Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) emphasised that the violations of the Israeli prison administration against Palestinian prisoners has increased significantly under the leadership of the current extremist government, including the Israeli Minister of Security, Itamar Ben Gvir. His policies in particular exacerbate the suffering of Palestinian prisoners, especially those with long sentences and leaders of the movement.
Recently, the occupation forces transferred 120 prisoners from Nafha Prison to collective isolation cells in Ofer Prison, which it set up specifically for prisoners whom it describes as “security threats”. Those transferred are the same prisoners the Israeli Prisons Administration had transferred from Hadarim Prison to Nafha Prison at the beginning of the year.
It is worth mentioning that Ofer prison is the only prison established by the occupation forces on the lands occupied in 1967, and this was the first time since its establishment where leaders and those with long sentences are detained in this prison. Such move indicates the Israeli government’s intention to escalate its arbitrary measures against leaderships of the prisoners.
The frequent transfers of prisoners result in psychological and material harm to both the prisoners and their families. The transfers also create a state of tension among detainees and could trigger rage among the Palestinian people who support the Palestinian prisoners and stand up with them against the illegal practices of the extremist government, while the international community remains silent.
Tragic conditions and new restrictions:
AOHR UK indicated that the Palestinian prisoners suffer from continued inhumane and tragic conditions, where they are subjected to torture, ill-treatment, medical negligence, physical and psychological abuse, as well as restrictions on family visits.
Despite these restrictions, the current occupation government is studying reducing family visits to one visit every two months, and the decision will be ratified next week, according to Ben Gvir.
The number of Palestinian prisoners inside the occupation prisons is 4,780, including 29 female prisoners and 160 minors, 3 of whom are minor girls, 915 administrative prisoners, including one female prisoner and 5 children.
The administrative detention is a flagrant violation of all human rights and charters, where the occupation authorities arrest administrative prisoners without charging them. It detains them based on a secret file secret that neither the detainee nor his lawyer has access to.
The policy of arbitrary detention of the Palestinians after stripping them of their basic rights to a fair trial must be brought to an end, as it violates all principles of justice in all legal and international norms.
Complicity against the rights of the Palestinian people
Recently, Ben Gvir visited some prisons, and decided to reduce the hours of exercising and exposure to sunlight for prisoners. An aid of his stated that the prison administration is not concerned with rehabilitating the prisoners, even if it would lead to their “death”. Such dangerous statement foreshadows a catastrophe; however it received no response.
So far, the international community has failed to end the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the prisoners, where medical negligence is widespread in prisons, and prisoners receive wrong diagnoses and treatments, which result in worsening their health conditions and eventually their death. Torture is also a widespread policy practised against minors in particular.
The inability of international bodies to end the inhumane practices of the Israeli occupation government against Palestinian prisoners, despite all present evidence, and statements of successive governments condemning the occupation leader, is a complicit act against the rights of the Palestinian people. It also reveals the support of the international community to the crimes committed against the Palestinians.
AOHR UK calls on civil society NGOs, the international press, political parties concerned with human rights, and advocates for justice of the Palestinian cause to support the prisoners and their legitimate demands, and to put an end to the extremist practices of the occupation government against them.