This Palestinian Prisoners Day, April 17th 2013, Palestinian and international activists cut down a fenced section of the Israeli apartheid wall in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli occupation jails. A section of around ten metres was torn down near Ofer prison, where Palestinian prisoners can be tried in military court or held by Israeli forces.
Protesters wearing surgical masks cut away metal sections of the Wall, which they consider to be a symbol and physical expression of apartheid.
They said their action aims to send a message to the Israeli authorities that the Palestinian people will “never agree to have Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.”
After around ten minutes, one Israeli army jeep arrived in the buffer zone behind the separation barrier and a single sound grenade was thrown at protesters, who left shortly afterwards, having completed their action.
Protesters wore shirts with the image of Bassem Abu Rahma of Bil’in, who was also protesting the cause of prisoners on the 17th of April four years ago, when he was killed by Israeli forces, who fired a large, bullet-shaped tear gas canister directly at his chest at close range.
According to the Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer, Palestinian prisoners are treated brutally under the Israeli occupation. Many are mistreated or tortured during detention and arrested on false or fabricated charges. Others are held under administrative detention laws, which mean that they can be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial.
According to Addameer, there are currently 4,936 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, including 178 administrative detainees, many of whom are held in Ofer.