On Sunday morning (8 August), troops from the Special Repression Unit (SRU) stormed a wing of the Negev prison, assaulting prisoners and tampering with their personal property, according to Palestinian human rights groups. The same groups confirmed that the assault was a continuation of a policy of abusing prisoners, and an attempt to break detainees’ wills.
The SRU is a part of the Israeli occupation’s prison administration. They are used to repress prisoners, including Mitsada, Daror, Yamaz, Yamam, and Nahshun. The SRU’s particular role is to storm prisoners’ cells and intimidate and brutalise detainees.
SRU forces are often highly experienced, many having served in various units in the occupation army. Specially trained to abuse prisoners, they use various weapons, including blades, tear gas, tasers – which leave burns on prisoners’ bodies – and even firearms with the internationally prohibited “dumdum” shells.
The Israeli occupation authorities currently hold approximately 4,850 prisoners, including 41 female prisoners, 225 children, and 540 “administrative detainees”, according to groups specializing in prisoner affairs.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has repeatedly affirmed that the impunity enjoyed by Israeli occupation authorities’ leaders – their crimes committed without accountability, and the international cynicism towards their abuse of Palestinian citizens, and of prisoners in particular – sends exactly the wrong message to those authorities, and indeed encourages them to commit only more crimes.