Resistance fighters respond to IOF attacks in the West Bank, Al-Quds

January 23, 2023 

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The IOF arrest 14 Palestinians during their storming of the West Bank today, according to Al Mayadeen correspondent.

Israeli occupation forces storming Jenin (Archive)

Al Mayadeen correspondent in Ramallah reported that the IOF arrested around 14 Palestinians during their storming of the West Bank today.

Violent armed confrontations broke out between the Palestinian Resistance and the occupation forces in the city of Jenin, during which 3 brothers from Al-Mohr family were arrested.

Local sources reported that the IOF arrested the brothers Samer, Ahmed, and Mahmoud Al-Mohr, during their raid on the Jabriyat neighborhood in the city of Jenin, at dawn today, after which the Resistance fighters opened fire on Israeli occupation forces as they stormed the Jabriyat neighborhood in Jenin, according to Al Mayadeen correspondent in Ramallah.

The Resistance fighters also opened fire on the occupation forces as they stormed the city while carrying out simultaneously several incursions into many areas, including the Shuafat camp, north of occupied Al-Quds, and Aida Camp in Beit Lahm, where Israeli soldiers arrested the child Saif Darwish.
Yesterday, Palestinian Resistance fighters opened fire on the occupied territories, west of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian sources reported that Resistance fighters targeted the “Shaked” settlement inside the occupied territories, west of Jenin, opening heavy fire on it, without any injuries reported.

Earlier yesterday, the Israeli occupation police arrested a 13-year-old Palestinian from Al-Isawiya in occupied Al-Quds for allegedly intending to carry out a stabbing attack, claiming that a knife was found in his possession.

IOF seek to demolish the village of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar in occupied Al-Quds

In another context, Al Mayadeen correspondent mentioned that the Israeli Police Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a government meeting, to demolish the village of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar in occupied Al-Quds.

In this context, the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission called for a demonstration in Al-Khan Al-Ahmar this morning to prevent a delegation from the Likud Party from visiting the area in defiance of the demolition decision.

IOF kill Palestinian after arresting his son in Qalandia camp

11 Jan 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Freed Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis underlines that the unity of Palestinian prisoners is their biggest strength against the occupation.

The Palestinian prisoners are determined to face the fascist threats of Israeli Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and defeat him, freed Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis said on Wednesday.

In continuation of the Israeli occupation’s racist policies against Palestinians, Ben-Gvir said on Sunday that he instructed occupation forces to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces.

In a statement, Ben-Gvir, best known for calling for the killing of Palestinians, claimed that waving the Palestinian flag is an act in “support of terrorism.”

“I do not dread the idea of having my Israeli citizenship taken from me, for I am not Israeli, I am Palestinian,” Younis told Al Mayadeen upon being asked for a comment about “Tel Aviv” stripping him of his Israeli citizenship.

“I am Palestinian, living at my home and on my land in Palestine. I am Palestinian, not Israeli,” he stressed.

Furthermore, he touched on the people’s reaction to his freedom, underlining that “the warmth that the people received me with, and their loyalty to the prisoners is an appreciation of their struggles and a recognition of their sacrifices.”

“The unity of the prisoners is their biggest strength, and it is thwarting all conspiracies against them,” he added.

Al Mayadeen’s correspondent reported last week that Israeli occupation intelligence stormed the reception tent erected to welcome back freed Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis in the town of Aara in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948.

Meanwhile, there have been provocations against the Palestinian people when Israeli Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque last Tuesday, protected by a large number of Israeli occupation forces.

The move was largely condemned by several states across the world, including Jordan, which recently summoned the Israeli occupation ambassador over the incident, and Pakistan.

Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli prison, was freed on January 6, 2023, 40 years after he was first arrested in January 1983.

Palestine’s Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners revealed that the occupation took away all the joy by freeing him without prior notice at an early time in the morning in “Ra’anana”– far from the occupied Palestinian village ‘Ara, his hometown where a welcoming ceremony has been prepared by family and neighbors.

The occupation police threatened his family not to show any signs of celebrations, including raising Palestinian flags or Resistance banners and posters, in addition to playing patriotic songs.

It is worth noting that Younis’ mom died while he was in prison. Since he was captured in 1983, Sabiha Younis long waited for her son until she passed away.

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Israel Releases Palestinian Prisoner after 40 Years in Israeli Prison

January 5, 2023

After 40 years in an Israeli prison, Karim Younis was finally released and could pray on his mother’s graveyard. (Photo: via Al Jarmaq)

Israeli authorities released on Thursday the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis after spending 40 years behind bars, the official news agency WAFA reported.

Younis, a 66-year-old Fatah official from the Arab-Israeli town of Ara, was detained on January 6, 1983, for his resistance to the Israeli occupation. He was sentenced to life in prison, which was later commuted to 40 years.

He was supposed to have been freed in 2014, along with his cousin Maher Younis, in a deal brokered by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, Israel reneged on its promise and refused to free them.

(PC, WAFA, SOCIAL)

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Karim Younes free after 40 years in jail for murder of an IOF soldier | AFP

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 01-07 December 2022)

December 8, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinian civilians were killed, and 18 others, including 3 children, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

On 12 December 2022, ‘Ammar Mefleh (23) was killed after being executed in cold blood when one of the Israeli Border Police officers opened fire at him from a gun on the main street in Huwara village, Nablus. ( Details are available in PCHR’s press release).

On 05 December 2022, ‘Omar Manna’a (23) was killed after IOF opened fire at him and left him to bleed to death during the latter’s incursion into al-Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. ( Details are available in PCHR’s press release).

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF’s incursion into the Palestinian cities and villages, or suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 01 December 2022, a Palestinian was wounded in his feet after IOF opened fire at him and then arrested him before taking him to Hadassa Hospital- ‘Ein Kerem in clashes near the annexation wall gate in Beit Duqqo village in East Jerusalem.

On 02 December 2022, 3 Palestinians were wounded with rubber-coated metal bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum peaceful weekly protest, northern Qalqilya.

On 03 December 2022, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes with IOF at the entrance to Qasra village, southern Nablus.

On 06 December 2022, 3 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IOF near Psagot settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Jabal al-Taweel area, al-Bireh.

In the Gaza Strip, on 04 December 2022, IOF’s warplanes carried out several strikes on an agricultural land in al-Shokah village, Rafah and another in eastern Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, causing damage without reporting any casualties.  . Meanwhile, 8 shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 7 shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shore.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 180 Palestinians, including 120 civilians: 35 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and the rest were activists; 18 of them were assassinated. Also, hundreds of Palestinians, including women and children, were wounded in IOF’s attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 5 Palestinian detainees, including a woman, died in the Israeli prisons.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 2 tents used as classrooms and confiscated them with the desks as well as demolishing 4 agricultural rooms and 2 facilities and razing agricultural lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 December 2022, IOF demolished a tinplate room in western Dura, Hebron, noting that the owner built it only 10 days ago on the rubble of his house that was demolished by IOF for the second time on 06 October 2022. 

IOF also demolished an agricultural room in western Ethna village, Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 05 December 2022, IOF demolished a tinplate barrack of 1400 sqms used fot recycling steel and copper scrap in western Ethna, Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.  IOF also demolished a tinplate barrack of 100 sqms used as a livestock barn at the southern entrance to Terqoumia village, Hebron.  On the same day, IOF handed notices to cease construction works in 3 commercial warehouses near the entrance to Beit Rima village, northwestern Ramallah, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

On 07 December 2022, Israeli vehicles razed an agricultural land and destroyed a retaining wall in al-Walajah, Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 137 families homeless, a total of 805 persons, including 158 women and 368 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 154 houses and dozens of residential and agricultural tents. IOF also demolished 109 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered hundreds of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

Israeli settlers carried out 4 attacks that included demolishing an archeological hotel’s internal walls and assaulting Palestinian vehicles as well as uprooting trees. Details are as follows:

On 02 December 2022, settlers from “Ateret Cohanim” organization destroyed the internal archeological walls of “Little Petra” Hotel, which is part of and annexed to Petra Hotel overlooking ‘Omar Square in Bab al-Khalil area, East Jerusalem, preluding to seize it completely.

On 04 December 2022, settlers backed up by IOF assaulted Palestinian vehicles passing via the western entrance to Huwara village in Nablus and broke the windows of some of them as well as causing damage to their structures.

