Geneva - Israel is implementing a forced displacement approach against civilians in the Gaza Strip by committing horrific massacres, field executions, and random and arbitrary arrests against women, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said in a statement issued on Monday.

Euro-Med Monitor has documented horrific violations bythe Israeli army in Gaza, including the deliberateharassment and arrest of hundreds of civilians over the pastseveral days, including those who had been displaced to shelter centres or were stuck inside their residential homes.

Detainees were stripped of their clothes, said the human rights organisation, and handcuffed, abused, forced to sit on their knees in open areas, and subjected to severe beatings and harassment despite the very cold weather. 

Some detainees were used by the Israeli army as human shields to storm residential homes and ground tunnels during its land incursion, Euro-Med Monitor affirmed.

The Geneva-based group further said that the Israeli forces blew up residential homes on the outskirts of Al-Zaytoun, Al-Tuffah, and Al-Shuja’iya neighbourhoods in Gaza City after brutally storming the buildings, violently attacking their owners, and stripping the owners of their clothes.

According to testimonies collected by the Euro-MedMonitor team, several young men and boys were detained by Israeli forces despite being bleeding and suffering from gunshot wounds. During their arrest, they were subjected to severe beating and torture, and their homes were stolenfrom them. 

The testimonies affirmed that the Israeli army carried out a brutal raid on the Abu Zour family’s home in Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood, south of Gaza City, last Friday (8 December). Dozens of civilians had already been besieged inside the house for days prior the raid, survivors said.

Ghosun Abu Zour told Euro-Med Monitor’s team that the Israeli forces trapped them inside the house for 12 days before blowing up their door and violently storming the home with heavy gunfire. Several injuries reportedly occurred during the violent raid.

The men were shot, stripped naked, and arrested, along with the women and children, she noted, and after forcing them all into trucks, the Israeli army ran over a number of dead bodies lying around the neighbourhood.

Abu Zour stated that an Israeli soldier threatened to rape her daughter Reem in front of her own family members, but Reem shouted at him, saying that she “would rather die than have anyone approach [me]”.

Israeli forces released the women after an hour, Abu Zourreported, leaving them barefoot, bleeding from their feet, and forced to walk towards Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip without food or shelter.They are still at Al-Aqsa, she said, while the fate of theirdetained husbands remains unknown.

The Israeli forces arrested all the males, including children between the ages of 10 and 13 years, and released thechildren two days later, after subjecting them to severe torture. However, 17-year-old Anas Zuhair Abu Zour, Ahmed Nabil Abu Zour, and 20 men, are still being detained.

The detainees also included the paralysed Imad Eid Abu Zour, who suffers from a shrapnel injury to his head;another disabled man, identified as Samer Ibrahim Abu Zour; and heart patient Sakhr Abu Zour, whose two sons were killed by Israeli forces.

Euro-Med Monitor also received reports that Israeli forces stormed the Abu Al-Khair family house in the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood and executed 71-year-old Saber Abu Al-Khair in his bed. All of the men present during this raidwere assaulted and detained.

Testimonies show that a similar military raid took place in the Awda family home in the same neighbourhood, where 13 individuals were arrested, interrogated, and tortured in front of their wives. After forcing all family members out, Israeli forces blew up the entire house.

According to the testimonies, the women were forced to walk towards the southern Gaza Strip, while the men were held for two days and subjected to severe torture. Only two of them—elderly men in very precarious health situations—have been released; the fate of the remaining men is unknown.

The rights group also recorded the arrest of numerous women from different parts of Gaza City and its northern districts, such as a girl called F.B. (full name withheld to protect her identity), who was transported inhumanely on a truck alongside men who had been stripped of their clothes.

N.B. told the Euro-Med Monitor team shortly after her release that the Israeli forces brutally arrested her and her sister in their family home in the Zaytoun neighbourhood. They were both beaten and abused. She was later released,while her sister’s fate remains unknown. Another young woman, E.H., was also subjected to torture and humiliation on the outskirts of Al-Tuffah neighbourhood, southeast of Gaza City.

Given numerous accounts of severe mistreatment, physical and psychological torture, and field executions, the fate of hundreds of detainees—including men, women, and children—remains unknown.

Euro-Med Monitor said that a displaced person was shot and injured in Al-Karmi School in the town of Abasan in Khan Younis, where about 3,000 displaced people were besieged inside the school before they were forced to evacuate to Rafah, in the far south of the Strip.

It is estimated that approximately 1.9 million people in Gaza, or approximately 85% of the total population, have been internally displaced, of whom approximately 1.1 million are living in 97 UN-run shelters in the south of the Strip.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor strongly condemned the horrific violations that have occurred during the Israeli army’s random arrests of civilians, including beatings, arbitrary arrests, and threats to rape women and children in front of their own families. The rights group noted that although the international community publicly denounces Israel’s forced displacement policy against civilians in the Gaza Strip, Israel continues to carry it out on the ground and takes deliberate revenge on anyone who refuses to evacuate, which amounts to a war crime.

Such a crime constitutes a flagrant violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, stressed Euro-Med Monitor, which prohibits mass forcible transfers as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.

The laws of war also prohibit “acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population”, which includes evacuation orders that do not constitute actual warnings, but rather are intended to intimidate, spread panic among people, or force them to flee their homes.