An 18-year-old Israeli man is set to die after being trapped in a besieged Gaza strip for days without food, water or even electricity.
The 18-hour ordeal began on January 23 when the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip (GIT) region to the Israeli coast.
“I got trapped in Gaza without electricity, water and food for days,” said Ali Abu Hamamah, who was in the GIT area in the southern Gaza Strip when the evacuation order was issued.
“It was freezing.
No-one would come out to rescue us.”
In the early hours of January 25, the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip had forced the residents of the besieged enclave to dig a tunnel under the Israeli border.
The tunnel was only partially opened and the residents were left without food and water.
Abu Hamamach said he had no choice but to die.
He said the army had ordered him to get on a plane to Israel.
“We went to the airport and the army came to the border and told us to leave the area,” he said.
“We did not want to leave.
I had to go to the army and the soldiers told me to leave because I’m not allowed to go outside.
They asked me to go and tell them what I am doing there.
But I did not do that.”
On January 27, the family of Ali Abu-Hamamah made an emergency flight to Tel Aviv.
Abu Hamams parents told Israel Radio that the family was in an area of Gaza where there was a high risk of drowning.
“The whole time we were in the air, they were telling us to get off the plane and not to go anywhere.
I think the army is not giving us enough food and we are starving,” said Abu Hamamia.”
They said, ‘You have to go out, go to an army base.
Go to an area that is safe, like the border or a military base.
There are tunnels inside Gaza, and the tunnels are dangerous.
There’s no food or water.’
They were not telling us what to do, and they told us what was going to happen if we left.
They told us they were going to kill us.
I did what I had been told.”
The Israeli military also threatened to send in the Israeli army to help rescue Abu Hamama, who said he was only able to escape because he managed to convince a smuggler to help him cross the border.
“My parents were so scared that they wanted to leave Gaza but they kept telling me to come and tell [the army] what was happening, but I was afraid to tell them, because I was going with them.
So I told them, ‘I’m going with you,'” Abu Hamamas mother told Israel radio.
“I told them I’m going to die, and I got out of the plane.”
After crossing the border, Abu Hamamus parents said they were detained by Israeli soldiers and interrogated by the army for two days before being transferred to an Israeli prison.
They were later released on March 8 after the Israeli court ordered them to pay a ransom of $1,500 for their release.
The family said the Israelis have not explained why they detained them.
“Why did they detain us?”
Abu Hamambah said.
“There were no explanations.
We were not even told why we were being detained, we just wanted to go home.
I thought I was being kidnapped.”
Abu-Hamama was not the only person who had to face the threat of death and torture by Israel’s military.
On January 25 Israeli forces raided a Gaza clinic that was providing health care to Palestinians trapped in the besieged strip.
“It’s a medical facility.
I’m an Israeli citizen.
The Israeli army is responsible for our medical care.
They came to my house, asked for my name and my address, took my passport and took me to an unknown place.
I was not told where I was or why I was there,” said Mohammed al-Dahah, the director of the clinic.
Al-Dawah said that Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the Israeli blockade have killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced thousands of others since the start of the conflict in 2008.
He added that many Palestinians are unable to leave their homes because the Israeli government and Israel Defense Forces have blocked the entry of Palestinians into the Gaza territory.
“Israel’s blockade is a total blockade, the Israelis block the crossings, the Palestinians don’t get through the crossings and Israel can kill you if you leave your house,” al-Bahah said.
“So I’m afraid that my family will be in Israel in prison.
I am scared that if they arrest my family, they will kill them, too.
We don’t want to die.”
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has said that there have been a number of cases of people killed and injured while in Israeli custody.The PCHR