TNA Arabic reporter Diaa Al-Kahlout's health 'deteriorating' in Israeli detention

TNA Arabic reporter Diaa Al-Kahlout's health 'deteriorating' in Israeli detention
The family of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's Diaa Al-Kahlout said that the reporter has a chest infection and high blood pressure, potentially risking his health.
2 min read
15 December, 2023
Diaa Al-Kahlout was detained amid a mass arrest of Palestinian men in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza [Credit: Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

Concerns have been raised over the "deteriorating" health of detained Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout, according to the Euro-Med rights monitor.

The correspondent's family sounded the alarm over his well-being, saying he was already suffering from a chest infection and high blood pressure before his arrest over a week ago.

Gaza-based Al-Kahlout, who has worked with The New Arab's Arabic language service for almost a decade, was detained at gunpoint along with two of his brothers amid a mass arrest campaign by Israeli soldiers on 7 December.

The Israeli army rounded up dozens of Palestinian men in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, beating them, stripping them to their underwear, and blindfolding some of the captives, as seen in disturbing videos shared online. Al-Kahlout was among those identified.

Detainees who have since been released said that the 37-year-old correspondent was taken to an Israeli military base for interrogation, where he was subject to beatings, torture and other forms of ill-treatment that could impact his health and risk his life.

His family further stressed that his chest infection could pose serious consequences to his health given the fact that "he was detained in the cold weather and with little clothing on."

The mass arrests last week were decried as "insulting" and "degrading" by rights groups.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed condemned the arrest of its reporter.

"The humiliating arrest of colleague Diaa Al-Kahlout and other civilians" and urged "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 newspaper said in a statement.

Israel claimed that the men were "Hamas suspects who surrendered themselves." 

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The Euro-Med observatory urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to put pressure on Israeli authorities to visit Al-Kahlout and other detainees, to check their well-being, and provide healthcare if needed.

The monitor also urged the Israeli army to disclose Al-Kahlout's whereabouts and release him immediately.

It also urged Israel to stop targeting journalists reporting on the military onslaught in Gaza, where at least 89 media workers have been killed since 7 October.

The UN’s spokesperson to the Secretary General Stephane Dujarric also expressed concern over Al-Kahlout’s fate, adding that the UN Human Rights Office are "following" the situation.