The Reality of Palestinian detainees in the Israeli Occupation Jails 2009

01 April 2010

Friends of Humanity International issues a detailed report on the Palestinian

prisoners’ reality during 2009, entitled “Behind the Sun”

 

 Friends of Humanity International

(Human Rights Organization) 

 

Report title: 

“Behind the Sun”

Robbed Freedom and Absence Rights 

The reality of Palestinian detainees

in the Israeli occupation jails

in 2009 

Report prepared by: 

By: Fuad Al Khoffash (Researcher),

Ghassan Obaid (Human Rights Activist) 

 

Translated by: 

Mohammed S. El-Nadi 

Vienna, April 01, 2010

Doc. No.: P/ME/805/10/E 

 

*introduction 

 

andles down the road, burning candles, living martyrs, the forgotten and prisoners of freedom, all are names Palestinian people call prisoners with; theses names reflect part of the bitter reality of those prisoners behind Israeli bars.

In theory, it is somewhat true that in 2009 there was not direct mortality among the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, but in practice 2009 was one of the worst years a Palestinian prisoner had ever spent in Israeli prisons. Israeli prison administration practiced new methods against them to increase both the psychological and physical pressure  on them and continue locking them up in an outrageously difficult environment, with the aim of rendering them soulless bodies, to guarantee they cannot live afterward. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) also sought to destroy the Palestinian prisoner’s psyche, affecting his family as well, through oppressive policies such as preventing families from visiting their jailed relatives for very long periods of time. 

The Palestinian prisoners are still exemplifying rare paradigms throughout history of humanity, in terms of patience and endurance; where under tragic circumstances, tens of thousands of the Palestinian prisoners were forced to undergo months under torture and whips of occupation executioners in the dungeons of investigation, that they have long suffered years of oppression at the hands of prison guards and Shabas. It is clear that the prisoner‘s ability to withstand these conditions and survive is a great meaning in the course of defending the right to life. 

The endeavor of this report is to highlight the most flagrant violations being practiced against the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and explain the forms and impact of these violations on the prisoners and their families as well. It is also relevant to talk about the prisoners’ exchange deal in return for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, because it was 2009’s hottest topic, and was hugely covered by media outlets.   

The focus of this report is also on the Palestinian prisoners, who have continued to be marginalized by occupation authorities, especially those from Jerusalem and the Palestinian areas beyond the Green Line. Since Israel held them in jails, they have been made to live under terrible circumstances and harsh, barbaric treatment by Israeli prison authorities. To date, Israel refuses to release them in any prisoner exchange deals with the Palestinians. 

The report focuses on the Palestinian female prisoners, whom Israeli occupation authorities have continued to abuse, especially after the completion of a deal to release Palestinian prisoners in return for information about captured Israeli soldier. 

The report sheds light on the patient prisoners in Israeli jails, especially with the increasing number of patients among them, where more than 18 cases of cancer have been recorded, administrative detention and its role in the destruction of the family, society and the psychological destruction of the detainee, as well as the isolation of prisoners and their sufferings from the ill and suffering colors

The report acutely observes how the growing Palestinian dissention has impacted the Palestinian prisoners, which has, on the one hand, weakened their issue in many ways. On the other hand, it has prompted the Israeli Prisons Department and Israeli intelligence to intensify violations against the Palestinian prisoners. To add insult to injury, they dared to separate prisoners of the two largest Palestinian factions apart, and increase repressive measures against them. 

The report also talks about the deputies and ministers, who have been in prison for more than 3 years. In addition, it exposes how Israel seeks to arrest the prisoners’ relatives to put pressure on the prisoner himself and his family. It also talks about Al-Bosta, transfer of the prisoners, strip search, the imposition of financial penalties for the most trivial reasons, and how these things impact the prisoners inside jails.

For all these reasons, it is evident that 2009 was remarkably one of the most difficult years for the prisoners. 