In the afternoon, 4 settlers assaulted with batons a Palestinian vehicle at Yitsihar settlement intersection in Nablus and broke the front and side windows before the driver could flee away.

On 05 December 2022, settlers uprooted around 30 olive trees and planted forest trees in an agricultural land in Qarawet Bani Hassan, western Salfit.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 253 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 165 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 85 Palestinians were arrested, including 14 children and 4 women.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 8,270 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 4,581 Palestinians were arrested, including 457 children and 49 women. IOF also conducted 34 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 105 Palestinians, including 64 fishermen, 32 infiltrators, and 9 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 85 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem arrested a Palestinian at those checkpoints.

On 05 December 2022, IOF closed the entrance to al-Jalazone refugee camp, northern al-Bireh, with cement cubes and remain it closed so far.

On 07 December 2022, IOF reclosed checkpoints and detector gates in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and later reopened them while keeping restrictions on movement.

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 4,266 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 191 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Zionist Occupation Forces Kill Palestinian Man near Ramallah

December 7, 2022

The Israeli army shot and killed a Palestinian man near Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs said that Mujahed Mahmoud Hamed, 32, from the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah, was shot and killed near his town by Israeli gunfire.

Reports said the Zionist soldiers killed Hamed following a pursuit after he was alleged to have been involved in shooting attacks at Israeli military posts in theenemy’s settlements.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Hamed spent more than nine years in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation and the latest was in 2020 when he was held in administrative detention without charge or trial for 21 months during which he went on hunger strike for 42 days demanding an end to his illegal detention. He was married and has one son.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian resistance groups continued confronting the Zionist enemy’s invasion of the various towns in the West Bank. In this regard, the Lions’ Den fighters repelled a Zionist forces which had attempted to storm Yasamina town in Nablus in order to arrest the chased young man Ahmad Nabulsi.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Israel Takes Punitive Measures against French-Palestinian Prisoner on Hunger Strike

October 4, 2022

French Palestinian prisoners Salah Hammouri. (Photo: via Amnesty International website)

The Israeli Prison Service has subjected French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Al-Hamouri to a series of punitive measures after he started a hunger strike on September 25, according to the lawyer representing him.

Quds Press reported that Hamouri’s lawyer visited him on Sunday in the northern West Bank prison of Hadarim, where he is held in solitary confinement under an administrative detention order.

Hamouri is on an open-ended hunger strike in protest at his detention with neither charge nor trial, along with 29 other administrative detainees. He only drinks water and refuses any medical examination.

His lawyer pointed out that three days after he started his hunger strike the prison authorities transferred Hamouri to solitary confinement. He is now isolated in a 2 x 2 square metre cell that lacks ventilation. The cell has one iron bed fixed to the wall with a thin 2cm mattress.

Other punitive measures imposed on Hamouri by the authorities reportedly include depriving him of outdoor time or activity and family visits and the right to purchase supplies; sending him to the bathroom in double hand and foot cuffs; and other humiliating conditions. Hamouri is suffering from back, joint and head pains.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested Hamouri on March 7 based on a three-month administrative detention order that has been renewed twice. He has been detained on a renewable basis ever since, based on “secret evidence”.

(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

Second episode of The Heroes: What is the ‘Qassem Soleimani’ room?

30 Sep 2022 23:04 

Source: Al Mayadeen

In the second episode of Al Mayadeen’s documentary The Heroes, the stories of Gilboa’s prisoners and their lives inside and behind the bars are narrated. What are the Jenin Brigade and the secret of The Fifth Room?

Second episode of The Heroes on Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

On the right side of the prison yard is a cluster of cells, one of which will become the scene of a momentous event; cell number 5. That is what the Israeli occupation called one of the prison cells in Gilboa. However, the Palestinian prisoners had another name for the cell that later became an integral part of the history of the Palestinian struggle.

In the second episode of The Heroes, commander Mahmoud Al-Aridah tells Al Mayadeen the story of General Qassem Soleimani’s room, the martyr of Al-Quds’ room. It is the room of the hour in the story of Operation Freedom Tunnel. Strategic at heart, this naming was a message to the Israeli occupation.

That is what martyr General Qassem Soleimani’s daughter confirmed when she found out what the prisoners decided to call the cell they were using to break from the Israeli occupation’s chains and send a jolt of lightning through the occupation’s so-called being. They decided to name the landmark cell after her martyred father. 

She saw that this reflected the deep connection General Soleimani had with the Palestinian freedom fighters, prisoners, and people as a whole. It shows that General Qassem was a part of them, and he will forever be embedded in their memory, perceived as living among them. “These people who are dear to us see that martyr Soleimani has a hand in these operations.”

Prisoner Mahmoud Al-Aridah, the man dissatisfied with the Israeli occupation’s chains so much so he tried to break out from its unjust prisons several times, forcing the Israeli occupation to transfer him repeatedly throughout occupied Palestine until he ended up in Gilboa. Al-Aridah’s stay in this prison, in particular, was set up as a challenge by the Israeli prison administration, as it thought that he could never leave its four reinforced walls.

However, commander Mahmoud planned with determination, and then he struck, executing a freedom operation the likes of which have never been seen by the occupation.

Prisoners succeeded as free people failed

There was a consensus on prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi becoming a part of The Heroes. The consensus showed Palestinian unity, for Zakaria, as a fellow Palestinian from Jenin, The Heroes were quick to embrace him as one of their own, sending a message of great success from inside the walls of the Israeli occupations’ prisons as those outside them failed to unite.

In the second episode of The Heroes, Al Mayadeen narrates prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi’s story and talks about him and his feats. Zakaria constitutes a certain kind of symbolism. Being the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Jenin refugee camp, Al-Zubaidi becoming a party to the operation and a part of the team was influential on the Palestinian public and freedom fighters.

Al-Zubaidi fought against the Israeli occupation forces several times and participated in several operations. He was behind a bombing in “Tel Aviv” in 2004, which sent the Israeli occupation rabidly searching for him for long stretches of time. His home was raided numerous times, which prevented him from seeing his family all at once. He has not since 1988 seen all of his brothers together, as at least one person would be in prison at any point.

Ayham Kamamji: The poet freedom fighter

“In 2003, he went on a mission in a booby-trapped car. He got unlucky. The car malfunctioned, and he has been wanted ever since,” said Fouad Kamamji, prisoner Ayham’s father.

Ayham has two bachelor’s degrees from Al-Aqsa University in Gaza and the Open University in Al-Quds, as well as a master’s degree from the University of Cairo. During his detention, he was known to have always been occupied with teaching young prisoners.

“Kamaji is a kind-hearted man. If you are ever in trouble, he will help you. He solves problems in prison and helps the men in there to read and write,” people close to Ayham Kamamji said in episode two of The Heroes.

Kamaji killed an illegal Israeli settler in Ramallah, or so is reported. But in reality, he was not any settler; he was an officer in the Israeli occupation’s airforce. Additionally, Kamamji was supposed to stand trial at the hands of the Palestinian Authority, but the Israeli occupation tricked him and arrested him while on trial.

In Gilboa, during his public trial following Operation Freedom Tunnel, Kamamji was the sound voice of reason, speaking eloquently and bravely about his roots in the resistance.

Munadel Nafi’at: A man of many feats

Mahmoud Al-Aridah told Al Mayadeen that back in 2018, he met Munadel Nafi’at, who was arrested and released several times before ending up in Gilboa and choosing to become a member of the team.

The Israeli occupation executed its revenge on Nafi’at’s family, arresting his brother Qaisar directly after arresting him. Qaisar is currently in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, his brother Majdou was sentenced to 22 months in prison a few months back, and he is not deprive of visitations.

He was arrested for the first time before he was liberated through the Loyalty of the Free prison swap deal on December 18, 2011, between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. It saw 1,400 Palestinian prisoners liberated from the Israeli occupation’s prisons. Ever since, he got arrested back to back.

Nafi’at spent around seven years in the Israeli occupation’s prisons, including through administrative detention. He was also arrested for being a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Who is Mahmoud Chreim?

The laborers; that is what Mahmoud Al-Aridah calls him. They had a major role in digging the tunnel and executing Operation Freedom Tunnel. Munadel Nafi’at, Mohammad Al-Aridah, Mahmoud Chreim, and Mohammad Abu Bakr. They were hardworking laborers.

During the same month as Operation Freedom Tunnel, Mahmoud Chreim was supposed to get out of prison. However, he chose to stay and be part of the operation, which landed him an additional four years in prison.

