclave.

What is the stance of Israeli officials regarding the detained Palestinians?

Israeli officials maintain a stance of suspicion towards Palestinians in northern Gaza, especially in areas known as Hamas strongholds. They emphasize the necessity of distinguishing between Hamas militants and civilians, asserting the ongoing military campaign will continue to target these strongholds.

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