Israel has detained 200 Palestinian women and children in Gaza since 7 October: monitor

Israel has detained 200 Palestinian women and children in Gaza since 7 October: monitor
Israel has been carrying out the arbitrary detention of civilians in Gaza, including of women and children.
3 min read
04 January, 2024
Women and children are among those subject to forced detention by Israeli force amid their military campaign in Gaza [Getty/file photo]

Israeli forces have detained at least 200 Palestinian women and children in Gaza during their deadly military campaign on the territory which started almost three months ago, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Wednesday.

The Geneva-based monitor said it did not have any official information regarding the conditions the women and child detainees are in, the location of the detention sites, or the charges brought against them.

The group said that the detentions of women and children were among more than 3,000 made by Israeli forces in Gaza since October 7, amid Israel's air and ground assault on the Palestinian territory.

In a statement cited by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Euro-Med said: "Accurate statistics on the number of detainees from the Gaza Strip are not available to this day, due to incidents of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance committed by the Israeli army inside the Strip, in addition to the difficulty of receiving reports due to the separation of families and the almost permanent interruption of communications and the internet."

Euro-Med cited an example of a Palestinian infant being abducted from Gaza by Israeli forces, moments after a strike on her home killed family members in the war-torn enclave, though it did not specify when the incident took place.

The chilling incident was confirmed by Israeli soldier Shahar Mendelsohn in an interview with the Israeli Army Radio last week. Mendelsohn said a now-killed Givati Brigade officer, Harel Itach, told a friend that he "heard the sound of a baby crying in one of the homes he entered and decided to send her to Israel".

The monitor said it felt "deep fear and concern that the incident with the baby would not be an isolated case", noting that testimonies it received indicated that Israeli forces were detained and transferring Palestinian children without later revealing their destination or condition.

Euro-Med urged the international community to "oblige Israel in handing over the child that the Israeli officer admitted to kidnapping, and whose fate or whereabouts are not yet known".

The group is calling on Israel to release all Palestinian children detainees immediately and reveal details of other captives.

Among those detained in Gaza includes journalist Diaa al-Kahlout, the Gaza bureau chief for The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

Kahlout, and other civilians, were beaten, forcibly taken at gunpoint, and stripped to his underwear in a mass incident in Beit Lahia earlier last month.

There are concerns the media worker has been tortured in detention.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has detained at least 4,700 Palestinians since 7 October.

Israel's military onslaught in Gaza has killed at least 22,313 Palestinians, including scores of women and children. Thousands more feared missing and trapped under rubble, while famine and diseases are likely to exacerbate the death toll.