Thursday, June 20, 2024

Nearly 5k Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails: Report

Israel is keeping about 4,900 Palestinians prisoners, including women and children, behind bars, according to a new report by Palestinian rights advocacy groups.

The report, which was released on Sunday, on the occasion of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, said the figure includes 31 Palestinian women and 160 children under the age of 18.

It was published by the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs, the Palestinian Prisoner Society, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Palestinian Wadi Hilweh Information Center in the holy occupied city of al-Quds, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The report added that there are more than 1,000 administrative detainees, including six children and two women, among Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails.

Administrative detention is an inhumane policy exercised by the occupying regime under which Israel keeps Palestinian detainees without charge or trial for up to six months, a period which can be extended for an infinite number of times. The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as “secret” evidence. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

The rights groups noted that the number of Palestinian prisoners who have spent more than 20 consecutive years in jail has reached 400, in addition to dozens of former inmates who were rearrested in 2014 and spent more than 20 years in two terms.

The number of prisoners who have been sentenced to life imprisonment stands at 554.

The Palestinian prisoners, the report went on, include 23 long-serving inmates, who were arrested before the signing of the US-mediated Oslo Accords in 1993.

It noted that Israeli authorities are developing their methods of abuse against Palestinian prisoners in order to undermine their resolve to struggle for their rights.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions without proper hygienic standards, and they have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

It was in late March that two prominent Palestinian rights groups highlighted Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners, saying the regime enjoys a culture of impunity in the absence of international accountability, and systematically subjects the detainees to various forms of torture.

The Addameer as well as the legal-aid human rights group, al-Haq, made the remarks in a joint statement at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, saying that Israel’s use of torture and “cruel treatment” against Palestinian prisoners is part of its settler-colonial and apartheid regime.

They further noted that various Israeli institutions seek to conceal crimes of torture, although they are well documented with evidence.

The Israeli regime is estimated to have detained more than one million Palestinians since the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day in 1948, which marked the loss of the Palestinian homeland.

Throughout that period, hundreds of the inmates have been killed as a result of torture and medical negligence in Israeli incarceration.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strike in an attempt to express outrage at their detention.

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