Sun 10 Dec 2023 9:22 pm - Jerusalem Time
Netanyahu's advisor on stripping Palestinians captives of their clothes: Here is the Middle East and it is hot
Mark Regev, an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday defended the Israeli army stripping the clothes of displaced people in Gaza and photographing them, saying, “Here is the Middle East, and it is very hot.”
On Thursday, the Hebrew Broadcasting Authority published pictures and a video clip of dozens of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, saying that “the Israeli army arrested them during an operation in the northern Gaza Strip,” noting that “they were taken naked in cold weather to Israeli detention centers.”
The Palestinians appear in the pictures and video clip sitting on a street in their underwear, surrounded by a number of Israeli soldiers, while trying to cover their chests with their hands (from the cold).
In an interview with the British "Sky News", the channel's anchor inquired from the Israeli Prime Minister's advisor about the spread of pictures of dozens of Palestinians tied up and stripped of their clothes in Gaza, which sparked angry reactions on social media.
“First of all, remember that we are here in the Middle East, and the weather is very hot,” Regev said. “It may not be nice to be asked to take off your shirt, especially on sunny days, but it is not the end of the world.”
After the program presenter pointed out that the Israeli forces released some Palestinian detainees “after showing that they were not affiliated with the Hamas movement,” he stressed that the Israeli army does not have the right to strip people of their clothes, and asked Netanyahu’s advisor whether they had violated the Geneva Convention in this context.
Regev answered that “the photos are not official material,” and that it is necessary to look into the way the video spread, “which means that Israel cannot be held responsible in this regard.”
However, the program presenter objected to the advisor’s answer and told him: “If it turns out that the Israeli army captured those scenes, it has nothing to do with the issue or the heat in the Middle East.”
Regev, who was cornered by the presenter who repeated his questions about Israel's violation of the Geneva Convention, said he was "not familiar with international law at this level."
On Friday, the Hamas movement denounced the Israeli army’s arrest of displaced civilians in Gaza, stripping them of their clothes, and photographing them, stressing that this was “the work of mercenaries and terrorist militias devoid of all values, customs and laws.”
Since October 7, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that, as of Saturday evening, has left 18.000 people dead, 48,780 wounded, most of them children and women, massive infrastructure destruction, and an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” according to official Palestinian and UN sources.