Mahmoud Chreim’s brother, Youssef, describes him as a “calm person who loved to fight and resist for the liberation of liberating Al-Aqsa mosque. He is a great person who did not care for any harm that he would endure for carrying out this operation, even if it meant that he would have to stand trial and face a longer sentence. All he cared about was these six prisoners facing a life sentence and contributing to their liberation. That is all he cared about.”

A hero that cut through the Israeli occupation’s prison bars is how Mahmoud Al-Aridah described him. That is Chreim, alongside Qusai Merhi, who was arrested before finishing his studies and was also sentenced to four more years in prison for helping The Heroes.

Jenin

Liberated prisoner Mohammad Jaradat talks in the second episode of The Heroes about Jenin. Why Jenin? Why are all the prisoners who participated in the operation from Jenin?

“These questions underline that there is a connection between the tunnel and these brothers’ plan to reach Jenin refugee camp, as well as some of them making it there, not to mention the inclination toward resistance in the Jenin refugee camp. That is a sentiment that is still present until now, even if it was between two tides, it is still a thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation’s security,” Jaradat underlined.

“Everyone is talking about Jenin today as the city spearheading the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank. Nablus, despite all its greatness and might, and despite being the most populated area in the West Bank, has lost its standing to [Jenin]. Martyr Ibrahim Nabulsi’s mother is from Jenin, and Jenin’s residents dealt with his martyrdom as if it occurred there. Therefore, the Jenin Brigade is a prime example of Palestinian resistance that can be used as a model for resisting the occupation on the level of the Palestinian cause, and this is what everyone is closely following,” he added.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah called the Jenin Brigade the “Tunnel Brigade” so that Operation Freedom Tunnel remains a symbol of resistance in the occupied West Bank.

The digging began. Those who should know found out, as other inmates believed that the whole operation was just to find a safe place for them to stash their phones, and they went out for recess as some of the heroes went to the cell where the whole thing took place. This is the beginning of the operation.

To know more details about Operation Freedom Tunnel, watch the upcoming episodes of The Heroes on Al Mayadeen at 21:00 Al-Quds time. 

‘PAINFUL MARCH FOR FREEDOM’: THE TRIUMPHANT LEGACY OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS

SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

As soon as I left prison, I went to Nael’s grave. It is adorned with the colors of the Palestinian flag and verses from the Holy Quran. I told my little brother how much I loved and appreciated him, and that, one day, we would meet again in paradise.

The above is part of a testimony given to me by a former Palestinian prisoner, Jalal Lutfi Saqr. It was published two years ago in the volume ‘These Chains Will Be Broken’.

As a Palestinian, born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza, I was always familiar with the political discourse of, and concerning, political prisoners. My neighborhood, like every neighborhood in Gaza, is populated with a large number of former prisoners, or families whose members have experienced imprisonment in the past or present.

However, starting in 2016, my relationship with the subject took on, for the lack of a better term,  a more ‘academic’ approach. Since then, and up to now, I have interviewed scores of former prisoners and members of their families. Some were imprisoned by Israel, others by the Palestinian Authority. I even spoke to prisoners who experienced the brutality of Middle Eastern prisons, from Iraq, to Syria, to Egypt and Lebanon. A few particularly unlucky ones have endured multiple prison experiences and were tortured by men speaking different languages.

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Some prisoners, now quite old, were imprisoned by the British army, which colonized Palestine between 1920 and 1948. They were held according to the 1945 so-called Defense (Emergency) Regulations, an arbitrary legal code that allowed the British to hold as many rebelling Palestinian Arabs without having to provide a cause or engage in due process.

This system remains in effect to this day, as it was adopted by Israel following the end of the British Mandate. Following minor amendments in 1979, and the renaming of the law into the “Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emergency”, this is essentially today’s so-called ‘Administrative Detention’. It allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians, practically indefinitely, based on ‘secret evidence’ that is not revealed, even to the defense attorney.

These ‘emergency’ laws remain in place, simply because Palestinians never ceased resisting. Thousands of Palestinians were held without evidence or trial during the First Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 1987. Most of them were kept in horrific living conditions, in tent cities in the Naqab Desert.

According to the Palestinian Commission on Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, around one million Palestinians were imprisoned between 1967 and 2021. Currently, hundreds of Palestinian ‘administrative detainees’ are held in Israeli prisons, an act that violates international law on various counts – holding prisoners without trial or due process, and transferring prisoners to enemy territories, the latter being a stark violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Of course, respecting international law has never been Israel’s strongest suit. In fact, Israel continues to deliberately ignore international law in numerous aspects of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, rationalizing such actions on ‘security’ grounds.

Palestinians are also doing what they do best, resist, under the harshest circumstances and by every means available to them. Tellingly, the strongest of such resistance takes place inside prison walls, by gaunt looking, and often dying hunger strikers.

Khalil Awawdeh, a 40-year-old Palestinian from a village near Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the latest prisoner hunger striker to make history, by simply refraining from eating for 180 days. His weight has dropped to 38 kilograms, after losing over 40 kilograms while on hunger strike. The images of his half-naked, skeletal body have been deemed ‘graphic’ and ‘offensive’ to some social media users, and were removed as soon as they were shared. At the end, he could only whisper a few words. Though barely audible, they were filled with courage.

Khalil Awawdeh
Khalil Awawdeh in bed at Asaf Harofeh Hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, Israel, Aug. 24, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

On August 31, Awawdeh ended his hunger strike, after reaching a deal with the Israeli prison administration to release him on October 2. His first words after that agreement were hardly those of a dying man, but of a triumphant leader: “This resounding victory extends the series of great victories achieved by the mighty and honorable people of this nation.”

These words, however, were not unique. They carried the same sentiment communicated to me by every single freed prisoner I have interviewed in recent years. None have any regrets, even those who spent most of their lives in dark cells and in shackles; even those who lost loved ones; even those who left prison with chronic diseases, to die soon after their release. Their message is always that of defiance, of courage, and of hope.

Awawdeh is neither the first, nor the last prisoner to undergo these life-threatening hunger strikes. The strategy may be explained, and understandably so, as the last resort or as acts of desperation by individuals who are left without alternatives. But for Palestinians, these are acts of resistance that demonstrate the power of the Palestinian people: even in prison, handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied every basic human right, a Palestinian can fight, and win. Awawdeh did.

When Jalal Lutfi Saqr learned that his brother Nael was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, he was a prisoner in Israel. He told me that the first thing he did when he learned of his brother’s death was kneeling down and praying. The following day, Jalal spoke to the mourners in his Gaza refugee camp using a smuggled cell phone by telling them, “Ours is a long and painful march for freedom.

“Some of us are in prison; others are underground, but we will never cease our fight for our people. We must remain committed to the legacy of our forefathers and our martyrs. We are all brothers, in blood, in the struggle and in faith, so let’s remain united as one people, as brothers and sisters, and carry on, despite the heavy losses and tremendous sacrifices.”

Jalal’s call on his people was made twenty years ago. It remains as relevant today, as it was then.

Gilboa prison break: Triumph of the will to freedom

September 7, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Ali Jezzini 

“Where will you be seven years from now?” a Shin Bet investigator asked Al-Arida. He answered, “I will be free.”

With such action, the colonizer utilizes incarceration, besides other tools such as monitoring, espionage, and killing, to give the impression that he is omnipotent and omniscient to the smallest details of the colonized’s life, thoughts, hopes, and dreams

According to an Israeli occupation prison authorities official, the Gilboa prison was “more secure than the Bank of Israel’s safes.” This was announced days before it opened in June 2004 during the Second Palestinian Intifada.

The Gilboa Prison, located in the north of occupied Palestine, where six Palestinian prisoners bravely escaped from custody on September 6, 2021, was formerly regarded as “Israel’s” most heavily guarded facility. No one could escape that fort, until the successful attempt on the dawn of that day.

The 2021 prison break was not the first one to be carried out by Palestinian prisoners, as 29 escape attempts did also occur during the history of this occupation. Some of these endeavors were successful while others did not have the same fortune. The first escape dates back to July 31, 1958, when 77 prisoners out of 190 succeeded in liberating themselves from the “Shatta” prison, though 11 of them were martyred during the courageous attempt. In 1987, six prisoners managed to cut the bars of the bathroom window in a prison in Gaza, which led them to their anticipated freedom. Also in 1996, an escape operation was conducted through an 11-meter tunnel by the two prisoners Ghassan Mahdawi and Tawfiq Al-Zaben.

