A blindfolded Palestinian, detained during an Israeli military operation in Gaza, sits on the ground at a crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on November 7, 2007. © 2007 Reuters

‘One million detentions throughout the years under occupation’

PNN/ Ramallah/

On the eve of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, on April 17th, The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners Club together with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics )PCBS) issued a press release that provides information and statistics on the conditions of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli occupation as follows:

About 1 million detentions throughout the years under occupation

History of the case of Palestinian prisoners began since the outset of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory in 1948 as one million cases of arrest were recorded since then. The question of Palestinian prisoners is central for the Palestinian cause. The time during the Palestinian Stone Intifada that broke out in 1987 and the Al-Aqsa Intifada of 2000 were among the most difficult historical phases. During these two Intifadas, the Palestinian people faced arbitrary arrests of hundreds of thousands of people of all society segments.

Since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada on 28th September 2000, human rights organizations recorded around 100 thousand cases of arrest, including 15 thousand children below 18 years, 1,500 women and about 70 MP’s and ex-ministers. Furthermore, the occupation authorities issued 27 administrative detention orders including new arrests and renewal of existing orders. The occupation authorities detain prisoners in 24 prisons and detention and interrogation centers. The Israeli occupation authorities have intensified detention of Palestinians since October 2015, arresting over ten thousand people in the West Bank, mostly from Holy Jerusalem. One third of these detainees were children.

Prisoners in the Occupation Prisons

13 April 2017 Since Al-Aqsa Intifada/ 200
Number of male prisoners Around 6,500 No. of children Around 15,000
Number of female prisoners 57 (including 13 minors) No. of women 1,500
Number of children Around 300 Detention cases Around 100,000
Number of administrative detainees 500 Number of MP’s Around 70
PLC members 13 Administrative detention orders 27,000
Prisoners detained before signature of the Oslo Accords 29
Prisoners detained for over 20 years 44
Martyred prisoners 210

 Female prisoners:

There are 57 Palestinian female prisoners in the prisons of the occupation, including 13 minors. The oldest female prisoner is Leena Al-Jarbouni from the area occupied in 1948; she is expected to be released on 16th April 2017.

Children and Minor Prisoners

The occupation authorities detain 300 Palestinian children in the prisons of Majiddo, Ofar and Hasharon. Violations of human rights and torture against children were documented via lawyers working in these institutions. The most flagrant violations included: night arrest, severe beating in front of their parents, shooting at them before detaining them, handcuffing, feet cuffing and blindfolding in addition to delayed notification of their right to legal assistance. Furthermore, detained children are subjected to interrogation without the presence of their parents not to mention the physical and psychological torture to compel them to confess to the charges and sign papers, which they do not know the content. The number of wounded children increased after the occupation forces intensified their operations, as stated before, including shooting children prior to their arrest. Injuries resulted in physical disabilities including permanent handicaps.

Old Prisoners

A term that describes prisoners who have been detained for over twenty years. They include 44 detainees including 29 detained before the signature of the Oslo Accords in 1993. In 2013, three lists were released pursuant to a prisoner exchange deal. However, Israel still withholds the release of the fourth group, which was due in March 2014. The oldest prisoners are Kareem Younes and Maher Younes from the territory occupied in 1948. The said prisoners have been in detention since January 1983. It should be noted as well that prisoner Nael Al-Barghouthi served the longest detention in the occupation prisons for 36 years, including 34 consecutive years. He was jailed for two years when the occupation authorities rearrested him in 2014 although he was released in Gilad Shalit Prisoner Exchange.

Administrative Detainees:

There are about 500 administrative detainees in the occupation jails. Administrative detention is the unknown enemy facing the Palestinian prisoners. It is a sanction without charges. Decisions of administrative detention are based on the so-called “confidential/ classified file”, submitted by the intelligence services “Shabak”. Prisoners and their lawyers are not allowed to have access to such files. The administrative detention order is renewed several times for periods ranging from two months to six mentions, extendable. They are issued by military commanders of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Sick and wounded detainees

The occupation authority deliberately practices a policy of medical negligence against sick and wounded prisoners, which is coupled with several violations of their rights without any consideration of their health status. There are hundreds of sick prisoners in jails including twenty detained in the “Clinic of Ramlah Prison”, including prisoner Mansour Mawqidah from salfit Governorate who is sentenced for thirty years of imprisonment.

Detained PLC members: the occupation authorities detain in their jails 13 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including a woman – Sameera Al-Halayqah. The oldest of these MP detainees is Marwan Al-Barghouthi, who has been detained since 2002 and was sentenced for five life sentences. There is also Ahmad Saadat, arrested in 2006 and sentenced to thirty years of imprisonment. It should be noted that the Israeli occupation forces arrested six other PLC members starting 2017.

Martyred prisoners

They include the prisoners martyred while in detention by the Israeli army. Some were extra- judicially exterminated while others passed away as a result of deliberate medical negligence or under torture. They numbered 210 martyrs, the last being Mohammad Al-Jallad. It should be noted that since the creation of the Israeli occupation state in 1948, collective extrajudicial extermination was executed against Palestinian prisoners by shooting them after their arrest. Several times, Israel claimed the prisoners were trying to escape and that soldiers shot them.

It should be noted that the prisoners who received a release order from the occupation authorities following deteriorated health conditions martyred short time after they were released. They are namely Fayez Zeidat, Murad Abu Sakout, Zakaria Issa, Zuheir Labadah, Ashraf Abu Dhrie’, Jafar Awad and Naeem Al-Shawamrah.

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