Geneva - The Israeli army has unleashed its soldiers in the Gaza Strip to not only kill, but to engage in immoral activities such as property theft and looting during raids on Palestinian civilian homes, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said in a statement issued Friday.

Euro-Med Monitor reported on a number of cases that show Israeli soldiers participating in and witnessing the deliberate theft of the assets and money of Palestinian civilians, including laptop computers, gold, and large quantities of cash. Israel’s army has been conducting ground military operations in the Gaza Strip since October, the rights group said. These operations have included raiding homes, storming residential areas, and conducting arbitrary arrest campaigns against civilians.

According to testimonies gathered by Euro-Med Monitor, the Israeli army’s crimes extend beyond arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and field executions. They also involve the intentional destruction of property, the theft of personal belongings, and the looting and burning of homes—all part of a systematic strategy that is evidently based on collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

Based on the testimonies it has been documenting, the Euro-Med Monitor team stated that its preliminary estimates suggest that the Israeli army may have looted valuable possessions worth tens of millions of dollars, in addition to stealing personal belongings from Palestinian civilians.

Palestinian Thabet Salim, 40, told Euro-Med Monitor’s team that he and his two sons were taken into custody by the Israeli army from their house in the Zaytoun neighbourhood, in the south of Gaza City, and that members of the army had pilfered all of the gold and cash that was on hand. Salim said that he had been released alone two days ago, while his sons’ fate remains unknown.

“The amount of money the soldiers took from my house is worth more than 10,000 US dollars,” Salim declared, “plus nearly the same amount of gold from my wife, and the wife of my eldest son.”

A woman named Umm Muhammad Gharbiyya, who lives in the Al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City, told the Euro-Med Monitor team that the Israeli forces forcibly took her gold jewellery after violently breaking into her family’s house earlier this month. Her husband and oldest son were also arrested during the raid.

Hussein Al-Tanani, a resident of the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in the north of Gaza City, said that they were surprised to find their house had been raided by the Israeli army following their escape to a nearby United Nations school in order to seek shelter from Israeli attacks. A computer and large amounts of cash had been stolen, while a big mess  was left inside the house.

The testimonies gathered by Euro-Med Monitor teams confirm reports by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate’s so-called “intelligence collection and technical spoils” unit that were published by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on 15 December. The reports say that the Israeli army “seized” sums of money exceeding five million Israeli shekels (about $1,351,350 USD).

Euro-Med Monitor reported that the aforementioned amount of money is likely only a small portion of the unreported thefts carried out by Israeli forces. At the same time, footage swept social media (its date as well as the precise context of the incident could not be verified by the time of this publication) showing three Israeli soldiers personally selling gold jewellery in a West Bank store after stealing it from a house in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s soldiers themselves have published videos on social media platforms documenting their deliberate sabotage of civilian homes in the Gaza Strip, Euro-Med Monitor pointed out, or their spraying of racist Zionist slogans on walls, in addition to bragging about seizing Palestinians’ money and valuable possessions.

Alia Al-Najjar, 34, affirmed in press statements that she recognised some of her own gold jewellery, which she had previously kept with her mother’s belongings, in one of the videos published by Israeli soldiers. Among the items Al-Najjar saw in the video was a bracelet she had purchased with her first teaching salary, which was a unique 24-carat gold leaf-shaped piece.

She said that in the video clip, an Israeli soldier displays her bracelet inside Al-Najjar’s mother's cloth purse, which also holds other gold pieces and cherished items. She made a comment on the video, calling the soldiers “thieves” before the poster removed the video.

Another Israeli soldier appears in a video clip showing off a silver necklace that says “Made in Gaza” and promising to give it to his girlfriend, while additional footage shows a different soldier carrying a guitar and singing above the debris of demolished homes in the Gaza Strip.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called for a comprehensive and impartial international investigation to be launched into the grave Israeli violations against the residents of the Gaza Strip and their property, and for the international community to take urgent measures to ensure that Israel is held legally accountable.