Israel's use of poison gas in Gaza 'must be probed': Haaretz

Israel's use of poison gas in Gaza 'must be probed': Haaretz
Haaretz has called for an urgent investigation into the use of poison gas by Israeli forces in Gaza.
2 min read
22 January, 2024
Families of hostages are urging for a ceasefire in Gaza to ensure the safe return of the captives [Getty]

Leading Israeli daily Haaretz called on Monday for an urgent investigation into the suspected use of poison gas by Israeli forces in Gaza in an op-ed published on Monday.

The newspaper raised significant questions regarding the role of Israeli forces in an incident involving recovering the bodies of three Israeli hostages from a tunnel in Jabalya, northern Gaza, on 14 December.

The hostages, identified as soldiers Ron Sherman and Nick Beiser, and civilian Elia Toledano, were reportedly abducted by Hamas on 7 October.

The Israeli army provided their families with a pathology report detailing how the bodies were found approximately a month later.

Sherman’s mother, Dr. Maayan Sherman, a veterinarian, claimed that the results of the report suggested he was murdered by poison gas allegedly used by the Israeli forces in the tunnels. She accused the government of knowingly putting the hostages at risk.

"Not by Hamas, think more in the direction of Auschwitz and the showers but without Nazis and without Hamas. Not by accidental fire, not by friendly fire, but premeditated murder: bombs with poison gas," she wrote in a Facebook post.

Israeli army Spokesperson Daniel Hagari responded evasively, stating it was not possible to determine the cause of death and avoiding direct confirmation or denial of the family's claims.

Haaretz, in its lead editorial, has called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

The paper called for answers to critical questions, which included whether the Israeli forces used poison gas in Gaza tunnels, and if so, was it legally justified under international laws of war.

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Haaretz questioned if such tactics were employed, who authorised their use, and whether the hostages' lives were taken into account during the decision to attack the tunnel.

The daily called for a transparent and independent investigation into the incident, rather than wait for Israel's war on Gaza to end.

Toxic gas has been used by Israel before in the besieged enclave.

In 2014, Palestinian health officials reported that tens of Palestinians, including children, suffered temporary asphyxiation after inhaling poisonous gases released by Israeli troops during incursions into the Gaza Strip.

The reported attack came as Israel staged incursions into the northern and southern Gaza Strip, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge".