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Israel: far-right Minister Ben-Gvir leads cell raid at Gilboa Prison

October 4, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem on July 9, 2023 [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir led occupation forces on a raid of cells in Gilboa Prison yesterday, Wafa has reported. Sound bombs were used against Palestinian prisoners during the raid at the high-security prison, when thorough searches of cells were carried out.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has been intensifying its aggressive attacks against Palestinian detainees, with raids on cells and mass transfers between prisons. Yesterday’s raid was the third in a week, following the recent operation in Section 5 of Raymond Prison and a significant transfer of prisoners. The PPS pointed out that Palestinians serving long sentences have been the main targets of such raids.

READ: Israel imposes further sanctions on Gilboa Prison escapees

A number of punitive measures have been imposed on Palestinian prisoners by the IPS since the start of this year. They include arbitrary movement of prisoners from one prison to another; the deprivation of adequate bathroom time; the denial of family visits, and other abuses. There is a resultant determination to engage in a collective hunger strike.

Israel holds around 5,200 Palestinian prisoners. The total includes 38 women, 170 children, more than 1,250 administrative detainees held with neither charge nor trial, and 700 sick prisoners suffering from various health issues, including 24 with cancer. Israeli officials claim that detention without trial is sometimes necessary to protect the identities of undercover operatives, but human rights groups say that it is also used to hold peaceful activists.

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