*Israeli jails system and the number of prisoners inside 

 

The issue of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is not about figures or statistics; but in order to publicize their cause, we must address their numbers, places and living conditions. Last year, large-scale arrest campaigns were carried out among thousands of the Palestinians from different areas of the West Bank, as well as the Gaza Strip during and after the recent war. 

Wholesale arrest campaigns affected, in one way or another, every Palestinian—being a worker, a child, a lecturer, or a girl, in addition to the Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps. Last year’s arrests reached some 5200 cases-- an average of 14 cases a day, but what was distinguished about these arrests was that they were short in duration. The number of prisoners could reach 30 detainees per night, but most of whom would be released during the first week of detention, and only one or two prisoners would continue to be held in prison. This illustrates the confusion about the number of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons in general, suggesting that the number totals to11000 prisoners. But according to precise statistics, the number of the Palestinian prisoners from both sexes reached 7286 by the end of 2009. 

These thousands of male and female prisoners are distributed to 13 prisons and 3 detention centers throughout the country. The largest prison of all is the Negev desert prison which can accommodate 2400 prisoners. However, after the closure of five of its departments, it held 1900 prisoners in its various departments. 

Of the total 7286 male and female prisoners, 36 are females, as well as 20 ministers and deputies, in addition to 250 children under the age of 18, whose detention has been accordingly prohibited by laws, including 280 administrative detainees. 

Occupation authorities have arrested 319 prisoners since before the Oslo peace accords, signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides in 1993. These prisoners are known as long-term prisoners (old prisoners), 115 of whom have now been held for more than twenty years, including 13 prisoners held for more than 25 years and three prisoners now being held for more than thirty years: Nael Al-Barghouthi, Fakhry Al-Barghouthi and Akram Mansour. 

Regarding the layout of Israeli prisons, Friends of Humanity International said that most of these prisoners consist of rooms of 2.5 square meters, housing two prisoners. However, there are other rooms which can accommodate three prisoners with its five square meters. The new rooms are of area of 13 square meters each and hold 8 to 10 prisoners per room, with poor ventilation and tight security. 

*Everyday life system 

 

The daily life system in Israeli jails is much of the prisoners’ tragedy, where they are allowed a total of one hour of sport in the early morning after the count, and then a break in the morning and the evening of 90 minutes for each. They also are allowed to walk in a yard of an area of only 80 to 120 square meters in some prisons, knowing that each section contains a number of 80 to 150 prisoners. Therefore, the sections’ yards can barely accommodate 20 prisoners. Inadequate poor quality amounts of food are served to the prisoners, and so it is inevitably compelling for the prisoners to depend on the extremely expensive items they buy from the prison canteen. 

*Prisoners from Jerusalem 

 

Since the occupation of Palestine, inhabitants of Jerusalem have been the first to defend their land, and they have continued to fall dead, wounded and exiled. The number of male and female prisoners from Jerusalem has reached 273 over the last year. The Palestinian captive Fouad Al-Razim from Silwan neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem is considered the dean of Jerusalemite prisoners, born on Dec. 9, 1957 and arrested on Jan. 31, 1981 when he was 24 years ago. 

The number of Jerusalemites who died in Israeli prisons was 14, the first of whom was Qasim Abdullah Abu Aker, died in 1969 as a result of torture during interrogation in the prison "Al Maskoubiya". The last one was captive Joma’a Keyalah, who died on Dec. 14, 2008, after having spent 13 years in Al Ramlah prison hospital. 

There are 31 Jerusalemite prisoners inside Israeli jails who are still suffering bitter conditions. Among those prisoners are 3 brothers, Mousa, Khalil and Ibrahim Sarahneh, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment since 2002. Regarding solitary confinement prisoners, there are two of them, both from Jerusalem: Abed Al-Naser Al-Hulaissi who has been isolated for more than 13 years, and Mo‘taz Hijazi, isolated for nine years. There is also Jerusalemite deputy- prisoner Mohammed Abu Teir, who spent more than 25 years in Israeli jails. 

4 Jerusalemite female prisoners

 *Ibtisam Issawi, resident of Jabel Al-Mukaber and sentenced to 14 years.

