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Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha released after interrogation, says IDF

From City Lights publishers

An image of Mosab Abu Toha of City Lights Publishers, who published his first collection of poems, “Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear.”


Palestinian poet and writer Mosab Abu Toha, who contributed to the New Yorker and other publications reflecting on his life in Gaza during the war, was released after questioning, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

In a statement released Tuesday, the Israeli military said Abu Toha was among a group of civilians who were interrogated during the operations, amid “intelligence reports of a number of interactions between several civilians and terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip.

The poet’s brother, Hamza Abu Toha, told the story of his detention in a Facebook post on Monday.

Abu Toha was arrested by the IDF “as he reached the checkpoint while leaving the north towards the south” of Gaza, the message read.

“His wife and children entered the south and the army arrested my brother Mosab,” the message continued. “We have no information on him. It is worth mentioning that the American embassy sent him and his family to pass through the Rafah crossing.

The circumstances of Abu Toha’s arrest are unclear. CNN has contacted the Israeli military for comment. A spokesperson for the US State Department said earlier that it had no information to share on the situation.

Winner of the American Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for his first book of poetry, “Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear,” Mosab Abu Toha, 30, has written searingly about the Israeli airstrikes who have decimated Gaza since the war. erupted last month between Israel and Hamas.

03:51 – Source: CNN

“We are afraid of what happened and what will happen,” Mosab Abu Toha told Christiane Amanpour in October.

In a New Yorker essay published October 20, he describes returning home to Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, days after being evacuated to the Jabalia refugee camp, where he had been staying with relatives.

“On the main street that leads to my house, I discover the first of a long series of shocking scenes. The store where I took my children to buy juice and cookies is in ruins. The freezer, which once held the ice cream, is now filled with rubble. I smell explosives, and maybe flesh,” he wrote.

In a Facebook post five days ago – his most recent post on the site – Abu Toha wrote that he was “alive” and pleaded for an end to the bloodshed.

“Thank you for your prayers. We have no access to food or drinking water. Winter is coming and we don’t have enough clothes. The children are suffering. We are suffering,” he wrote, adding: “the army is now in Al-Shifa Hospital. No more death, no more destruction. Who can stop this? Please stop it now.

PEN International, the global writers’ association, said Monday it was “deeply concerned” about Abou Toha’s situation.

“We join calls demanding to know his whereabouts and the reasons for his detention,” PEN said in a statement posted on X, the social networking site formerly known as Twitter.

The New York Review of Books also published an article on his reported detention of X, noting that “in May we published his poem ‘What a Gazan Should Do During an Israeli Airstrike.’

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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