Israeli forces detain TNA Arabic reporter in mass arrest, beating of men at Gaza shelter
The Israeli forces in Gaza arrested on Thursday journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout, a correspondent for The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, along with his brothers, relatives, and other civilians, from the market street in Beit Lahia northern Gaza.
Al-Kahlout was among dozens of Gaza residents arrested by Israeli forces in Gaza and were forced to strip off their clothes and were searched and humiliated before they were taken to an unknown location, according to eyewitness reports.
Images and footage circulating on social media platforms showed Israeli forces had rounded up dozens of men, stripped down to their underwear, blindfolded and with their hands behind their backs.
Israeli media reported that the images allegedly showed "Hamas suspects surrender themselves to Israeli troops". The claims came amid a desperate bid by Israel to claim an accomplishment against Hamas amid a relentless military campaign which has killed over 17,150 Palestinians including more than 7,000 children in just over eight weeks.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed lost contact with its correspondent on Thursday afternoon before his family informed them of his arrest.
Kahlout's sister said her brother was forced at gunpoint to leave his disabled seven-year-old daughter. She added that the men were taken away, stripped and beaten by Israeli forces.
In a statement, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed strongly condemned "the humiliating arrest of colleague Diaa Al-Kahlout and other civilians and urges the international community, journalists' rights defenders and watchdogs, and human rights bodies to denounce this ongoing assault committed by the Israeli occupation army against journalists since the 7th of October and exert efforts to ensure they are released from detention and protected".
The editor-in-chief of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Hossam Kanafani, said that Israel's army deliberately "arrests, targets and assassinates journalists" to prevent them from documenting its crimes and massacres in the Gaza Strip.
"We will make every effort possible, in cooperation with international institutions and organizations concerned with the rights and freedom of journalists in the world, to determine the whereabouts of our colleague Diaa and release him as soon as possible," Kanafani said.
Israel media did not show the mass murder of Palestinian children and innocent civilians, or the mass destruction of Gaza. But Israeli media has no qualms about showing these savage images of Israeli occupation forces detaining and stripping civilians taken from a UN shelter in… pic.twitter.com/XCQtullKCU— Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) December 7, 2023
The arrest of Diaa Al-Kahlout is part of the ongoing violations carried out by the Israeli forces against journalists since 7 October.
Israel's attacks on Gaza and southern Lebanon have killed at least 75 journalists and wounded at least 80 others, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
Two Palestinian journalists were missing, the homes of 60 journalists' families were targeted, 63 media institutions were destroyed, and the operations of 25 local radio stations (24 in Gaza and one in the West Bank) were disrupted.
Additionally, three media outlets have been closed and restricted.
With the arrest of Al-Kahlout, the number of imprisoned journalists goes up to 44, including 41 in the West Bank and three in Gaza.