* Aminah Mona, the oldest female prisoner, resident of the Old City, and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

* Sana‘a Shehadeh, a resident of Qalandia refugee camp, also sentenced to life imprisonment

*Nada Derbas, resident of Issawiya town and received a 4-year sentence.

The eldest of all Jerusalemite prisoners

 The sixty-and-a-half-year old Ali Hassan Abed Rabu Shallaldah, the eldest among the prisoners from the occupied Jerusalem, held for 19 years and is currently serving a sentence of 25 years in Al Ramlah prison hospital. He has 12 children, 8 of whom got married while he was languishing in captivity.

Highest ever sentence in history of prisoners from Jerusalem

 Wael Mahmoud Qassem, from Silwan town, married and a father of 4 children, received the longest ever sentence of a total of 35 life sentences in addition to 50 years.

Highest sentence for 2 brothers

Brothers Ramadan and Fahmi Mushahereh, arrested in 2002, have been sentenced to 20 life sentences. Israeli occupation forces also demolished their homes.

Two physically unable Jerusalemite prisoners

*Dr. Abed Al-Aziz Amro, sentenced to life imprisonment

*Alaa Al-Din Al-Bazian, sentenced to life imprisonment as well.

Jerusalemite prisoners according to sentence length

life sentence

73 prisoners

20-33

35

15-19

22

10-14

25

5-9

34

2-4

25

less than 2 or yet to be sentenced

55

administrative prisoners

4

 

Jerusalemite prisoners according to time spent in prison

spent up to 20 years

20

15-20

23

10-14

20

5-9

106

2-4

44

less than 2 years

60

 

The marital status of Jerusalemite prisoners

Married

91 prisoners

Single

182 prisoners

 

Jerusalemite prisoners’ ages

Up to 60 years

2 prisoners

50-60

10

40-50

35

30-40

102

20-30

116

less than 20

8

 

Geographical division of Jerusalemite prisoners

Silwan/Ras Al-Amoud

44 prisoners

Jabal Al-Moukaber  

28

Al-Issawiya

26

Beit Hanina

24

Sour Baher/ Umm Taiba

23

Qalandia/Kufr Aqeb

22

Shu’fat/Anata

19

The Old Town

16

Wadi Joz/Al-Swana

11

Shu’fat

11

Al-Thawri

9

Al-Ram

6

Al-Tur

9

Al-Sheikh Jarrah  

4

different neighborhoods

21

 

*Palestinian female prisoners

 

In 2009, there had been a limited prisoner exchange agreement, in which a group of Palestinian female prisoners were released for information on the fate of captured Israeli soldier Jilad Shalit, held captive by Palestinian factions since 2006.The deal brought hope to the prisoners’ families, especially after the intervention of the German mediator, who wanted to break the stalemate on both parties: the Palestinian factions demanded that all prisoners serving long-term sentences be released, but this was met by Israel’s rejection.  

There are 36 Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli jails. Twenty-one of them are in Hasharon prison, 11 in Damon prison, one isolated in al-Ramlah, 2 families being interrogated in Petah Tikva, and one in one of the detention centers. 

* 27 prisoners from the West Bank

*4 from Jerusalem

4* from areas beyond the Green Line

*l from the Gaza Strip 

Female prisoners from land beyond the green Line 

Name

Date of arrest

sentence

Lina Jarbouni

18/4/2002

17 years

Ward Qasim

4/10/2006

6

Warda Bakrawi

16/10/2003

8

Khadija Abu Ayyash

22/1/2009

Arrested

 

One female prisoner from the Gaza Strip 

Wafa Al-Bis

Sentenced to 12 years

Suffering from 50% burns to her body  

 

Sentence length 

20 sentenced female prisoners, 13 under investigation, and 3 administrative prisoners.

