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Israel releases 3 Gazans captured during ground assault
Published Saturday 16/08/2014 (updated) 18/08/2014 10:47
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Israeli soldiers hold Palestinians in Gaza on July 24, 2014 (Wallah)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Friday night released three Palestinian men captured by Israeli forces during the ground invasion of Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said.

The release of the three comes amid Palestinian concern and Israeli silence over the fate of at least 250 individuals Palestinian groups allege were captured by Israeli forces during the assault.

Director of statistics at the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs Abd al-Nasser Farawana named the three released men as Ahmad Muhammad Hmeidan Abu Lihya from Khan Younis, Abd al-Qadir Freih Salim Shalouf from Rafah, and Nafith Hussein Muhammad Shalouf, also from Rafah.

Two of the men appear in a list of 26 people given by Israeli authorities to the Palestinian prisoner ministry last week that they said were the names of those detained during the fighting.

Israeli authorities at the time said that those who had been captured in Gaza had been transferred out of the coastal territory and were being held in Ashkelon prison, just north of Gaza inside Israel.

The third individual released on Friday night, however, does not appear on the list, re-igniting concerns that Israeli authorities have not been forthcoming about hundreds of Gazan men being secretly held inside Israel.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an last week that 159 Palestinians had been detained during the assault, who she said were "actively doing terrorist attacks," presumably meaning that they were engaging in fighting against invading Israeli forces.

Addameer prisoner rights group has estimated that at least 250 Palestinians were taken during the Israeli invasion, saying that around 150 were detained on July 24 alone.

Minister of Prisoner Affairs Shawqi al-Ayasa said in a statement on Aug. 6 that Israel had failed to give the ministry crucial information including ID numbers, locations, and conditions, expressing "growing fears that some of the prisoners have been executed."

A lawyer for Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights told Ma'an on Monday that at least 15 Palestinians had been held under the Unlawful Combatants Law, an Israeli law that allows the detention without trial of Gazans for an unlimited period time with almost no legal recourse.

The law is similar to the administrative detention policies used in the West Bank, under which nearly 450 Palestinians are currently being held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Under international law, it is illegal for an occupying power to transfer detainees outside of the occupied territory.

Israel, however, insists that Gaza is not occupied -- despite its control over Gaza's land, sea, and air -- but also refuses to treat captured Palestinians as prisoners of war, which would entitle them to specific humanitarian and legal rights under the Geneva Conventions.

A total of 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, 1,500 of whom were detained in just the last two months.

During the Israeli assault on Gaza, Hamas said they captured one Israeli soldier, Oron Shaul. After initial denials, Israel said the soldier was killed in Gaza but his body was never recovered, suggesting that Hamas kept the body for potential use in a later prisoner exchange.

Israel later accused Palestinian groups of trying to capture one of their soldiers near Rafah on Aug. 1, a charge Palestinian militant groups denied. Israel bombarded Rafah for two days afterwards, killing more than 100 Palestinians.
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1 ) Mark Smith / UK
16/08/2014 11:33
Israel needs to treat kidnapped victims the same way as Hamas. Not divulge a single bit of informnation

2 ) sofia / united kingdom
16/08/2014 12:18
from what i have seen isreal and america make up their own rules and yet are first to cry to the world! at first sight i thought the picture was isis but i guess its ok its israel doing the terrorist acts once again come on world stop this genocide in palestine its clear its not war and for the fools who believe hammas are a threat look at how isreal can defend itself! remember palestine no navy no army no weapons!!! so how is it war? israel and america do not answer to the world this is a fact.

3 ) David / USA
16/08/2014 14:48
Be serious. Hamas used the opportunity to kill many of its own people it thought were informants. Many of the others perished in the tunnels they were hiding in. As for any others, being in an Israeli prison is a better life than most people in Gaza have. Thank you Hamas, for making life in Gaza such a nightmare. The people have had quite enough of you. Only a matter of time until Haniyeh is run over by a tractor 'by accident.'

4 ) Gloria / Korea
16/08/2014 15:13
Ahmad Muhammad Hmeidan Abu Lihya from Khan Younis, Abd al-Qadir Freih Salim Shalouf from Rafah, and Nafith Hussein Muhammad Shalouf, also from Rafah,have since been reunited with their children, and have been rostered back onto the tunnel excavation rota with them.

5 ) Mel / USA
16/08/2014 15:45
See that picture there? Near-naked CIVILIAN POW's(just young men"Rounded Up" Nazi-style"kneeling in TANK TRACKS,in HOT SUN,arms o'er heads,UNARMED,humiliated by Zionist "sovereign" troops.No H20 bottles,food,toilet,privacy(at least).That's collective human rights ABUSES!Separating young men just because...? ONLY thing you don't see there is Israeli soldiers making them DIG their own graves B4 executing them(as in Sinai 1967)for NOT being "Jews".US/EU MUST EMBARGO Israel until OCCUPATION ENDS!

6 ) Robert / US
16/08/2014 16:07
Is this a photo from june of 1967 ?,you know when israel took several Egyptian pow's and killed them , a major UN VIOLATION.. Israel attacked its neighbors first anyone who knows and really cares about issuses and real democracy, if there really is that..WE ARE DEFINITELY HEADING THE WRONG WAY IN THE US, Europe, Israel, Africa.. NO MORE WARS , MAKE MONEY HONESTLY, TRY IT WORKS !!!

7 ) 3 released / 597 to go
16/08/2014 17:13
Israel is cruel

8 ) Randi / NJ
17/08/2014 09:12
FYI all above:L Henk Zenoli returned his Righteous among Nations. guess who his family was? remember the F-16? those people. he saves one Jewish child 43-45 and decades later his relatives are killed for being in Gaza. i think that it's not a balance it's some crazy evil that would look like the spirit of Hitler. thoughts?

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
17/08/2014 09:44
Mel and Robert, get over it, guys. This is 2014 and the best you can do is dig up some rumors from over 50 years ago? You two guys came from Europe, invaded native America and carried out massacrs, genocides, stole an entire continent and shoved the survivors onto reservations. You two occupation settlers live on stolen land in your illegal colonial conquest. Why don't you two hypocrites lead the way and show us true justice - hand your keys over the natives and leave. Take Julie with you.

10 ) Maureen / Australia
18/08/2014 08:49
#5 Mel Sinai 1967. Unbelievable, isn't it? Israel has no shame, no empathy and so full of self righteousness.
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