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Palestine prisoners in Israel jails ‘revolt’ against Ben-Gvir restrictions

February 18, 2023 at 11:10 am

A general view of Gilboa prison. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails continued their “revolt” against restrictions imposed by extremist Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The Prisoners’ Higher Emergency Committee pledged to respond to Ben-Gvir’s restrictions, announcing: “We will respond to him with the battle of freedom and martyrdom.”

On Thursday, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) introduced collective restrictions on prisoners in several prisons.

The next day, following Friday prayer, the Prisoners’ Higher Emergency Committee decided to stage a protest in the yards of all Israeli prisons. This came in response to the expansion of restrictions, as well as to the aggression on prisoners in Gilboa Prison.

Quds Press reported that the IPS closed the cantina at Rimon Prison at the start of the prisoners’ action.

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The IPS also handcuffed every prisoner who went to the prison clinic and prevented morning exercises.

Meanwhile, at Nafha Prison, the IPS ceased morning exercises, closed the prison facilities on Friday and handcuffed every prisoner leaving their rooms. These were added to previous measures, including stopping hot water in bathrooms, which were closed for most of the night and daytime.

At Ofer Prison, the IPS declared its intention to close the cantina, stop family visits and reduce the time of breaks for prisoners joining the “revolt”.

The IPS also announced threats at Megiddo Prison should the prisoners join the pushback against the restrictions imposed by Ben-Gvir, which included closing bakeries inside the prison.

Qadura Fares, chair of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, warned of possible tension in Israeli prisons if the Israeli occupation put more restrictions on prisoners.

“The situation in the prisons is very dangerous,” Fares told Al-Quds newspaper. “The prisoners decided to revolt in protest of the measures because Ben-Gvir wants to take the prisoners 50 years back.”

He stressed: “The prisoners will not accept this. They will not allow him to undermine their achievements over the past 50 years.”

Israeli security officials have warned that Ben-Gvir’s measures will ignite trouble inside prisons and the entire occupied territories.

There are currently about 4,780 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails, including 160 children, 29 women and 914 under administrative detention.

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