Ramallah, occupied West Bank – Israel has arrested a large number of Palestinians during the past two weeks since it began its bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip, doubling the number of Palestinians in its detention.
There were about 5,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons before October 7 when the Islamic resistance movement Hamas launched an attack on Israel, which responded almost immediately with a sustained bombing campaign.
Palestinian officials said that the number of prisoners has now risen to more than 10,000 people He said Thursday afternoon.
Over the past two weeks, according to officials and rights groups, Israel has arrested about 4,000 workers from Gaza who were working in Israel and detained them in military bases. Separately, it also arrested another 1,070 Palestinians in nighttime army raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Sahar Francis, head of the Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoners’ Rights Association, told Al Jazeera that “arrests take place 24 hours a day.”
She added that most Gazans are being held at a military base called Sde Teman, near Beersheba (Beersheba) in the southern Negev Desert.
Hundreds of others are detained in Ofer prison near Ramallah, and in the Anatot military camp near the village of Anata in occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinian lawyers and officials have highlighted severe mistreatment and harsh conditions in which detainees are arrested and detained.
“Dangerous” prison conditions.
Qaddoura Fares said, in a press conference held Thursday afternoon in Ramallah, that the recent developments related to the prisoners are “unprecedented” and “dangerous.”
He added: “We hesitated a lot in holding this press conference, which deals with another chapter of the Israeli crimes, and what our male and female prisoners are exposed to in the occupation prisons, for fear of causing tension and anxiety between the families of the prisoners and our Palestinian families.” “People in general,” Fares said.
“Prisoners are exposed to hunger and thirst. “They are prevented from obtaining their medications, especially for those who suffer from chronic diseases that require regular treatment,” he added, adding that things got worse “when the prison administration cut off water and electricity.”
Conscience too mentioned Denying access to medical care. The organization said: “They also closed prison clinics, and prevented prisoners from going to hospitals and outpatient clinics, despite the presence of some cancer patients among the prisoners who need continuous treatment.”
Fares added that “the most dangerous thing” over the past few days has been “physical attacks” and humiliating treatment. “Anyone who is arrested is attacked.
“Many prisoners were subjected to broken limbs, hands and legs… degrading and humiliating expressions, cursing, cursing, handcuffs being tied from behind and their ends tightened to the point of causing severe pain… naked, humiliating and orgiastic.” “Searching the prisoners,” he said.
“cut off from the world”
Besides the 4,000 residents of the Gaza Strip, most of whom are detained in the Sde Teman military camp, there are about 6,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
Most of the 5,200 prisoners held before October 7 are residents of the occupied West Bank and east. Jerusalem.
But in the past two weeks, the Israeli army arrested another 1,070 Palestinians during night military raids in those areas.
During periods of “calm” under the 56-year Israeli military occupation, between 15 and 20 people are arrested every day. But since October 7, the rate of daily arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has risen to 120 people, according to Palestinian officials.
Arrests are carried out through surprise military raids on Palestinian homes at dawn, humiliating searches of family members and their homes, destruction of property and possessions, as well as verbal and physical abuse.
Francis said that Palestinians detained inside Israeli prisons and detention centers are “isolated from the world.”
“There is no time in the yard, no contact with their families, no family visits and no regular visits to lawyers,” she explained.
Israeli authorities We have too Closing access to canteens, which are necessary to purchase basic supplies such as toothpaste, and limiting meals to two meals a day instead of three.
Israel’s parliament, known as the Knesset, on Wednesday approved a plan currently in effect for three months that allows for a reduction in the minimum living space allocated to each prisoner – previously set at 3.5 square meters – to accommodate the growing number of prisoners.
In a press conference held by Palestinian civil rights organizations, today, Tuesday, in Ramallah, Addameer called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to “adhere to its responsibilities” as the only international organization authorized to monitor the conditions of Palestinian detainees, and called on the group to visit them, especially those from Gaza in the military camps.
“We do not see any real pressure from the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Francis told Al Jazeera. “They say they are trying but Israel is preventing them, but that is no excuse. A lot of time has passed.”
Israel uses different legal pretexts to detain detainees in different areas, according to human rights groups.
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who are arrested inside Israel are detained under the Unlawful Combatants Law. Allow Authorities detain Palestinians indefinitely without effective judicial review.
The law defines an “unlawful combatant” as “a person who has participated directly or indirectly in hostilities against the State of Israel, or is a member of a force committing hostile acts against the State of Israel.”
On October 13, Israel amended the law to make it easier to arrest Palestinians on mere suspicion. Some of the provisions include “expanding the scope of those entitled to issue arrest warrants to include generals and those of lower rank.”
the Unlawful combatants law It is equivalent to administrative detention in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which allows Israel to detain Palestinians from those areas indefinitely based on “secret evidence.”
Most of the 1,070 people arrested in those areas since October 7 are being transferred to administrative detention, Francis said.
“They sign dozens of administrative detention orders every day,” Francis said.
The latest Israeli attack on Gaza began on October 7 after Hamas launched a surprise attack outside the besieged enclave inside Israeli territory. So far, at least 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli officials.
Since then, Israeli retaliatory bombing has killed at least 4,137 Palestinians in Gaza, including 1,524 children, while 81 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank.
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