One such Palestinian man who lives in Gaza, works in Israel, and got stuck in Israel on October 7 says he and around 4,000 other Palestinian workers in the same situation were only just released and allowed to return home. What this man, named Khaled Ahmed, told the media about his experience at the hands of IDF soldiers is shocking.
During the detention period, which lasted nearly a month, Ahmed and the other prisoners were subject to constant abuse and torture as IDF soldiers were "taking revenge on Gaza" by hurting them.
"I have been working in Israel for years," Ahmed, 63, told the media. "I had a valid work permit when all of this happened."
(Related: For the third time since October 7, Israel has shut down all telecommunications in Gaza, this most recent time as its armies surround Gaza City with plans to divide the coastal city in two.)
When the Hamas attack first happened, many Palestinian workers fled Israel immediately, usually heading to the West Bank. Ahmed is one of a smaller few who decided there was no need to leave – and paid a price for it.
The reason for this is that Israeli aggression against Gaza is an everyday occurrence, and usually does not end up like this. In previous attacks, Ahmed was just fine, so he assumed there was no need to worry this time, either.
"In the period between 7-10 October, workers were still able to move between Israel and the West Bank," Ahmed says. "On the 10th, we were trapped, unable to return to Gaza or go to the West Bank."
Israel's work-permitting system for Palestinians is so advanced that it even includes a smartphone app called al-Monasseq (Arabic for "the coordinator") that pretty much automates anything. If ever there is an issue, the system typically warns workers to head on home for their own protection – but not this time.
Instead of giving Palestinian workers a proper heads up, Israel instead revoked all work permits immediately without informing any of the workers, and proceeded to detain them like in Nazi concentration camps for weeks on end.
"They broke into our dorms, handcuffed and blindfolded us, then detained us without allowing any of us to take anything," Ahmed explains.
"It was around 12pm when we arrived in the place where we were interrogated. I was left alone in a cell for eight hours before I was taken to a room where an Israeli officer interrogated me for hours."
That Israeli officer asked Ahmed where he lived in Gaza, to which he responded, only to have the officer then proceed to show Ahmed a picture of his house on a big screen as intimidation."
"He then asked me about Hamas and other Palestinian factions. I told him I did not know anything. He tried to pressure me but I honestly have nothing to do with them so I could not answer."
During what would become a two-hour interrogation session, Ahmed and many other fellow workers were beaten, tortured, and humiliated. IDF soldiers pretended to ask them if they wanted some coffee or tea to drink, only to return and pour the scalding beverages all over their faces, leaving behind burns.
"The Israelis know very well that we have nothing to do with what is going on. We are workers who were repeatedly interrogated and we underwent several security checks before we were given the work permit."
Be sure to read the full story at MiddleEastEye.net.
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