Prisoners’ Minister: Situation in Israeli Jails Heading toward ‘Outburst’

RAMALLAH, August 17, 2015 (WAFA) – Chairman of the Commission of Prisoners’’ Affairs (CPA), Minister Issa Qaraqe, said on Monday that the situation in Israeli prisons is heading towards an “outburst”.

He said tension has run high in Israeli prisons after the Israeli prison authorities declined to meet a series of agreements concluded with the Palestinian prisoners, under which the authorities pledged to improve their prison conditions, however, the prison administration has failed to do so up until the moment.

Meanwhile, Qaraqe said there were doubts that physicians at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where hunger striking prisoner Mohammad Allan is being treated, anesthetized him on Friday as a prelude to force-feed him.

Qaraqe stressed that efforts are being exerted to ensure Allan’s release and provide him with the much needed treatment, after 65 days of hunger strike against his administrative detention, without charge or trial.

Meanwhile, a number of Israeli guards from the Masada, Dror and Yamaz units of the Israeli prison service raided section 4 in Israeli Rimon prison and moved all prisoners to section 1 after confiscating their personal belongings, CPA reported. In response, the prisoners in Romon announced that they would embark on escalatory steps, starting with refusing to stand up for the daily count, and threatened to further escalate their protest steps if the prison service and guards insist on taking punitive measures against them.

On July 27, Israeli prison guards launched a crackdown on Palestinian prisoners in Nafha and Rimon prisons. The crackdown saw hundreds of Israeli guards from the Nahshon, Masada, Dror and Alamaz units of the Israeli Prison Service storm Palestinian detainees’ cells in Nafha and Rimon, assault many of them and move others to other sections.

During the raid, the Israeli repression unit of Masada savagely raided section 10 housing Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip in Nafha prison, moving all of them to other sections and ransacking the contents of the cells.

In reprisal, Palestinian detainees burnt cell number 85 in the old section in Nafha prison, reported the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Committee.

Currently, there are around 5,700 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners held in Israeli prisons, of whom 350 prisoners are from the Gaza Strip.