 

Administrative female prisoners 

Dr. Majda Fada

Arrested on 6/8/2008

From Nablus, released on 26/1/2010

Rajaa Al-Ghoul

31/3/2009

Jenin

Hanaa Yahia Shalaby

14/9/209

Jenin

 

5 mothers in prison, with children 

Irina Poly Sarahneh

From Ukraine, resident of Bethlehem

Sentenced to 30 years

2 daughters

Ibtisam Abdel Hafez

Jerusalem

15

6 children

 Qahera Said Al-Saadi

Jenin

3 life sentences and 30 years

4children

Iman Mohammed Gazzawi

Toul Karam

13

2 children

Latifa Mohammed Abu Thera’

Nablus

25

7 boys

 

Three female prisoners arrested along with their husbands 

Irina Poly Sarahneh, sentenced to 30 years

Husband Ibrahim Sarahneh, sentenced to 6 life sentences

Ahlam Al-Tamimi, sentenced to 16 life sentences

Her fiancé, Nizar Tamimi, sentenced to life imprisonment

Iman Gazzawi, sentenced to 13 years

Husband Shaher Isha, sentenced to 20 years

 

*Children prisoners 

 

Among the Palestinian prisoners, there are 250 children in Israeli jails presenting, aged less than 18 years old. These children are equally abused as their elders, and subjected to torture, unfair trials, inhuman treatment and violations of their fundamental rights.  

*Prisoners from Palestinian areas beyond the Green Line 

 

For Israeli occupation authorities, “divide and rule” policy is a pivot in dealing with the prisoners. Prisoners are discriminated against according to their geographical origins. Occupation authorities consider the (“inside” prisoners)—a term used to refer to prisoners from land beyond the Green Line, who have the same blue identity cards of Israeli citizens-- Israeli citizens; nevertheless, they do not treat them the same way they deal with Jewish prisoners, due to Israel’s prevailing racist policy. Furthermore, Israeli government refuses to include their names in any prisoner swap deals, (because Israeli authorities consider them citizens imprisoned by their state). At the same time, Palestinian factions insist that prisoners from Jerusalem and areas occupied by Israel in 1948 be included in any coming agreement.

There are 109 male and female prisoners in different Israeli jails; the 78-year-old Sami Younis, born in 1932, who was arrested 27 years ago, is considered the dean of all ‘inside’ prisoners. He is currently serving an unfair sentence of 40 years. 

Prisoners from areas beyond Green Line according to sentence length 

Sentence length 

Number of prisoners

more than life sentence

21

less than life and more than 30 years

5

20-30

5

15-20

10

5-15

46

5

11

in pre-trial detention

11

total 

109

 

Prisoners from areas beyond Green Line according to years spent in prison until 2009 

Years spent

Number  

more than 25

4

20-25

12

15-20

4

10-15

2

less than 10

87

Total

109

 

*Most blatant violations against prisoners                                                                                                                                                      

 

Israeli occupation authorities’ violations against the Palestinian prisoners are countless; it is just a matter of time before a new violation is invented. In this report, we will focus on some of the violations and how it violates the norms of international law. Among these violations highlight the following issues. Examples of these violations are: 

Ø  First: Types of arrest and torture and formation of Israeli ministerial committee 

Israeli occupation forces carried out multiple form and traditional arrests, involving house raids and kidnapping. Israeli prison administration has also stepped up repressive measures against the Palestinian prisoners, and intensified its abusive, harsh and cruel practices and inhumane treatment in an unprecedented way. As a result, life has been going from bad to worse inside prisons. 

New Israeli violations were documented, such as using detainees as human shields during the recent assault on the Gaza Strip and forcibly keeping them in holes amid heavy firing. Israeli occupation forces also turned Palestinian-owned houses into military barracks while locking up the entire family in one room only. 

The number of Gazan fishermen who were attacked by Israelis increased last year, as Israeli navy forces, almost everyday, arrested them, confiscated their boats and tools, and humiliated and blackmailed them. Arrests among patients were also reported at Beit Hanoun crossing ‘Erez’, where Israeli forces kept them for interrogation and put pressure on them to collaborate with Israeli intelligence. The organization confirmed that all people arrested were subjected to a form of physical torture and psychological humiliation, and that inflicting all kinds of torture on the prisoners is an integral part of Israel’s policy against them. 