British colonialism and the idea of subjugation 

The story of the Palestinian struggle against prisons does not start with the Israeli occupation though; British colonialism or the so-called mandate of Palestine had a fair share of inflicting suffering on the Palestinian people along their struggle for freedom. 

Palestinians opposed British colonialism and declared Zionist aspirations to annex Palestine, their homeland, and rename it a “Jewish state”. They protested in al-Quds, Haifa, Yafa, Safad, and many more of their cities. Following the uprising of the Palestinian people, hundreds were arrested by the British occupation, and 26 of these detainees had been sentenced to death by hanging. While most of the sentences were replaced by life imprisonment, 3 prisoners received the full sentence that was carried out in the Akka prison; their names were Fouad Hijazi, 26, Atta al-Zeer, 35, and Mohammed Khalil Jamjoum, 28.

In Palestine, the popular song “Min Sijin Akka,” which translates as “From Akka Prison,” is still sung in honor of the 3 Palestinian heroes. The poem’s author is unknown; however, some claim that a prisoner by the name of Awad, a revolutionary who was facing death at the hands of the British colonial overlords, wrote it on the walls of the Akka jail.

During the consequent Great Palestinian Revolution of 1936, the main British punitive strategy was collective punishment. Property destruction was the primary method of collective punishment used by the British Army. Sometimes entire villages are destroyed, as was the case with Mi’ar in October 1938.

The British occupation forces carried out punitive operations against cities in addition to villages. In August 1938, about 5,000 men were detained in Nablus for two days in a cage and questioned one by one. The city was searched while they were being held, and after their release, each detainee was given a rubber stamp.

The British occupation imposed the death penalty for the unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in June 1937, but because many Jewish European settlers had permission to carry firearms and store ammunition, this order was primarily targeted at Palestinian Arabs. 112 people were hanged in the Akka Prison for such accusations.

In one incident narrated by Harry Arrigonie, a policeman working for the British occupation, approximately 20 prisoners were loaded aboard a bus, and those who attempted to flee were shot. The bus’s driver was then forced to drive over a potent land mine that had been planted by the soldiers, which destroyed the vehicle and scattered the captives’ disfigured bodies throughout the area. The bodies were subsequently forced to be buried in a pit by the other Palestinian villagers.

To sum up, the zionist Jewish Agency, which primary goal was to colonize Palestine and ethnically cleanse it, was effective in conveying “the message that the Zionist movement and the British Empire were standing shoulder to shoulder against a mutual adversary, in a war in which they had common goals.”

To avoid mine and shooting operations, it was standard British occupation procedure to force Arab prisoners to travel with military convoys. Soldiers would tie the prisoners to the lorry bonnets or place them on little flatbeds on the front of trains. Any prisoners who attempted to flee would be shot, the army warned the captives. According to Arthur Lane, a Manchester Regiment private, some soldiers would casually drive over the prisoner after abruptly braking at the end of a voyage in the vehicles, killing or injuring him.

Israeli occupation: a ‘good’ student

The inhumane and monstrous acts of abuse of the British occupation were inherited by the successors of their colonial project and their good student, the Israeli occupation. The philosophy behind the incarceration of the colonized does not stop the mere fact of physically hindering his movement and limiting his freedom; it is an action directed at breaking his spirit, at making him understand that any act of rebellion against the unjust status quo, will only bring a bad outcome.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), a total of 222 Palestinians have been martyred in Israeli prisons since 1967, a year when the first Palestinians were martyred under custody. Nassar Taqatqa, Omar Younis, and Faris Baroud were not just numbers and names, they were humans made with flesh and blood, and full of sentiments and dreams. While The Israeli occupation constantly threatens the reimposition of the death penalty, it is putting it into practice in reality, with escalating extrajudicial executions – particularly against Palestinian youth, in prison or outside of the cells.

With such action, the colonizer utilizes incarceration, besides other tools such as monitoring, espionage, and killing, to give the impression that he is omnipotent and omniscient to the smallest details of the colonized’s life, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. On the opposite hand, the act of refusing such fake omnipotence and omniscience is reflected the most not only in the fact of resistance before incarceration, and not only in the actions that preserve the identity and ideas of the imprisoned, but also in the fact of refusing the unjust imprisonment as a whole, thus escaping, or in many cases attempting to escape and snatch one’s freedom from the jaws of the colonizer.

The Israelis have shown extreme sensitivity to such attempts, as they tried to portray themselves as invincible and all-knowing to hide their inherent weakness that lies in the solid fact that they are a foreign minority that does belong to this land. In the light of such analysis, descriptions such as “a major security and intelligence failure”, made by the occupation’s police apparatus, make more sense, as the successful prison break can acquire a greater meaning and send a message to the other oppressed that resistance is not futile. 

The Path To Al-Quds

Mahmoud Al-Aridathe mastermind behind the Operation Freedom Tunnel, upon his recapture, told the Israeli occupation “The first [goal] was to see family and live in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s protection, and the second was to prove to all Israeli security organizations and the Israeli government that they are a failure,” by proving that the prisoners “managed to dig a tunnel from ‘Israel’s’ most secure prison.”

In another context, Mahmoud Al-Arida said that they called the tunnel they dug The Path To Al-Quds, emphasizing that the success of their breakout “has told the whole world that we are advocates of freedom and the rightful owners in the face of a ruthless oppression, and thus the world should stand by us in order to liberate our land.”

The ‘liberation philosophy’ that we mentioned in the previous section of this article, is present in the words of Al-Arida, one of the heroes who managed to liberate themselves a year earlier. The prisoners not only shatter the colonizer’s omnipotence mirage, but they were well aware of the repercussions of their actions and the political meaning behind them. To Mahmoud Al-Arida, freedom tasted like would “figs, prickly pears, and pomegranates from all across Palestine,” as he said in a letter to his mother.

“Where will you be seven years from now?” a Shin Bet investigator asked al-Arida according to the occupation police, the ‘prisoner’ answered, “I will be free after I’m released in a deal with Hamas. I am sure I will be included in a deal and I’ll be free.”

The so-called “unbreakable safe” was shattered not by only the intelligence and spirit of the Palestinian detainees representing the undying resistance will of the colonized, but through the belief that their actions will bear fruits, as sweet as the ones Al-Arida tasted during the days he had freedom in his lungs.

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Gilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jail

September 6, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Rasha Reslan 

Did you know that in Gilboa Prison, “Israel’s” maximum-security prison, six Palestinian heroes, driven by their thirst for freedom, outlined one of the most epic stories?

The six Palestinian prisoners are incarcerated in deplorable conditions.

On Monday morning of September 6, 2021, six Palestinian prisoners carried out a heroic operation to liberate themselves from the Israeli Gilboa prison, one of the most fortified Israeli prisons — nicknamed in “Israel” as the “iron safe”. with determination, they dug a tunnel that led them outside the prison walls. Despite the high-security facility, the six heroes were able to dig their way out of the prison through concrete and metal rebar floors.

Their will to live freely inspired millions around the world.

Know their names:

The six Palestinian heroes, who’ve carried out Operation Freedom Tunnel and showed the world the true meaning of resistance and resilience, are Mahmoud Al-Arida, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Yaqoub Qadri, Mohammad Al-Arida, Ayham Kamamji, and Munadel Nafi’at.

Mahmoud Abdullah Al Arida (46 years old)

Al-Arida is the architect of the Gilboa prison escape operation – Operation Freedom Tunnel.
 
He was born in the town of Arraba, Jenin District. He was arrested for the first time in 1992 and released in 1996, then arrested again in the same year on September 21, 1996.
 
He was also sentenced to life in prison, in addition to 15 years, on charges of membership in the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement and participation in resistance operations.
 
During his lengthy detention, prisoner Al-Arida was subjected to punishment and restrictive measures, as he was isolated on June 19, 2011, for four months, after which an internal court convened and renewed his isolation for 60 additional days with no justification.  
 
Furthermore, the occupation prisons authority re-isolated him on June 11, 2014, upon the discovery of a tunnel in Shatta prison through which he intended to escape.
 
In a heartfelt letter to his mother, in which he described his time outside the Gilboa prison before being recaptured, his words had a great impact: “I tried to go to you and embrace you dear mother before you leave this world, but God has decreed for us otherwise.”

