‘Forcibly Disappeared’ – Around 1,000 Palestinian Workers Missing in Israel

Thousands of Gaza workers were transported back to Gaza after being detained on October 7. (Photo: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

An estimated 1,000 Palestinian workers remain forcibly disappeared in Israel, according to Palestinian rights groups.

In a statement marking Workers Day on Wednesday, the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Association, and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said amidst Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, the issue of Palestinian workers has become prominent.

“Around 1,000 workers remain missing due to the ongoing crime of enforced disappearance against Gaza detainees,” the statement said.

“According to data from the Palestinian Ministry of Labor, the number of workers from Gaza who were present in the occupied territories in 1948 before the seventh of October was approximately 10,300 Palestinian workers, 3,200 of whom were released at the Karm Abu Salem crossing at the beginning of November 2023.”

The statement added that some of them “still bore plastic tags on their wrists bearing numbers, and they were released from the detention centers where they were held.”

“Approximately 6,441 workers were deported to the West Bank, while around 1,000 workers remain missing due to the ongoing crime of enforced disappearance against Gaza detainees,” the statement said.

They also said Israel refused to disclose any information about them “and only announced the existence of two camps belonging to the army to detain Gaza detainees, including the ‘Sdeh Teiman’ camp near Beersheba and the ‘Anatot’ camp near Jerusalem.”

“However, detention locations were not limited to these camps as some workers were detained in Ofer Prison,” the statement said.

Call for Action

The organizations renewed their call to all international human rights organizations at various levels “to open an independent international investigation in light of the continuing escalation of crimes and genocidal war against our people in Gaza.”

They also called for action “to put an end to the escalating and unprecedented crimes” against prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Israeli human rights group, HaMoked, said on Wednesday that some 9,088 Palestinian detainees are held in Israeli jails, reported the Anadolu news agency.

The Israeli High Court heard the first case on Wednesday brought by the organization challenging the enforced disappearance of Gaza detainees, HaMoked said.

Inaccurate Numbers

In February, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called on Israel “to promptly reveal the whereabouts, and fate of all forcibly disappeared detainees,” and to immediately stop “its policy of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees.”

The call followed testimonies from released Palestinian detainees.

Euro-Med said Israel’s Sde Teman army camp, located between Beersheba and Gaza, “has been turned into a Guantánamo-like prison.”

Release Details on Fate of Forcibly-Disappeared Detainees – Rights Body Urges Israel

The organization said it has received testimonies about “the deaths of two detainees inside the Sde Teman camp, one of whom had an amputated foot.”

“Israel has not officially announced their deaths,” it said.

Euro-Med Monitor also pointed to the concerning lack of an accurate count of detainees from Gaza.

Staggering Death toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,568 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,765 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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