Considered as the most dangerous move, Israeli government formed a ministerial committee in March 2009, to intensify violations against the prisoners. It sought to study and appraise the situation of Palestinian prisoners, with the aim of choking them and worsening their suffering. According to Israeli occupation authorities, this move was a vindictive procedure after the failure of the prisoner swap deal with Palestinian factions. 

Indeed, the committee adopted several decisions and unjust procedures to crush the prisoners. There are more than 1000 prisoners in Israeli jails, suffering chronic diseases, and are subjected to medical negligence. Violations against prisoners have peaked since last March, with the paludits of Israeli political, judicial and legal parties, and now there has been an Israeli consensus on the need to take revenge on the prisoners and humiliate them, in addition to the confiscation of their past works and abdication of resposibility for them (2). 

Ø  Second: Administrative arrest 

Administrative arrest is against all norms of international law, where the prisoner is detained for long years without a specific charge, but some secret intelligence information about the prisoner, known among prisoners as the (secret file). The way administrative arrest functions is when the detainee’s appearance is demanded before two courts after the administrative verdict is issued. The maximum time limit of this verdict is 6 months, however, it’s renewable. The first court is called the Court of Cassation and the second is called the Court of Appeal. In this mock trial, however, the prosecution shows the secret file, and then it is handed over to the judge. At this point, the administrative arrest decision is endorsed. This process is repeated several times without setting a time limit for this administrative detention, which may exceeds 5 years. Of note, there are prisoners who had been transferred to administrative detention after they served long sentences in prison.

There are 3 Palestinian female prisoners in administrative detention. The prisoner Fathi al-Hayek, head of Zeta Jammai'n village (Nablus), is the oldest administrative prisoner, held for more than four years, after the release of the prisoner Saed Yassin, director of Ansar Al-Sajeen Association (the Prisoners’ Friends Association), in November. The third prisoner is Nazih Abu Awn, from Jenin, and then former Minister of Prisoners Affair Wasfi Qabha. All of them received up to 4 years in administrative detention.

Here, we note that there has been a significant decrease in the number of administrative detainees in Israeli jails. In 2002 there were more than 1200 administrative detainees in Israeli jails, but it went down to 280 by the end of 2009.  

Ø  Third: Prisoners in isolation 

The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 119, clearly stipulated the illegality of the continuing isolation of the prisoner more than thirty days, regardless of the offense he made. However, this was not honored by occupation authorities; instead, they held so many prisoners in long-term isolation to destroy their morale and cut them off from the outside world.

Old-new isolation technique is adopted by Israeli authorities against the activist prisoners. For example, they have detained Hassan Salamah, from Gaza, for 13 consecutive years. He also has been sentenced to 47 life sentences. The way Hassan Salamah was isolated trespassed all norms and standards, where he was put among Israeli civilian prisoners, delinquents and criminals who tried more than once to kill him.

Israeli authorities have also imprisoned Jamal Abu Al-Hijah, from Jenin refugee camp, for 7 years. He has been prevented from seeing his family. Abu Al-Hijah has suffered from many skin diseases and the emergence of tag for diet on the face and around the eye area, which affects his vision.

Prisoner Ibrahim Hamid, who has been isolated for three years, is living in exceedingly difficult conditions. He has been deprived of family visits—mainly wife and children, after deporting his wife, Asmaa.

 Permanently and longtime isolated prisoners 

Serial number 

name

prison

Year of isolation

notes

1.

Ahmad Sa’adat Abdel Rasoul

Reemon

2009

Security isolation

 

2.

Ahmad Al-Moughrab

Reemon

2004

Security isolation

 

3.

Jamal Abu Al-Haija

Reemon

2005

Security isolation

 

4.

Muhammad Jamal Al-Natsheh

Reemon

2007

Security isolation

 

5.

Mahmoud Eisa

Reemon

2002

Security isolation

 

6.

