Oli London, a popular British conservative influencer and provocateur was slammed online after claiming that a video of civilians stripped to their underwear and placed under arrest by the IDF were members of a Hamas militant group.
London, (once better known for being the person who had over 15 plastic surgeries to make themselves look like K-Pop star Jimin), claimed that the footage, which shows the captured men sitting on a street in the market street in Beit Lahia in Northern Gaza according to the New Arab, was of a terrorist battalion which was “one of the main units responsible for the Oct 7th massacre,” and were “responsible for firing hundreds of rockets into Israel.
London’s claim was quickly jumped on X by reporters and posters who called out the claim as misinformation meant to conflate civilians with combatants.
“One of the men arrested in this video is our colleague Al-Araby Correspondent Diaa Kahlot, along with his family, who are most definitely not members of Hamas,” wrote Will Christou, Middle East correspondent for the New Arab. “He and other captives were stripped naked in the street and taken to an unknown location. Journalism is not a crime!”
The New Arab reported that Kahlor, who works for the publication’s Arab language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, was “among dozens of Gaza residents arrested by Israeli forces in Gaza … [who] were forced to strip off their clothes and were searched and humiliated before they were taken to an unknown location.”
Photos of Palestinians stripped of their clothes in recent mass arrests in the Israel-Palestine war have drawn condemnation from human rights groups like the American Jewish organization If Not Now.
“This is an abomination. As Jews, to see this being done in our name… horrifying, despicable, words fail,” the organization wrote about one photo in a post on X. “This is what our government supports in Gaza. Thousands of children murdered, people being rounded up, stripped, and G-d knows what else. Ceasefire NOW, end this nightmare.”
Husam Zomlot, a Palestinian diplomat for the Palestinian Authority’s mission to the U.K., shared photos of Palestinian men being transported in trucks and inspected on the street with their shoes lying on the ground in the middle of the road.
“This evokes some of humanity’s darkest passages of history,” Zomlot wrote. “It is well past time that the world speaks as one and demands – and enforces – an immediate and permanent #ceasefire.”
It’s unclear if the recent photos circulating are all from the same arrests or different ones across the Gaza Strip.
The Times of Israel reported that some of the men shown in some of the photos were suspected to be Hamas members, but the Israeli government hasn’t commented yet on the situation.
But others pushed back on the idea, citing the journalist’s presence in the footage and a theory that they had been sheltering in a nearby school.
“These are NOT militants! A prominent journalist, Diaa Kahlout was identified among them,” wrote @muhammadshehad2. “They were wearing slippers & were sheltering in a school for the displaced.”