Zakaria Al-Zubaidi (46 years old)

Born in the Jenin refugee camp, Al-Zubaidi is the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement. Al-Zubaidi was elected as a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in 2006 and was arrested in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 27, 2019.
 
Prior to the prison break, Al-Zubaidi was still detained and no verdict was issued against him after he was charged with being a member of the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

Mohammad Qassem Al-Arida (39 years old)

He was born in the town of Arraba, Jenin District. He was arrested in an Israeli ambush on January 7, 2002, then released in mid-March 2002.
 
On May 16, 2002, he was besieged and arrested in Ramallah and was sentenced to three life sentences and 20 years in prison.
 
Al-Arida said, “My five-day journey through the streets of my country will compensate all the years of detention.”

Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri (49 years old)

Qadri was born in the village of Bir Al-Basha, Jenin district. In 2000, he was chased by the occupation. He participated in the battle to defend Jenin camp in 2002 and was arrested on October 18, 2003. In 2004, Qadri was sentenced to two life sentences and 35 years in prison. In 2014, he planned an unsuccessful escape through a tunnel from Shatta prison with a group of prisoners. He said, “A five-day journey is great for a person who has been deprived of everything for 19 years.”

Ayham Kamamji (35 years old)

Born in the village of Kafr Dan, Jenin, the occupation began pursuing Kamamji in May 2003 and arrested him on July 4, 2006. He was sentenced to life in prison. Kamamji was the first to respond to the assassination of the martyrdom of the Al-Quds Brigades’ Muhammad Kamil, by carrying out a shooting on an Israeli bus in Ramallah.

Munadel Nafi’at (26 years old)

Nafi’at was born in the town of Ya`bad, Jenin district. He was arrested in 2006 and released in 2015. Then, he was re-arrested in 2016 and 2020 on charges of belonging to Saraya Al-Quds (Al-Quds Brigades) — the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement — and participating in resistance operations against the occupation forces.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli occupation re-arrested Yaqoub Qadri and Mahmoud Al-Arida on September 10, 2021, in occupied Al-Nasira. On September 11, 2021, the occupation re-arrested Zakaria Al-Zubaidi and Mohammad Qassem Al Arida and re-arrested Ayham Kamamji and Munadel Nafi’at on September 19, 2021. 

“Israel’s” crushed pride

“The first [goal] was to see my family and live in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s protection, and the second was to prove to all Israeli security organizations and the Israeli government that they are a failure. We managed to dig a tunnel from Israel’s most secure prison,” Al Arida said as quoted by Israeli media during his investigation shortly after he was re-arrested after the operation.

Simultaneously, Israeli media reported the occupation’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked as saying that the Gilboa Prison escape is a serious failure that cannot be covered up, as it exposed a series of failures in the prison service.

According to Israeli Channel 12, Shaked said she believed that the PM’s decision to form an official inquiry on the Gilboa escape and the prison service’s failure was the right step to take.  
 
She also added that the escape has revealed two things: the prison service’s many failures, and the living conditions of the “security prisoners”.
 
Israeli Minister of Public Security Omar Bar-Lev considered the operation an immense failure of the Israeli establishment.
 
In this context, Knesset Member Amichai Chekli told Channel 13 that “the Gilboa prison escape operation is one of the prison service’s most serious failures.”
  
It was also reported by a senior security official that the escape of prisoners from Gilboa reflects a “series of dangerous failures,” noting that estimates reveal that the digging of the tunnel took years, not months.
 
On his part, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said “the incident is a serious one”.

When a hole humiliates “Israel”

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen English, the Representative of the Islamic Jihad movement in the Prisoners Committee of the National and Islamic Forces Yaser Mizher commented on the systemic failure of “Israel” by saying, “the six prisoners managed to dig the tunnel over a period of 9 months, demonstrating the fiascoes of the Israeli security establishment”.

“The six prisoners rubbed the occupation’s nose in the dirt”, he tersely explained.

“Despite daily security inspections, the Israeli occupation was unable to detect any signs before the operation and was not aware of the prison break until six hours,” he added.

After the operation, the Israeli enemy mobilized all of its military force to arrest the six heroes over a period of five days, he said.

“Israel’s” clampdown

In a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “Israel” unleashed a wave of torture and abuse against the six Palestinian heroes after their re-arrest, where they are imprisoned under inhumane conditions.

Mizher told Al Mayadeen English that the six prisoners were subjected to brutal beating which left obvious bruises on their bodies.

Mizher added that the Israeli occupation has also threatened and arrested the six prisoner’s family members, including the sister and brother of prisoner Mahmoud Al-Arida.

The current Health conditions of the six prisoners

Kefah Al-Arida, a former Palestinian prisoner, and cousin of Mahmoud and Mohammad Al-Arida, revealed to Al Mayadeen English the current health situations of the six Palestinian prisoners.

Kefah divulged that Mohammad Al-Arida is suffering from severe back pain and was given painkillers only after his lawyer pressured the Israeli prison authorities.

Meanwhile, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi who was severely beaten alongside Mohammad Al-Arida is suffering from a dislocated jaw with no access to medical care, according to Kefah.

The ex-Palestinian prisoner told Al Mayadeen English that two prisoners, Yaqoub Qadri and Ayham Kamamji, are suffering from critical health issues.

Kefah revealed that Qadri’s health is further deteriorating since he suffers from a heart condition with no access to medical care, stressing that Qadri also needs surgery. In addition, Kefah also noted that Qadri suffers from dangerous head injuries, due to consistent beatings.

The ex-prisoner also told Al Mayadeen English that Ayham is suffering from a severe stomach disease with no access to medical care.

In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and others, the Israeli occupation pursues a policy of medical neglect against Palestinian prisoners deliberately to aggravate their sufferings, Kefah concluded.

Solitary confinement

One of the harshest forms of torture in Israeli prisons is transferring prisoners to solitary confinement.
After an unjust trial, the six Palestinian prisoners were charged with escaping in October by the Israeli Magistrate’s Court.

The penalty for fleeing prison, where prisoners are constantly subjected to abuse, mistreatment, and deprivation of their basic human rights, is an additional five years.

Simultaneously, the Israeli occupation authorities transferred the six Palestinian prisoners to solitary confinement in various prisons.

since a year ago, the heroes have been incarcerated in deplorable conditions and subjected to inhumane treatment, including arbitrary beatings and denial of family visits.

They are forcefully cramped in dark cells “unfit for the residing of humans,” subjected to illegal punitive measures, including being tied to their beds for hours or even days at a time, segregation from other prisoners, and subjection to unjustified, non-consensual strip searches. Prisoners prefer sleeping on the floor due to bed bugs festering the mattresses, while the walls are moldy and crumbling, in addition to mice and rats infesting the cells. As they suffer in abysmal conditions, strict routines govern every aspect of their lives.

Furthermore, Palestinian prisoners suffer from acute mental health problems due to overcrowding and lack of sunlight, especially in solitary confinement. They have little or no access to medical care.

Types of Solitary confinement in Israeli prisons:

First type of Solitary confinement

The first type of solitary confinement is not only the cruelest, most inhumane, and degrading form of punishment, but also a serious form of human rights violation.

The cell is 180 cm long and 80 cm wide. It has no windows and no toilet. The Israeli occupation usually keeps the prisoner locked inside for 21 days; yet, that period can be extended to 37 days, breaking their own laws.

The cell has one camera, and it is always directed at the prisoner, leaving no room for privacy whatsoever. 

In this cell, a prisoner loses the track of time. The prisoner is kept alone in this cell for 24 hours a day.
The six Palestinian prisons have been transferred to this type of solitary confinement before the Israeli court decision.

Ex-Palestinian prisoners described this type of solitary confinement as a grave.

“It doesn’t require much imagination to realize how horrid the situation is: there is no bathroom in solitary confinement, one could barely possess space to breathe, let alone the privilege to use a toilet more than the once-every-6-A.M. per day”, Kefah told Al Mayadeen English.

“If you are forced to use the cell as a toilet, then you have to stay awake till the next day until they give you little water to clean the cell by yourself, he continued, adding, “this adds up to the culmination of diseases and health issues that the prisoner is already suffering from in the prison”.

“This is part of a deliberate policy the Israelis use to create a ripple of intended effects on the psyche of the Palestinian prisoner, “he added.

  • Gilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jailGilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jail

Second type of Solitary confinement

The cell is 250 cm long and 200 cm wide. It has a small window and a toilet. The prisoner’s sentence in this type of solitary confinement is extended every 6 months. The six Israeli prisoners have been in this type of solitary confinement for almost a year now.

