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Palestinian resistance groups ‘warned Israel about escalation of prison tension’

January 31, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Demonstration of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons in Gaza, January 30, 2023. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

With Israeli attacks on Palestinian prisoners for the third day in a row, 120 of them in the Negev Prison announced yesterday the start of a hunger strike in response to the ongoing oppression, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar has reported. The prisoners in the Negev Prison have given their names to the prison administration to announce their intention to go on hunger strike in protest at their collective isolation.

The Palestinian resistance factions have warned that the tension in prisons will not stay within their walls. This warning was apparently conveyed to the Israeli occupation authorities through mediators.

“The factions have held several meetings in preparation for launching a campaign in support of the prisoners,” said a source within the groups. “This happened after they had spoken with mediators on this issue, warning them that it could be the fuse to spark further escalation.”

Harming the prisoners will have repercussions within and outside Israeli prisons, explained the source. Malicious attempts to divert attention from the situation in Jerusalem will not succeed, he added.

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According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, this move is in response to the abuses suffered by inmates in Sections 26 and 27 in the Negev, the transfer of others from Section 8 to Section 6 in the same prison and depriving them of their possessions and basic needs.

Two days ago, the occupation authorities prevented prisoners’ families from Nablus from visiting them in the prison. Other Israeli prisons are said to have witnessed raids by warders in different sections. Penalties have been imposed on “dozens” of prisoners.

The Metzada Unit — the prison service’s tactical unit — stormed Section 8, or what is known as the “tent section” in the Negev Prison, which heightened the tension. The unit also assaulted the inmates of Sections 27 and 28 in the same prison. This also occurred in Megiddo and Ofer prisons, where the unit fired a barrage of gas bombs at the prisoners’ cells, and dozens were transferred to solitary confinement.

In Damon Prison, the occupation forces stormed cell 10, took electrical appliances from the prisoners’ rooms, and sealed it for a week.

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