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News > Palestine

4,000 Palestinians Workers Remain Detained and Missing

  • Workers from Gaza detained by Israeli authorities.

    Workers from Gaza detained by Israeli authorities. | Photo: X/ @Taj_Ali1

Published 23 October 2023

They are incarcerated in undisclosed locations with little information about their status and without any available legal recourse.

Since the start of Israeli airstrikes two weeks ago, at least 4,000 Palestinians from Gaza who were employed in Israel have been detained and are being held without knowledge of their whereabouts or the exact reasons for their detention.


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Around 17,000 people from Gaza had work permits, but Israeli authorities revoked them following the outbreak of the conflict on Oct. 7.

Since then, several thousand were displaced to the West Bank, and many have been apprehended by Israeli security forces.

Currently, they are "incarcerated in undisclosed locations, with little information about their status, in a legally uncertain situation, and without any available legal recourse," as reported by humanitarian organizations such as Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights, Hamoked, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

"They have been confined without any contact with the outside world or legal representation, without a court order, without time limits, and without a clear legal status," they added, specifying that Israeli authorities have denied family members information about the detainees' whereabouts.

In response, humanitarian NGOs are urging Israel to "provide information about the whereabouts of all detainees and prisoners, in accordance with their legal obligations."

At the same time, human rights defenders condemn the application of "arbitrary and punitive measures towards all Palestinians."

According to local media reports, thousands of Gazans are currently held in the West Bank's Ofer Prison and military bases. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to conduct extensive arrest raids in Palestinian territory, including detentions of Gazans.

Since Oct. 7, the Israeli military has confirmed the arrest of 800 individuals in the West Bank, 500 of whom Israeli authorities consider "affiliated" with Palestinian resistance.

During Monday's early hours, Israeli forces carried out extensive raids in various locations in the West Bank, arresting around 123 people, including 40 Gaza workers.

In recent years, Israel had increased work permits for Gaza laborers. To gain access and employment in Israel, Gazans had to undergo a security vetting process, which included checks by Israel to ensure they had no ties to Palestinian resistance.

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