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Israel wants to stop images of prisoners

Photographs of Palestinian men in the Gaza Strip wearing only their underpants had sparked criticism and even outrage and put Israel’s military under pressure to justify their actions. Israel wants to stop the spread of the images.

Following the publication by Israeli media of images of half-naked Palestinian men in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s army has rejected the outrage expressed online. The Israeli army said these were routine checks. In its military operation against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which has been going on for two months, it is “necessary that terrorist suspects hand over their clothing so that they can be searched and to ensure that they are not hiding explosive vests or other weapons,” it said.

Images “served no one”

The army wants to prevent further distribution of these images in the future. National Security Advisor Zachi Hanegbi again justified the army’s actions in the newspaper “The Times of Israel”. Suspects would have to be searched to ensure they are not carrying weapons or explosives. However, the images of them in their underpants would “serve no one.” He expects the distribution to stop.

The images raised concerns about Israel’s arrest procedures in the Gaza Strip and questions about possible rights violations or degrading treatment, wrote the Times of Israel.

Reports of mistreatment

The Israeli television channel Channel 13, like many other media outlets, published footage of dozens of prisoners stripped to their underwear and with their hands raised. Some of them held assault rifles above their heads. A man could be seen slowly walking forward and placing his weapon on the ground. Other videos released in recent days showed groups of unarmed men in similar situations.

Temporary prisoners who were released on Saturday told the AP they were beaten and denied food and drinking water. Israel did not comment on these allegations. However, the Israeli army pointed out that the arrests were carried out in accordance with international law. Only those against whom there is a concrete suspicion of terrorism would be arrested. Anyone who is not involved in terrorism will be released.

The allegations cannot be independently verified.

Conflict parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by the Palestinian and Israeli conflict parties cannot be directly verified by an independent body.

Few Hamas terrorists among those arrested?

The Haaretz newspaper, citing unnamed representatives of the security forces, reported that of the several hundred Palestinians arrested so far, only around ten to 15 percent belonged to the terrorist militia Hamas or organizations associated with it.

However, an Israeli government spokesman, Eylon Lewy, said on Sunday that there were a growing number of Hamas terrorists who were surrendering and laying down their weapons. This is a sign of their collapsing morale. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of dozens of surrenders. However, the military has not yet provided any evidence of this and Hamas has so far denied all such reports.

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