Who’s imprisoned in Israeli jails?
Published Jul 18, 2006 9:27 PM
“Today while we understand, appreciate and grasp the extreme
pressures the resistance in Palestine is being subjected to, both externally and
internally, we unite our voices and stand with theirs to say yes this issue is
worth that level of sacrifice, confrontation and steadiness for it is a matter
of principle and the issue of 10,000 detainees.” —Hezbollah
Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (June 30)
The extremely difficult situation of approximately 10,000
political prisoners held in a constellation of Zionist prisons is central for
understanding the events unfolding in Occupied Palestine and Lebanon.
Most of the prisoners are Palestinian, while a smaller number are
Lebanese and Jordanian. They include men, women and children, and also elected
officials. Some have been jailed since the 1970s.
Their cause has
resulted in numerous self-sacrificing actions by both Palestinian and Lebanese
militants. Over the years the prisoners have taken their own actions to defend
their dignity and their internationally recognized human rights.
detention camp is located near the West Bank city of Jenin. A lawyer for the
Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS)—Mustafa Al Azmouty—reported on
June 13 that conditions were deteriorating.
“The detainees said they
are punished any time they complain of mistreatment and that soldiers have
confined several detainees to solitary confinement without apparent
reasons,” he said, noting that, “The detainees also complained that
there is a shortage of food and that the food provided is often not very good
quality … The detainees added that soldiers repeatedly broke into their
rooms and attacked them without explanation.” (International Middle East
Media Center, June 14)
Mishkat Al Aseer is an organization that represents
Palestinian prisoners and exposes human rights violations. A lawyer from the
organization, Dirar Moneer Al Saady, was arrested in January and sent to Salem.
He is still in prison. According to his lawyer, Fareed Hawwash, “he was
tortured during interrogation and subjected to different sorts of humiliation
and psychological pressures.” (IMEMC, June 15)
Hawwash appealed to
humanitarian, governmental and non-governmental organizations to help get his
client released. Hamas and Hezbollah responded to his call with their recent
actions and demands that Israel free its political
Widespread prison abuse
Al Naqab prison is located
in the southern Palestinian desert. According to PPS, conditions at the prison
contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention which is concerned with the treatment of
civilians in occupied lands and prohibits collective punishment.
Detainees there, “complain of screams, beatings, insults and verbal
abuse. Many prisoners are denied cigarettes and access to special diet foods,
such as low-sodium foods for prisoners with health problems. Prisoners also face
refusal to use the toilet.”(Palestine News Network, June 22)
notorious Al Moskobiyya interrogation facility in Jerusalem is well known to
Palestinians. Jamil Hasan Mizhir, a 20-year-old from Ramallah, stated to PPS in
June that he was kicked and punched during interrogation and laser lights were
pointed at his eyes.
Another detainee, Ra’ed Ayid Al Aroury, was
tied to a chair from morning to night for 10 straight days.
News of the
successful Hamas and Hezbollah military operations, which captured prisoners of
war, reached jubilant prisoners in the Zionist dungeons. Punitive measures
At the Damoun and Shatta prisons, captors fired tear
gas into the cells. In response, 2,320 prisoners at Al Naqab held a one-day
hunger strike on July 14. (www.palestine-info.co.uk, July 14)
prisoners at Shatta continued their hunger strike for four days.
1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians have passed through Zionist prisons. The
struggle to liberate them is a just struggle. Their incarceration has been a
nightmare for their families and friends. Healthy young men and women have been
permanently scarred and disabled—physically and psychologically.
And many others—too many others for the Zionists—have become
even more committed to the struggle to liberate all of Palestine.
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