Prisoners battling 46°C at Gilboa Prison during extreme heatwave 

By Najib Farraj, Translated by Nour Qudeimat- PNN/ Bisan/

Prisoner Muhannad Al-Azza, detained in Gilboa prison in the valley city of Bisan, north of Palestine, describes what he calls “innovative torture” inside the prison during the severe heatwave in the country, as the temperature on Saturday went up to 46 degrees Celsius, or 114.8 Fahrenheit.

In an interview with the “Al-Quds” correspondent, prisoner Al-Azza said that the prisoners, who have fans in their cells, sense a smell of burning due to the extreme heat, as these fans only move the hot air inside the cell, making no difference at all.

“The days are very difficult, but the prisoners have no choice but to endure such thing. At the same time, prisoners feel as if they are in imminent danger, and the only thing that could save them is the end of this heatwave as soon as possible.”

He added that everything in the prisoners’ rooms is withering from the heat, starting with the iron of the beds to the floor tiles to the tightly shut windows, and ending with the water pipes that carry hot water, using which makes things even worse.

This Prison was established under the supervision of Irish experts in 2004 near Shatta prison in the Beit She’an (Bissan) area. It is a high-security prison, and is described as the most intensely secured of its kind where occupation authorities incarcerate Palestinian prisoners. It holds Palestinian prisoners whom the occupation accuses of carrying out operations inside the 1948 territories.

Human rights organizations described the prison as the “Israeli Guantánamo”, in an analogy to the infamous American prison with laminated roofs and floors, and lacks all basic human elements. The Prison administers use violence against the prisoners and receive instructions to deal with them with extreme cruelty. The prisoners describe it as the “last innovation of oppression and persecution.”

In this prison, the human dignity is violated, all international covenants are trampled, and the ugliness, cruelty and inhuman treatment exceeds what we have heard and known about the conditions in other prisons, and the mentality of the occupation is constantly innovating more hideous and bloody means.

Al-Azza pointed out that the health situation in the prison is very poor, as there are no health examinations for patients, and no medicine is provided for them, except for the general pain reliever “Acamol”. This pill is used for all diseases, aches and symptoms, and prisoners complain repeatedly about the policy of continuous procrastination in the submission of sick cases to treatment.

The prisoners delivered this complaint to a specialist doctor, saying that the “Acamol” pill is given to all the sick prisoners no matter what the sickness, and because of this, the drug has become ineffective. The administration now gives some of the prisoners drugs that they do not know effect or type of.

This is added to the fact that the food provided is of the worst possible and does not meet the minimum needs of the body, and therefore the prisoners are forced to buy some food supplies permitted at their own expense, in order to help them survive, and this constitutes an additional economic burden on their families, in light of very difficult economic conditions