The Department of Prisoner’s Affairs with the Palestinian Authority recently issued a report regarding the 17 Israeli jails housing some 7,000 Palestinian prisoners. Sources within the organization have predicted uprisings and a series of protests over the next month, due to the very poor living conditions reported there. Data from the prisoners themselves reveal a possible hunger strike in the next few weeks.
Prisoners and humanitarian aid workers have compiled a list of steps required in order to contain an escalating feeling of discontent among detainees:
• Improve the medical treatment of patients;
• End to solitary confinements;
• Stop the raids and inspections;
• Start again to broadcast media channels;
• Stop arbitrary detention without charges;
• End the closure of inmates’ accounts;
• Stop individual and collective punishments;
• Stop raising prices of canteen purchases;
• Stop moving prisoners between prisons without any reason;
• Stop preventing family visits;
• Allow prisoners to study for higher education;
The report, according to the PNN, continues by highlighting the difficulty to manage an increasing situation of dissatisfaction and anger among prisoners.
The Palestinian Authority said that the illegitimate movement of prisoners is the key factor of the increasing anger and acts of rebellion among prisoners, used as a double weapon by Israeli reports on detainees’ behavior.
Since 2014 to date, convicts have seen more than 400 raids and abuse of force by the Israeli police within the prison system: the wrecking of rooms, incursions and searches made with police dogs, assaults on detainees and the confiscation and damage of their belongings.
The value of the fines imposed on prisoners has reached, during the period mentioned, to more than a million and a half shekels, as individual and collective punishments are deducted from the prisoners’ personal accounts.
This period has seen a big increase in the number of arrests, where the number of detainees augmented from 4,000 to 7,000 arrests since June of 2014, including mass arrests among children.
The medical negligence and failure to provide treatments for prisoners and the renewal of administrative detention are routinely and continuously re-imposed, along with solitary confinement. Indicators show the clear escalation of violence carried out by the Israeli government against the prisoners.
The Department of Prisoner’s Affairs reported that from March 1, detainees might take steps toward an uprising.
Starting with a hunger strike, every two days for two weeks, followed by a complete hunger strike and refusal to the daily arbitrary room examinations.
Then, the rejection of evening diagnosis and, finally, general disobedience for all the month of April.
The escalation of the protest could possibly reach the point when the prisoners refuse drinking water and announce an open-ended hunger strike.
The department demanded external support to the prisoners by all national institutions and Islamic forces.