Palestinians demand Israel give news of detained Gazans

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Palestinian authorities have demanded the Israeli military release information about more than 100 people thought to have been detained in Gaza during its assault on the territory following Hamas attacks.

The head of the Palestinian Authority’s commission for prisoners, Qaddura Fares, said on Sunday that Israeli officials had told him at one point their side had made 105 arrests.

But he said Israel had not announced the number publicly and there was “no detail about what has become of these people.”

“We fear they may have been killed after being detained and interrogated,” he told AFP.

The Israeli military told AFP on Monday that it could not comment on the issue at this stage.

Israel launched bombardments and a ground offensive in Gaza after the October 7 attacks by Hamas militants who killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

Hamas says the Israeli offensive has killed nearly 15,000 people, mostly civilians. The bombardments have flattened homes and displaced 1.7 million of Gaza’s 2.4 million people, according to the United Nations.

The UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA said in a report that Israeli forces had detained people walking to southern Gaza from the north on the Salah al-Din road during the Israeli operations and a truce that came into force on November 24.

Red Cross medical worker Ramadan Hossu said in a video released by his organization that Israeli forces strip-searched and handcuffed him after detaining him on the road.

One displaced Gaza resident, Sahar Awwad, told AFP that Israeli soldiers detained her son Mohammed as he tried to leave southern Gaza on November 12.

“He was freed after nine days” after “undergoing torture,” Awwad said.

OCHA said families had been separated by Israeli forces at a checkpoint on the Salah al-Din road.

One child “had to cross through the checkpoint on his own following his father’s arrest,” it said. — Agence France-Presse

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