It is worth mentioning that there are two cameras in this cell — one directed toward the prisoners and the other directed toward the toilet. Two prisoners occupy this cell. A prisoner can spend at least 5 years in this type of confinement.

The prisoner is allowed to spend one hour a day outside the cell. He or she is handcuffed and taken to another room with half a meter concrete window.

The prisoners are not allowed to wear their own clothing. They are also deprived of family visits, books, and essential personal hygiene products.

Third type of Solitary confinement

The cell is 300 cm long and 250 cm wide. It has a small window and a toilet. The prisoner’s sentence in this type of solitary confinement is extended for years. The prisoner is allowed to spend only one hour a day outside the cell. Two prisoners occupy this cell.

We have seen many examples of how the Israeli entity has been humiliated time and time again, not only by the Gilboa prison break but even by its own crumbling internal politics. Or did their own crumbling internal dilemmas pave the way for the Gilboa break? One thing is certain, “Israel’s” image, no matter how security-tight, will never be the same.

Read more: Hunger Strikes: Palestinian Prisoners’ Last Resort

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Medical neglect kills Palestinian man detained in occupation prisons

September 3, 2022

By Al Mayadeen English 

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen English

40-year-old prisoner Moussa Abu Mahamid was martyred in the “Assaf Harofeh” hospital as a result of the occupation’s policy of medical negligence, reveals the Palestinian Prisoners Information Office.

Mousa Abu Mahamid was killed by Israeli medical neglect.

The Palestinian Prisoners Information Office announced that 40-year-old prisoner Moussa Abu Mahamid, from the village of Beit Ta’mar, east of Beit Lahm, is martyred.

Abu Mahamid was infected with an unknown germ inside the Israeli prison, and his treatment was delayed by the Israeli prison authorities, resulting in the deterioration of his health, according to local sources.

Prisoner Abu Mahamid was martyred in the “Assaf Harofeh” hospital as a result of the occupation’s policy of medical negligence, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Information Office.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club held the occupation fully responsible for the martyrdom of Mousa Abu Mahamid.

In further detail, the Palestinian Prisoners Information Office said that “the Israeli occupation forces arrested Abu Mahamid on the pretext of entering into occupied Al-Quds without a permit, as per his family.”

The club went on to say that his health has recently deteriorated significantly shortly after his arrest, then he was transferred to the Israeli “Assaf Harofeh” hospital until he passed away.

“Israel” has been increasingly targeting Palestinians under the pretext of entering occupied Palestinian territories without a permit since the beginning of this year. It is worth noting that the occupation not only arrests Palestinians but also shoots to kill them, as per the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

Read more: The Policy of Neglect; Behind the Walls of the Occupation Prisons

Captive Movement cancels hunger strike as occupation agreed to demands

1 Sep 2022

Source: Agencies & Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestinians achieve a new victory as Israeli occupation prisons fulfill their demands and cancel the penalties imposed on them for years.

“The enemy’s retreat from its measures indicates that it does not retreat from its aggression except when it sees our steadfastness and unity”

The Captive Movement in Palestine

The Captive Movement in Palestine issued a statement announcing they canceled the open hunger strike, which had started earlier today after the Israeli occupation prison administration retracted its arbitrary decisions against the prisoners and fulfilled their demands.

The Captive Movement said in its statement, “We decided to stop the open hunger strike after the prison administration retracted its decision to arbitrarily transfer life-sentenced prisoners.”

The statement added, “The Zionist enemy and its tools represented in prison management have realized that the prisoners are ready to pay every price for their dignity and rights,” pointing out that “the enemy realized that behind the prisoners there is a people and a resistance that is ready to pay all the costs in order to support its fighters in the prisons of the Zionist occupation.”

The Captive Movement affirmed that “the enemy’s retreat from its measures indicates that it does not retreat from its aggression except when it sees our steadfastness and unity,” and hoped that “the unity of the prisoners would extend to be achieved in all the squares of the homeland to confront the occupation.”

For its part, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said that what happened was “a victory for the Captive Movement in the occupation’s prisons by achieving its demands and canceling the penalties imposed on it for years.”

The commission confirmed that this agreement “shall take effect immediately,” noting a “temporary suspension of the strike,” and warning that “in the event of a breach, the Captive Movement will resume its escalatory steps immediately.”

Ministry of Detainees Affairs: The prisoners have forced the occupation authorities to achieve their demands

Commenting on the matter, the Ministry of Detainees Affair in Gaza said that “the prisoners scored a new victory over the occupation prison administration and were able to force it to respond to their demands and retract its decision to arbitrarily transfer life-sentenced prisoners on a regular basis.” 

It continued, “Victory could not have been achieved were it not for the stability and unity of the Captive Movement, under the leadership of the Supreme Emergency Committee of the Captive Movement, which was able to lead the battle.”

The Ministry of Detainees salutes the prisoners for their patience and steadfastness, and to all institutions, factions, and media who played an important role in supporting the prisoners and achieving victory.

The Prisoners Information Office reported on Wednesday that the number of prisoners of the first regiment, which will go on a mass hunger strike on Thursday, has risen to nearly 1,200. The strike is part of the escalatory steps approved by the Prisoner Movement Emergency Committee against the measures taken by the Israeli Prison Service against the prisoners.

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 Palestinian Detainee Ends Hunger Strike After Securing His ’Release Deal’

Sept 1, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh has ended his 172-day hunger strike after the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime reportedly agreed to release him in October.

Awawdeh ended the protest action with a cup of tea on Wednesday, Palestinian news outlets reported.

Speaking from his hospital bed, the 40-year-old said he would remain hospitalized until he could walk again.

The father of four girls launched the hunger strike shortly after his arrest in December last year in protest at his so-called “administrative detention.”

Under the policy, which has been practiced by the occupying regime for decades, Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy renewable periods of time without being charged, tried, or convicted.

Awawdeh initially staged a 111-day hunger strike, which he suspended in light of an ‘Israeli’ promise to release him. He resumed the protest action when the regime’s prison officials reneged on their promise to let him go free.

Speaking last month, his lawyer Ahlam Haddad warned that the prisoner could die any moment due to his deteriorating condition, which saw him losing about 45 kilograms.

“I feel that my body is consuming itself internally,” the inmate said at the time, his eyes widening and his voice fluctuating as he spoke. “God’s support, steadfastness, and patience are what enable me to continue.”

Earlier, Awawdeh’s wife asked the international community to put pressure on Tel Aviv for the immediate release of her husband. In an interview with Al-Aqsa Radio, she said that her husband’s physical condition is very critical.

She pointed out that “the images of my husband are before the eyes of the whole world today, as he only weighs 38 kilo grams and has little flesh on his bones.”

The European Union said it is “shocked” to see pictures of Awawdeh’s frail body, calling for his release.

“Unless charged immediately, he has to be released,” the EU delegation to Palestine said in a post published on its Twitter page.

Calls were growing internationally for the release of the 40-year-old Awawdeh, after his wife shared images of his extremely emaciated body on Sunday, a day after she visited his hospital room.

Awawdeh said in a video message that “his body, on which only bone and skin remain, does not reflect the weakness and nakedness of Palestinian people, but rather reflects and mirrors the face of real occupation.”

He has been arrested five times since 2005 for political activism, and has been placed in administrative detention three times ever since.

In another video shared earlier by his lawyer, Awawdeh thanked those who stood by him before ending his hunger strike.

“Thank you for your support,” he said. “You are a great nation. You are a great nation.”

When pictures speak volumes: Awawdeh facing death any moment

 August 28, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Pictures of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh speak volumes of the Israeli intransigence and brutality.

And the international community still maintains silence…

The Prisoners Authority published horrific pictures of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 6 months now.

His wife and father took pictures of him today, exposing the truth of an ongoing “immoral and inhuman crime against him by the occupation prisons administration, and the Israeli intelligence service that insist on killing him,” even if slowly, according to a statement by the Prisoners Authority.

The Authority’s statement added, “These images are more than enough to awaken the conscience of the world that should hold the [Israeli] occupation accountable.”

Today, the Prisoners Information Office announced that Awawdeh is continuing his open hunger strike for the 166th day, amid critical health conditions.

Awawdeh’s lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, said 3 days ago that he could die at any moment. 

