Palestinian Poet Mosab Abu Toha Was Worried About Becoming Another Statistic in the News. Now He’s Reportedly Been Arrested in Gaza
It was only a month ago that award-winning Palestinian poet and writer Mosab Abu Toha, a 30-year-old husband and father of three, published an essay in the New Yorker describing his life in Gaza and the terror and destruction Israeli airstrikes were inflicting on his community. He wrote about bombs dropping in his neighborhood and a barrage of news notifications on his phone alerting to other explosions nearby. “Sometimes I decide not to check the news. We are part of it, I think to myself,” he wrote.
“One idea in particular haunts me, and I cannot push it away,” he wrote. “Will I, too, become a statistic on the news?”
Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, posted on social media that Abu Toha was “kidnapped by [the] Israeli army in Gaza as he was fleeing with his family,” which she said she learned through speaking directly with his family.
Buttu told the Guardian that Abu Toha’s son was born in the U.S. and was cleared to be evacuated from Gaza, but “Mosab’s name was not on the list.”
The Israeli Defense Forces told the Washington Post that they were looking into the arrest, and a U.S. State Department official told CNN they had no information to share so far.