The Israeli Ofer Prison administration has transferred the prisoner Mutassim Samara, a leader in the Captive Movement, to Megiddo prison, after being moved from Negev to Ofer Prison only one month ago, reports the Palestinian News Network (PNN).Mutassim Samara, of Tulkarem, has been arrested several times, most recently in May 2001. He is one of the captive movement leaders in Israeli detention facilities.
Mutassim Samara has perfectly mastered the Hebrew language, says director of Ahrar center, Fouad Khuffash. He studied political science at the Hebrew University, where he received high grades. The professors were surprised by his perfect Hebrew and accurate analysis.
Meanwhile, Waad Association for prisoners’ affairs has expressed deep regret over repreated Israeli rejections to allow the entry of winter clothing and supplies to Palestinian prisoners. Palestine is currently facing a cold weather storm of record proportions.
The association has confirmed that the occupying Israeli government takes no measures to protect the life of Palestinian prisoners, particularly minors and female captives, in the wake of the unprecedented storm.
Their official statement points out that the administrative detainees declared a hunger strike on Thursday, despite the extreme cold weather, as part of their escalated protests against continued arrest and detention without charge or trial.
The statement condemned the general silence on the part of the international community, in regard to the prisoners’ difficult living conditions, holding international human rights organizations responsible.
It also calls on Palestinian and Arab media outlets to reveal and expose Israeli violations against prisoners.
Megiddo Prison is based in historic Palestine, a few hundred meters south of Tel Megiddo, or Har Megiddo, known to Christians worldwide as ‘Armageddon’. (A ‘Tel’ is a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot.)
In 2005, archaeologist Yotam Tepper, of Tel-Aviv University, discovered the remains of a church which is believed to be from the 3rd century, a time when Christians were still persecuted by the Roman Empire.
The artifacts were found inside of the prison. It is the site of the oldest known church in the Holy Land and, possibly, the world, depending upon how one defines ‘church’; an inscription inside the church mentions a Roman officer, ‘Gaianus,’ who donated ‘his own money’ to have a mosaic made.
Anthropologist Joe Zias said of the discovery, ‘My gut feeling is that we are looking at a Roman building that may have been converted to a church at a later date.’
Authorities are still speculating on the possibility of moving the prison.