The Geneva Council, an independent news organization committed to upholding human rights and promoting unbiased reporting, strongly condemns the recent and deeply concerning treatment of Palestinian men who were detained by Israeli forces in Gaza. Verified footage, brought to light on social media and corroborated independently, exposes a distressing scene where these individuals were stripped down to their underwear, kneeling on the ground, and subjected to humiliation under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers.
The incident, believed to have occurred in Beit Lahia in the far north of the Gaza Strip, involves a group of men, including a well-known Palestinian journalist. The Geneva Council expresses its profound concern over the reported “invasive searches and humiliating treatment” of civilians, a sentiment echoed by the international community.
Israeli government statements suggest that the detained men, purportedly of military age, were discovered in areas that civilians were instructed to evacuate weeks prior. However, the Geneva Council emphasizes the importance of adhering to international humanitarian law, which prohibits the mistreatment of civilians, regardless of the circumstances.
The verified video footage displays a disturbing scene where the detained men, stripped of their shoes, are guarded by Israeli soldiers in what appears to be a public space. Some are later seen being transported in military trucks. Reports from witnesses with relatives among the detainees further detail the use of megaphones to order men out of their homes and UN relief agency schools, with threats of harm if they did not comply.
Diaa al-Kahlout, a Palestinian journalist identified in the video, was reportedly arrested along with relatives. The Geneva Council strongly denounces any form of mistreatment, including invasive searches and forced removal of clothing, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the fate of these detainees.
The Council acknowledges the complexity of the situation in Gaza but stresses the importance of upholding human rights and ensuring the protection of civilians, in line with international standards. The Geneva Council calls on the international community, human rights defenders, and relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident and hold those responsible accountable for any violations of human rights and international law.
As an independent news organization committed to impartial reporting, the Geneva Council remains vigilant in monitoring events that impact human rights and will continue to advocate for transparency, justice, and respect for the dignity of all individuals involved.