In March, Awawdeh began an open-ended hunger strike to demand his release, knowing that he was arbitrarily arrested as per the Israeli occupation’s arbitrary administrative detention policy, and his lawyer said he has only been only drinking water since.

For their part, Egyptian mediators recently called for the release of Awawdeh under a ceasefire agreement that ended the recent 3-day Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The freedom of Awawdeh was one of the clauses of the agreement between Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Israeli occupation after several days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians and wounding hundreds of others.

The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said on August 7 that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

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Commission of the Detainees Spox: Open Hunger Strike Is Response to “Israeli” Mistreatment of Palestinian Detainees

 August 28, 2022 

By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – In the past few days, the “Israel” Prison Service [IPS] announced its intention to take measures against Palestinian life imprisoned detainees – some 560 prisoners – which included the arbitrary transfer of detainees from their sections and rooms to new sections and rooms and different prisons.

This measure not only puts the families of the detainees in great suffering during family visits, but it also strips them from their social environment and affects their national and organizational role.

Lately, a growing standoff between IPS personnel and Palestinian detainees has caused extreme tension in “Israeli” prisons. And this week, Palestinian prisoners kicked off a series of protests against persistent mistreatment by the personnel.

Accordingly, the Supreme National Emergency Committee, which groups the detainees from several Palestinian factions, was founded to address the situation at this stage.

“The detainees had announced an initial step the protest that meals are to be returned on Mondays and Wednesdays of every week; in addition to rebellion against a set of IPS rules, regulations and instructions, among them is the issue of daily security checks in all rooms and sections,” Spokesman for the Commission of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, Hassan Abed-Rabbo told al-Ahed News.

Abed-Rabbo says that additional IPS personnel have been called in at different prisons.

“Suppression units and police dogs had also been called in with the aim of controlling any case of rebellion inside the prisons, as the IPS closed sections in Ofer, Nafha, Megiddo, Negev [al-Naqab] Prison, and Raymon,” the Commission of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs spokesman added.

He went on to say, “The IPS has responded with even harsher steps, including doubled isolation and removal of electrical devices from jail cells.”

“Definitely, these measures by the IPS would raise the level of risks that threaten the lives and safety of the detainees, in light of the provocative inspections carried out by the IPS personnel,” Abed-Rabbo noted.

The spokesman of the Commission of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs warned of the possibility that the IPS might commit crimes against the detainees by “beating them with batons, gassing them inside their rooms or physically assaulting them by police dogs or firing them with rubber and metal bullets in cases of confrontation and clash inside prisons.”

Regarding future measures, Abed-Rabbo said that detainees from all Palestinian factions will begin an open hunger strike in early September if the IPS does not reverse its measures.

“In order for the open hunger strike – as a strategic countermeasure – to achieve the desired objectives, it must be supported by diplomatic, political, legal, media and popular efforts from the entire Palestinian homeland by providing the political incubator and national protection at all levels,” he explained.

“This matter must be raised by the various Palestinian and international bodies, committees and humanitarian organizations in order to confirm the legality of the struggle of these prisoners against the occupation”, Abed-Rabbo concluded.

According to Palestinian figures, there are nearly 4,550 Palestinian detainees in “Israeli” jails, including 175 minors and 27 female detainees, along with 670 detainees held under so-called “administrative detention” without charge or trial.

For years, Palestinians jailed by the apartheid “Israeli” regime have used hunger strikes to demand better living conditions and an end to indefinite detentions.

Interview by french.alahednews

Israeli Lawmaker Ben-Gvir Threatens to Kill Palestinian Prisoner, His Family

August 22, 2022

Right-wing Israeli Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir storm the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. (Photo: Video Grab)

Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir has called the family of Palestinian prisoner Nour Eddin Jarbou, threatening to kill them and their son, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners Affairs Commission, said in a statement that Ben-Gvir told the Jarbou family that he will not leave their son alive and that he and his gang are going to reach him at the Israeli hospital.

Abu Bakr said the threats will be taken seriously since Ben-Gvir is a known advocate of violence against Palestinians.

Jarbou, 27, was detained on April 9 after he was shot several times during an Israeli army assault on the Jenin refugee camp. One bullet hit him in the spine and paralyzed him.

(PC, WAFA, SOCIAL)

THE SHAMEFUL UN ‘LIST OF SHAME’: EQUATING BETWEEN THE ISRAELI PERPETRATOR AND THE PALESTINIAN VICTIM

JULY 20TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

We regret we failed to protect you. This was part of a statement issued by United Nations human rights experts on July 14, urging the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra. Only 14 years old at the time of his arrest and torture by Israeli forces, Manasra is now 20 years old. His case is a representation of Israel’s overall inhumane treatment of Palestinian children.

The experts’ statement was forceful and heartfelt. It accused Israel of depriving young Manasra “of his childhood, family environment, protection and all the rights he should have been guaranteed as a child.” It referred to the case as ‘haunting’, considering Manasra’s “deteriorating mental conditions”. The statement went further, declaring that “this case … is a stain on all of us as part of the international human rights community”.

Condemning Israel for its ill-treatment of Palestinian children, whether those under siege in war-stricken Gaza, or under military occupation and apartheid in the rest of the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is commonplace.

Yet, somehow, Israel was still spared a spot on the unflattering list, issued annually by the United Nations Secretary-General, naming and shaming governments and groups that commit grave violations against children and minors anywhere in the world.

Oddly, the report does recognize Israel’s horrific record of violating children’s rights in Palestine. It details some of these violations, which UN workers have directly verified. This includes “2,934 grave violations against 1,208 Palestinian children” in the year 2021 alone. However, the report equates between Israel’s record, one of the most dismal in the world, and that of Palestinians, namely the fact that 9 Israeli children were impacted by Palestinian violence in that whole year.

Though the deliberate harming of a single child is regrettable regardless of the circumstances or the perpetrator, it is mind-boggling that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres found it appropriate to equate the systematic violations carried out by the Israeli military as a matter of course and the 9 Israeli minors harmed by Palestinian armed groups, whether intentionally or not.

To deal with the obvious discrepancy between Palestinian and Israeli child victims, the UN report lumped together all categories to distract from the identity of the perpetrator, thus lessening the focus on the Israeli crimes. For example, the report states that a total of 88 children were killed throughout Palestine, of whom 69 were killed in Gaza and 17 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, the report breaks down these murders in such a way that conflates Palestinian and Israeli children as if purposely trying to confuse the reader. When read carefully, one discovers that all of these killings were carried out by Israeli forces, except for two.

More, the report uses the same logic to break down the number of children maimed in the conflict, though of the 1,128 maimed children, only 7 were Israelis. Of the remainder, 661 were maimed in Gaza and 464 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The report goes on to blame “armed Palestinian groups” for some of the Palestinian casualties, who were allegedly injured as a result of “accidents involving children who were near to military training exercises”. Assuming that this is the case, accidents of this nature cannot be considered “grave violations” as they are, by the UN’s own definition, accidental.

The confusing breakdown of these numbers, however, was itself not accidental, as it allowed Guterres the space to declare that “should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed.”

Worse, Guterres’ report went further to reassure the Israelis that they are on the right track by stating that “so far this year, we have not witnessed a similar number of violations”, as if to suggest that the right-wing Israeli government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid has purposely changed its policies regarding the targeting of Palestinian children. Of course, there is no evidence of this whatsoever.

On June 27, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) reported that Israel “had been intensifying its aggression” against children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2022. DCIP confirmed that as many as 15 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces in the first six months of 2022, almost the same number killed in the same regions throughout the entirety of the previous year. This number includes 5 children in the occupied city of Jenin alone. Israel even targeted journalists who attempted to report on these violations, including Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11, and Ali Samoudi, who was shot in the back on the very same day.

Much more can be said, of course, about the besiegement of hundreds of thousands of children in the Gaza Strip, known as the ‘world’s largest open-air prison’, and many more in the occupied West Bank. The lack of basic human rights, including life-saving medicine and, in the case of Gaza, clean water, hardly suggests any measurable improvement in Israel’s track record as far as Palestinian children’s rights are concerned.

If you think that the UN report is a step in the right direction, think again. 2014 was one of the most tragic years for Palestinian children where, according to a previous UN report, 557 children were killed and 4,249 were injured, the vast majority of whom were targeted during the Israeli war on Gaza. Human Rights Watch stated that the number of killed Palestinians “was the third-highest in the world that year”. Still, Israel was not blacklisted on the UN ‘List of Shame’. The clear message here is that Israel may target Palestinian children as it pleases, as there will be no legal, political or moral accountability for its actions.

