A report released by the Supreme National Committee for the Support of Prisoners, has confirmed that last month, forces of the Israeli Occupation arrested more than 345 Palestinian citizens from various parts of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip including 130 children and two women. This is in addition to the detention of more than 500 Palestinian workers for not having obtained Israeli work permits.
According to the Committee, the largest number of arrests occurred in the city of Hebron where 90 individuals were detained including 15 children.
The Committee's media director, Riyadh al-Ashqar, stated that last month, forces of the Israeli Occupation abducted two females, one of whom is yet to be identified by name. The unidentified girl was detained at al-Anfaq checkpoint near Occupied Jerusalem under the pretext that she tried to stab an Israeli soldier. The second, a 20 year old student named Sajida Rizq al-Awawdeh from the village of Dura in the south of Hebron, was arrested in front of Hebron University. Sajida, who is the wife of a prisoner, was interrogated and released a day after her arrest. Israeli forces also rearrested and detained Omar al-Barghouti from Ramallah who previously spent 25 years in an Israeli prison.
Al-Ashqar emphasized that there had been a significant increase in the number of children detained during the month of October, particularly in Occupied Jerusalem. 140 children have been detained in all with 100 of those having been arrested in Jerusalem as a result of renewed clashes between Palestinians youths, gangs of settlers and border guards. A youth and a child from the Gaza Strip were also arrested.
Al-Ashqar explained that Occupation authorities used 'Arabist units' of operatives disguised in Arab clothing to arrest children from the streets while army units continued to arrest children from their homes and from road blocks under the pretext of them having thrown stones at settlers. These children are often beaten severely and interrogated inside the settlements.
He also pointed out that over the last month, the Israeli prisons authority had continued to violate prisoner rights by storming a number of prisons and considered Israel's announcement last month that it would be freezing the Shalit Law a deception aimed at misleading the international community, international organisations and public opinion into believing that Israel was no longer applying this arbitrary law. However, in reality, Israel continues to employ all aspects of the law; from prisoners being deprived of family visits, educational opportunities, access to books and newspapers and from watching television to the fact that the Israeli policy of solitary confinement has been stepped up while prisoners from Gaza continue to be completely prohibited from receiving visitors.
The Committee indicated that last month a number of individual and group hunger strikes had taken place to protest against the harsh conditions and to demand their rights. It also revealed that last month there was a flurry of international activism in support of Palestinians prisoners while it has organised an international Palestinian prisoner conference in the Gaza Strip to bring the suffering of prisoners into the international arena and allow their voices to be heard by world public opinion.
The report also addresses the condition of prisoners who are ill and whose health conditions have continued to deteriorate over the last month. The Israeli Prisons Administration has allowed their condition to worsen by denying or obstructing their medical care. The Committee has appealed to humanitarian organisations to send investigative committees to Israeli prisons to scrutinise the condition of Palestinian prisoners and to put forward recommendations to the UN Human Rights Commission regarding the war crimes being perpetrated against them.
Source: Gaza – Quds Press Service