With US assurance, Palestinian poet Abu Toha heads to cross Gaza but gets arrested by Israeli forcestext_fields
Renowned Palestinian poet and author Mosab Abu Toha has been detained by Israeli forces, along with other Palestinians, while attempting to leave Gaza, despite the assurance from the US that he and his family could cross through Rafah to Egypt.
Abu Toha was arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint en route to the Rafah crossing.
His brother, Hamza, shared the family's harrowing experience on social media, revealing that the American embassy had directed them to the Rafah crossing, yet there has been no contact with Mosab since his arrest. The poet's son, an American citizen, had received clearance for evacuation, but Mosab's name was initially omitted from the list.
Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and friend of Abu Toha, disclosed that the family was attempting to evacuate from north to south Gaza when they were stopped at a checkpoint along with numerous others.
The IDF instructed them to raise their arms for inspection, and Mosab was seized, along with around 200 other men. His wife remains anxiously awaiting any communication.
Mosab Abu Toha, celebrated for his poignant writings in the New Yorker detailing life under bombardment in Jabalia refugee camp, had previously won acclaim and awards for his poetry. His collection, published in English in the US, was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle award and received an American Book award this year.
The poet and his family sought refuge in Jabalia after their home in Beit Lahia was bombed. In a chilling account published in the New Yorker, Abu Toha described biking to his destroyed house in a futile attempt to salvage his poetry collection, expressing the despair of living through constant bombings with no hope in sight.