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War on Gaza: Israeli forces round up stripped Palestinian men and children at stadium

Video recorded by Israeli journalist shows men, children and elderly Palestinians with their hands tied behind their backs at a stadium in the war-ravaged territory
Palestinians are shown rounded up in a stadium after being detained and stripped (Screengrab/X)
Palestinians are shown rounded up in a stadium after being detained and stripped (Screengrab/X)

Israeli forces rounded up dozens of Palestinians in an open field of a stadium in Gaza on Monday, stripping them and tying their hands behind their backs, according to photos and video footage shared on local media.

Reports said Israeli forces had abused the residents, including men, children and the elderly, before gathering them in the open field.

Video footage showed Israeli soldiers, accompanied by tanks, pointing their guns at the detained Palestinians who could be seen entering the field in a line with their hands up in the air before sitting down in designated areas.

The video ends with a shot of an Israeli soldier carrying a baby, wrapped in blanket.

The video, reportedly taken by an Israeli photojournalist, shows how Israeli forces have transformed the stadium into a large detention centre.

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The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on 20 December that Israeli army forces have been carrying out field executions against civilians, after detaining them from their homes.

The rights monitor obtained testimonies of Israeli army forces raiding homes and opening fire at Palestinians for no reason. 

Euro-Med Monitor said it also received similar testimonies about atrocities committed by Israeli forces in numerous areas they occupied, including killings and field executions.

Civilians stripped and detained

Earlier this month, the Israeli military said it was rounding up Palestinian men in northern Gaza for interrogation. Footage released at the time showed dozens of men stripped of their clothes, blindfolded, and with their hands tied, being taken to an undisclosed location.

A witness said at least seven men had been shot dead by troops for not complying with the soldiers’ orders fast enough, according to the Euro-Med Monitor. 

The men had been reportedly rounded up from homes and schools sheltering displaced families in the northern Gaza Strip.

Euro-Med Monitor said doctors, academics, journalists and seniors were among them. Diaa al-Kahlout, a journalist working for the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news outlet, was identified as one of the detained men.

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 that the footage shows the “arrest and abuse of unarmed civilians who have nothing to do with military operations”. 

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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