TNA Arabic demands Israel release Gaza bureau chief Diaa al-Kahlout
The New Arab's Arabic edition has demanded the release of its Gaza bureau chief, detained by Israeli forces in early December.
Senior al-Araby al-Jadeed journalist Diaa al-Kahlout was rounded up alongside hundreds of other Palestinian men, including his brothers and other relatives, in the town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.
The newspaper posted its statement to social media on Tuesday, two days after The New Arab reported a young Palestinian recently released from Beersheeba Prison had said he saw the reporter in the Israeli detention facility.
"We in the al-Araby al-Jadeed family demand the immediate release of our colleague Diaa al-Kahlout, correspondent and bureau chief for the al-Araby al-Jadeed website and newspaper in Gaza, who has been detained by the [Israeli] occupation army since 7 December 2023," the pan-Arab daily said.
"We also condemn and deplore the assassination, arrest, abuse, and torture journalists are being subjected to as they carry out their duty to convey the truth about the war crimes and genocide the occupation is committing in the Gaza Strip."
The recently released Palestinian minor who said he saw al-Kahlout in detention added that Israeli authorities had yet to interrogate the journalist, who may be transferred to Jerusalem like other Palestinians held in Beersheba.
Kahlout was arrested at gunpoint, then stripped and beaten by Israeli forces.
He was forced to abandon his seven-year-old daughter, who has special needs.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on 14 December that it had received reports from al-Kahlout's family and a number of released detainees about a "serious and continued deterioration" in the journalist's health.
The rights group said he had been suffering from a chest infection and high blood pressure prior to his arrest.
Euro-Med Monitor added that released detainees had said al-Kahlout had been taken to the Zikim military base and was interrogated there extensively regarding his journalistic work.
Al-Kahlout and the other detainees were allegedly tortured, beaten and mistreated, resulting in health complications that endangered his wellbeing and life.
On the day of al-Kahlout's arrest, al-Araby al-Jadeed editor-in-chief Hussam Kanafani said: "We will make every effort possible, in cooperation with international institutions and organisations 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."
Israel's war on Gaza has killed more than 21,300 people, the majority civilians.
The assault has not spared journalists, killing 105 so far, according to the strip's government media office.
The updated toll was announced on Thursday, following the deaths of Mohammad Khair al-Din and Ahmed Khair al-Din.