This is not what Palestinians are expecting from the United Nations, an organization that supposedly exists to end armed conflicts and bring about peace and security for all. For now, the message emanating from the world’s largest international institution to Manasra and the rest of Palestine’s children will remain unchanged: “We regret we failed to protect you.”

Medical neglect kills prisoner Saadia Matar in Israeli ‘Damon’ prison

July 03, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Local sources announce the martyrdom of female Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar in the Israeli “Damon” prison due to medical neglect.

Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar

Local sources on Saturday announced that the female Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar died in the Israeli “Damon” prison.

Sources reported that the administration of the occupation prisons informed prisoners that Matar died on Saturday morning.

Matar was 68 years old and from Al-Khalil.

On its part, Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation reported that, with Matar’s death, the number of Palestinians who were martyred while in Israeli captivity rises to 230.

Read more: The Policy of Neglect; Behind the Walls of the Occupation Prisons

The Foundation’s PR Director confirmed in an interview for Al-Mayadeen that the captive Saadia Matar was martyred as a result of illness and medical negligence.

It is noteworthy that Matar was arrested by the occupation forces in 2021 after a settler beat her as she was crossing the street near Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, claiming that she tried to stab him.

In this context, the Prisoners Information Office said the martyred captive, Saadia Matar, was brutally assaulted and severely beaten during her arrest, which deteriorated her health condition, further exacerbated by medical neglect.

Following her death, Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation reported tension growing in different sections of prisons with prisoners shouting and knocking on doors in protest. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies warned, in a detailed statement, that the lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are in real danger, especially under the Israeli policy of deliberate medical negligence.

The center warned that dozens of Palestinian prisoners may die inside the Israeli prisons if they are not provided with the necessary medical care. 

Director of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, researcher Riyad Al-Ashqar, stated that 160 Palestinian prisoners, who suffer from chronic diseases, face “slow death” due to medical negligence by Israeli prison authorities.

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Palestinian, Lebanese resistance factions commemorate PRC founder

1 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian and Lebanese resistance factions commemorate the martyrdom of the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades, Jamal Abu Samhadana.

From the commemoration of Palestinian martyr Jamal Abu Samhadana on July 1, 2022

The Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions commemorated Friday the martyrdom of Secretary-General Jamal Abu Samhadana, the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades. The commemoration was attended by representatives of various Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Work must continue until ‘Israel’ despairs: Hezbollah

Settlements and agreements have not brought back one inch of land, while the resistance liberated land in Gaza and Lebanon, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said during the commemoration.

“We must continue working until Israel despairs trying to draw up its borders, and those who have resistance have the present and the future. The resistance must develop its capabilities beyond any limits,” he underlined.

“The war against Israel will not end until it ceases to exist, and the resistance everywhere is unified in confronting [the Israeli occupation],” the Hezbollah official added.

Samhadana broke partisanship: Hamas

Martyr Samhadana was one of the heroic leaders of resistance on Palestinian soil, said Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. “[He was one of the] turning points in the path of the Intifada, jihad, giving, and sacrificing in the sake of God, then the sake of Palestine and the sake of liberating Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds from the occupying invaders.”

“We are before a Palestinian icon who sacrificed himself, his possession, and his family for the [Palestinian flag] to fly high and to protect the dignity of Palestine and the Palestinian people,” Haniyeh added.

“The martyr broke the barriers of partisanship and the factions. Through his home, he was able to provide protection and shelter for Hamas and Ezzedine Qassam leaders, such as martyr Yahya Ayyash, brotherly leader Mohammad Deif, and jihadist leader Mohammad Al-Sinwar in the nineties, when they were in the iron sights of those close to them and their enemies,” he stressed, praising Samhadana’s role in the Palestinian struggle.

Martyrs, resistance fighters are able to stop collapse: PIJ

“The martyrs and those bearing arms are capable of putting an end to the collapse and bringing back balance to the Ummah,” PIJ leader Ziad Al-Nakhalah said. “They want the future of our region to be an alliance like NATO that extends from North Africa to the Gulf.”

“The martyrs are reshaping life with greater strength and determination than ever. We would not have a dignified life without the martyrs. The Zionist arrogance and corruption fill up our sky, air, and life, and the martyrs go from our ranks to bring an end to the humiliation and create a new world that is void of treacherous people,” Al-Nakhalah explained.

“The martyred founder of the Popular Resistance Committees, great leader Jamal Abu Samhadana, came out to tell all of those who were in the enemy’s corner that this was not their way, and the Palestinian people would not give up their rights and the history of Palestine in exchange for false promises, empty illusions, and agreements that gave the enemy our dreams and our children’s futures,” he said.

The resistance leader praised and thanked the Jenin Battalion and all of the factions that carry out resistance operations against the occupation in the Jenin refugee camp, Nablus, the West Bank, and the occupied territories. He also hailed the martyrs whom the Israeli occupation murdered.

“These are the days of Palestinian resistance that span Gaza and its heroic resistance fighters and the West Bank and Al-Quds. From leader Abu Samhadana in Gaza to leader Jamil Al-Amouri in Jenin. It is the tree of Jihad. It has firm roots, and its branches are in the sky.

PA must end security coordination: PRC

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) still adhere to its principles, PRC Secretary-General Ayman Al-Shishniyeh said, explaining that the principles entailed “confronting the occupation and rejecting any regional alliance that includes the Zionist enemy.”

Al-Shishniyeh then warned the Israeli occupation against its aggressive acts toward Palestinian prisoners and called on the Palestinian authority to “stop [its] security coordination [with ‘Israel’] and stop betting on the failing US administration.”

At the same time as the commemoration in Lebanon, there was a memorial service in the Gaza Strip that saw several resistance factions and mass crowds participating to commemorate the martyrdom of Samhadana.

Palestinian factions in Gaza hold emergency meeting over Prisoners

13 Jun 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian factions held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners on hunger strike and condemned the law prohibiting the treatment of prisoners, to be passed in the Knesset of the occupation soon.

The emergency meeting of the Palestinian factions in Gaza

Palestinian factions held an emergency meeting in Gaza, on Monday, to address the escalating Israeli violence and the worsening health of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons. 

This is happening as Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, 40, from the town of Idna in Al-Khalil, continues his 103rd day of open hunger strike and prisoner Raed Rayan, 27, from the village of Beit Duqu north of Al-Quds, continues his 67th day of protest in rejection of administrative detention.

During the meeting, the factions affirmed “the Palestinian people’s right to self-defense,” calling for popular action and open confrontation day against the Israeli occupation next Friday.

The factions decided to declare next Friday a day of popular action and open public confrontation with the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian factions announced that they will continue their meetings to follow up on the conditions of the striking prisoners, stressing that they will “perform their full duties to achieve the prisoners’ freedom.”

They also called on all parties to expand activities of popular support of hunger-striking prisoners, especially Khalil Awawdeh and Raed Rayan.

After the emergency meeting in Gaza, the Palestinian factions declared that they held the occupation “fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners on hunger strike,” expressing their “rejection and condemnation of the law preventing the treatment of prisoners which is expected to be passed in the Knesset of the occupation soon.”

Palestinian prisoners Khalil Awawdeh, 40, and Raed Rayan, 27

Palestinian prisoners Khalil Awawdeh, 40, from the town of Idna in Al-Khalil, and Raed Rayan, 27, from the village of Beit Duqu north of Al-Quds, continue their open hunger strike for the 103rd and 68th consecutive days in protest against their administrative detention.

More than a week ago, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs warned of a “sudden health setback” that could lead to the death of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh.

Awawdeh, a father of four girls, was arrested on December 27, 2021, and an administrative detention order was issued against him for a six-month period. He had previously been arrested several times since 2002.

As for prisoner Raed Rayan, he was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on November 3, 2021, and was transferred to administrative detention for a period of six months. As his detention period was about to end, the Israeli occupation renewed his detention for an additional four months, which led Rayan to announce his open hunger strike.

Rayan is suffering from headaches and joint, flank, and knee pain, as well as difficulty in walking. He has not been examined by a doctor and has not undergone any medical examinations since the beginning of his hunger strike.

He is a former administrative prison who spent nearly 21 months in administrative detention before he was released. Seven months later, Rayan was rearrested by the occupation.

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