A senior Israeli official acknowledges that the photos of hundreds of Palestinian men being stripped to their underwear after their arrest by the IDF in Gaza might be “uncomfortable.”
However, the official briefing The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity insists that the army is only stopping those against whom it has concrete suspicions and that the stripping was necessary in order to ensure that none of them are hiding weapons or explosives.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the National Security Council, said earlier tonight, though that there will not be further photos circulating online of Gazans surrendering to IDF troops in their underwear.
“It doesn’t serve anything,” Hanegbi told the Kan public broadcaster.
A number of pictures and videos that have leaked online in recent days show dozens of semi-naked Palestinian men being arrested. In some pictures, the detainees are being forced to sit or kneel on the ground in the open, sometimes blindfolded, while others show groups being marched with their hands in restraints or alleged fighters handing over weapons.
The Israeli military has confirmed arresting hundreds, claiming that Hamas members are surrendering in high numbers, as the terror group collapses under the army’s campaign to crush it.
But the military has also indicated that many of those it detained were later released, and officials have said that soldiers may be operating under a guideline of arrest first and question later.