Muamar family detention incident

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The Muamar family detention incident occurred very early on the morning of June 24, 2006, in the first taking of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) since the Israeli evacuation of Gaza one year earlier,[1] when IDF soldiers entered the house of the Muamar family in a village near Rafah, at 03:30 local time (00:30 GMT) and detained Osama and Mustafa Muamar.[2] The BBC reports the village name as Umm al-Nasser[2]

Ali Muamar, father of the two men detained, Osama Muamar and Mustafa Muamar, stated "They blindfolded and handcuffed me and started beating me up with the butts of their rifles and kicking me."[2] He stated that a computer was taken and that the whole incident lasted for about an hour.[2]

An Israeli spokesman confirmed the detentions, said that both men were members of the militant group Hamas intending to carry out imminent attacks on Israel and stated "These Palestinians were transferred to Israel where they will be questioned".[2][3] The army did not provide details on the nature of the alleged plot.[4] A spokesman for Hamas confirmed that the brothers were sons of a member but denied that the men detained were involved in Hamas.[2][3]

This event was followed by capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on June 25, 2006 and further incidents in the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict.

This kidnapping by the IDF is claimed by Noam Chomsky[5] to be a contributing factor in the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict and the following 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

Chomsky observed that analysis and commentary on the arrest of the Muamar brothers was virtually ignored in the major English media, in sharp contrast to that of the capture of Gilad Shalit.[6]

"... they leave it to the reader to understand the crucial significance of the kidnapping of the two Gaza civilians, the Muamar brothers, on June 24, ... The obvious point is that the kidnapping of the two Gaza civilians was well-known, but scarcely and dismissively reported, apart from the Turkish press, which had the one serious news report (June 25). In the US media there was no comment nor follow-up, in sharp contrast to the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit the following day."

Chomsky also compares the importance of the kidnapping of civilians versus that of soldiers:

"The escalation was supported on the grounds that capture of a soldier is a grave crime for which the population must be punished. One day before, on June 24, Israeli forces kidnapped two Gaza civilians, Osama and Mustafa Muamar, by any standards a far more severe crime than capture of a soldier.".[7]

Gilad Shalit was released on 18 October 2011 in a prisoner exchange [ Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange ]. As of January 2012 the Muamar brothers were still in an Israeli jail; no evidence; no trial; no release:[8]

"Among the unmentioned prisoners are the brothers Osama and Mustafa Abu Muamar, civilians kidnapped by Israel forces that raided Gaza City on June 24, 2006 – the day before Shalit was captured. The brothers were then “disappeared” into Israel’s prison system."

They were not amongst the prisoners exchanged for Gilad Shalit's release [ List of prisoners released by Israel in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange ][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World in brief : Gaza Strip arrests". The Observer. June 25, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Israel captures pair in Gaza raid". BBC. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Israeli troops arrest two in Gaza raid". Al Jazeera. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  4. ^ Alan Dershowitz quote of an Associated Press report
  5. ^ Chomsky, Noam (July 29, 2006). "Confrontation with Hamas and Hezbollah". Z Communications. 
  6. ^ Chomsky, Noam (January 19, 2009). ""Exterminate all the Brutes": Gaza 2009 *". 
  7. ^ "Comments on Dershowitz", by Noam Chomsky
  8. ^ "Recognizing the "Unpeople""
  9. ^ [1]