Israel-Palestine: Civilian Palestinian men stripped and detained by Israeli army
An eyewitness said at least seven men were shot dead by troops for not complying with the soldiers’ orders fast enough, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
The men were reportedly rounded up from homes and schools sheltering displaced families in the northern Gaza Strip.
Diaa al-Kahlout, a journalist working for the Al Araby Al Jadeed, was identified amongst them.
The Euro-Mediterranean monitor said doctors, academics, journalists and seniors were among those detained.
Israeli troops on Thursday stormed the Khalifa Bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Aleppo schools in Beit Lahia after encircling them for days.
Footage taken by residents and reporters shows Israeli snipers taking position on rooftops of homes near the Khalifa school. Another video showed bodies of dead men reportedly strewn in the courtyards of the Aleppo school.
Middle East Eye could not independently verify the footage.
After forcing everyone out of the schools, Israeli soldiers arrested the men and let the women and children flee on foot.
They then went home to home in some neighbourhoods in Beit Lahia, removing residents before arresting the men and setting some homes ablaze, according to the Euro-Mediterranean monitor.
The Geneva-based group said the men were arrested arbitrarily and beaten by soldiers.
Footage published on Israeli Telegram pages and media showed dozens of men rounded up, with their clothes stripped off, their eyes covered and their hands tied.
Some videos showed them in a residential area before being loaded onto trucks. Another photo showed them lined up in an open sandy area.
It was not clear where they were taken to.
The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the mass arrests.
Some Israeli media said the men are “possible” Hamas operatives but no further details were provided.
Osama Hamdan, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, denied that there had been mass arrests of the group’s members and likened the arrests to “Nazi concentration camps”.
He told Al Araby TV the footage shows the “arrest and abuse of unarmed civilians who have nothing to do with military operations”.
Meanwhile, footage from Deir al-Balah shared on Wednesday and Thursday showed queues of desperate Palestinians outside food distribution centres, as resources continue to deplete rapidly.
According to a new report by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), at least 97 percent of households in northern Gaza have “inadequate food” to meet their needs.
The report also found that at least nine out of 10 people are going a full day and night without food in the south of Gaza. Additionally, more than one-third of households are suffering from high to severe levels of hunger.
The heavy bombardment has hampered aid efforts, as the Rafah area was bombed on Thursday.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the Israeli bombing killed at least 350 Palestinians and left 900 wounded on Wednesday.
This took the death toll since the start of the war on 7 October to more than 17,100, including over 7,00o children and nearly 5,000 women.
The head of the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) described the situation in Gaza as going “far beyond a humanitarian crisis”.
"It is a humanitarian catastrophe. It is a chaotic situation, and I'm extremely worried that very soon people will be in a mode of just trying to survive, which will come with very severe consequences,” Christos Christou, a doctor, said.
Israel and Lebanon skirmishes
Skirmishes between the Israeli army and the Lebanese group Hezbollah continued on Thursday.
Israel’s rescue service, Magen David Adom, said a 60-year-old was killed by an anti-tank missile fired from the direction of Lebanon towards the Israeli village of Mattat.
Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said several launches were detected from south Lebanon, and that the army responded by attacking at the source of fire.
Later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to turn the Lebanese capital Beirut and southern Lebanon "into Gaza and Khan Younis", should Hezbollah go for an all-out war, Axios reported.
Amnesty International determined that Israeli strikes on a group of seven journalists in south Lebanon on 13 October should be investigated as a "war crime".
The Israeli strike killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others, and was "likely a direct attack on civilians", Amnesty International said.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli raids also continued, with at least 42 Palestinians detained overnight and in pre-dawn raids. Half of those detained were Palestinian workers from Gaza, according to the Wafa news agency.
Since 7 October, Israel has detained more than 3,640 Palestinians, Wafa reported.
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.