Abdullah Al-Barghouthi

Reemon

2002

Security isolation

 

7.

Hassan Salama

Reemon

2002

Security isolation

 

8.

Moataz Hejazi

Reemon

2004

Security isolation

 

9.

Ibrahim Hamid

Aylon

2007

Security isolation

 

10.

Atwa Al-Amour

Reemon

2007

Security isolation

 

11.

Mhawesh Nemat

Reemon

2007

Security isolation

 

12.

Hisham Al-Sharbati

Ohli Keedar

2007

Security isolation

 

 

The conditions imposed on the prisoner in isolation are extremely difficult: His hands are tied up most often, when going on a break, meeting with the attorney, also when serving food for him, or getting rid of garbage, let alone the place of detention, which is very small, narrow and unhealthy for human use. 

Ø  Fourth: Patient prisoners 

The general rule that applies to all prisoners is that almost no prisoner has gotten out of Israeli jails without a physical disability. So it is difficult to know the precise number of patients inside Israeli prisons, because the majority of prisoners suffer from diseases.

But according to recent statistics, there are more than 1000 cases with chronic diseases inside Israeli jails. Among those 1000, there are 40 patient prisoners living in the prison hospital under terrible conditions. They suffer from various terminal diseases, such as paralysis and kidney failure. Also, there are 18 cases of cancers, the most recent of whom is prisoner Ahmad Al-Najjar. He has suffered from mouth cancer, which has made him unable to speak. 

Forms of Israeli violations against patient prisoners 

 

• Frequent medical negligence and procrastination in providing treatment for those who need it, or giving surgical operations but only after prisoners go on protest demanding transference of their fellow patient prisoner to the hospital.

 

• Providing ineffective treatment for prisoners such as aspirin tablet or a cup of water.

 

• Lack of specialized physicians, such as dentists, otolaryngologists and ophthalmologists.

 

• Lack of makeshift physicians to treat emergency cases during the night.

 

• Lack of psychologists and supervisors, where there are many mental illness cases, who are in need of special supervision.

 

• Lack of medical equipment, like artificial limbs and spectacles, for people with special needs, and inhalers as well for asthma patients and acute respiratory tract infections.

 

• Serving unhealthy meals which affect prisoners with chronic diseases such as diabetes, pressure, heart and kidney problems. And most often, prisoners were served rotten food which led to poisoning.

 

• Lack of rooms to isolate patients with infectious viral intestinal diseases and scabies, which threatens disease spread so rapidly among the prisoners because of the severe congestion in the prisons.

 

• Lack of private rooms for detainees with severe psychological illness which poses a threat to the lives of other prisoners.

 

• Use of unventilated trucks to transfer patient detainees to hospitals for treatment with hands and legs tied up, instead of using comfortable and medically equipped ambulances. 

 

Ø  Fifth: Prisoners from deputies and ministers 

Unprecedently, Israeli occupation authorities have kidnapped since mid-2006 fifty one 51 Palestinian MPs and ministers, chief among them was Dr. Aziz Dwaik, and gave most of them harsh sentences. Later, many of them were released after having spent nearly four years in captivity, but the other remaining 20 are still in different prisons under very difficult conditions. 

Ø  Sixth: Orange uniform 

In 2009, Israeli prison authorities tried to impose the orange uniform instead of the current brown. Therefore, they clearly wanted to humiliate prisoners by making resemblance between them and prisoners in American prisons at Guantanamo Bay, so the intended similarity between the two groups would be taken into consideration by the international public opinion.

But the decision was rejected by the prisoners, despite all punishment and strangulation, and then prison administration realized that it would not be able to implement the decision. So they had to postpone it. 

Ø  Seventh: Transportation in between prisons 

Stability is one of the most important things that people seek everywhere, including prisoners. With the passage of time, a kind of harmony is built among the group of prisoners living in one prison. To humiliate the prisoner, Israeli authorities often transfer the prisoner from one prison to another, and then to a third prison.

Israeli occupation authorities always target the leaders and the old prisoners, or those of influence, so as not to enable the prisoners to benefit from their experiences. 

Ø  Eighth: ‘Bosta’ 

Al-Bosta is a term used when transferring one prisoner from one place to another, like moving the prisoner from one prison to another, or taking him to the court or hospital. This procedure is most worrying to the prisoner, because the ensuing repressive procedures taken by the prison administration. Security is one of the most important issues for Israeli authorities, which serve as a pretext to implement this ‘Bosta’.

Al-Bosta is usually implemented when Israelis suddenly inform the prisoner of his transfer, without telling him where he is going to be taken. And sometimes, the family visit is due, but the act of transferring the prisoner would deny him that. In addition to that, this causes pain and trouble to the family, because they usually are denied any chance of seeing the prisoner.

Along with his belongings, the prisoner has to get on a bus, which is not suitable for human use. Police guards tie up his hands and legs, and serve him no food during the journey, which could last more than 10 hours. Then, the prisoner is thoroughly searched and his stuff, and sometimes some of his belongings are confiscated.  

Ø  Ninth: Imposition of financial penalties on prisoners 

Israeli prisons department try to abuse the prisoners in many ways to. One of these oppressive procedures is imposing financial penalties on the prisoners. Every prisoner normally has his own Bank account, through which money is transferred to him by his family, Ministry of Prisoners or the political faction responsible for him, to purchase all he needs at the prison canteen. Israeli department exploits prisoners by imposing high prices on different items.

In order to increase restrictions against prisoners, financial fines are imposed on prisoners for the slightest wrongdoing (from the viewpoint of the warden), such as being late after the count, or making some noise inside one prison. This sum of money is deducted from the account in the prisoner’s account, and in some cases, a fine is imposed on the whole room or section.

The last financial penalty imposed against a prisoner was in 2009, when the prisoner Ahlam Tamimi spoke with one of the old prisoners as the attorney visited them. She was fined 1400 NIS (US$350). 

Ø  Tenth: No family visits 

There are more than 1500 Palestinian prisoners and others from the West Bank who have been deprived of seeing their families for long times, including 775 from the Gaza Strip denied family visits since Israel imposed the siege on the Gaza Strip in 2006, under the pretext of maintaining security.

It is very important for the prisoner to see his family, because it is an opportunity for a mutual moral uplift.   

Ø  Eleventh: “Illegal” fighter designation 

15 arrests among Palestinians were recorded last year, most of whom were from the Gaza Strip. The majority of them faced unjust decisions labeling them as ‘illegal fighters’. After they had served their sentences, they, however, were not released and continued to live in prisons under miserable conditions.

Israel’s invention of “illegal fighter” law, under which many prisoners are re-arrested after serving their sentences, has plunged the prisoners in a psychological warfare. The gravity of this new decision is that the prisoner cannot know the moment of release and remain confined physically and psychologically.

This unjust procedure would serve as a justification for occupation authorities to legalize the continuing detention of the Palestinian prisoners with no indictments, and under the pretext of the ‘secret file’ at the behest of Zionist intelligence officers.  

 “The above-mentioned law constitutes a violation of human rights principles and standards of fair trial, where the Palestinian detainee is denied the right to defend himself before the court. The prisoner is kept in detention indefinitely, with no indictment or specific charge. The prisoner is sometimes considered as “illegal fighter”, after serving a sentence he had already been tried for.” (3) 

"The law of illeegal fighter was used by Israeli occupation authorities in 2008, specifically before the recent attack on Gaza, with four prisoners individually. Then, authorities have widely used this law after the war on Gaza, which lasted for 22 days, and considered tens of prisoners arrested during the offensive as "illegal fighters," according to a previous decision labelling the Gaza Strip as a hostile entity. (4). 

 *Division and its role in weakening Palestinian prisoners’ issue 

 

There is no doubt that the Palestinian division, triggered in mid-2006, has had a significant negative impact on life in prison. The prison’s administration did separate prisoners belonging to both Hamas and Fatah—two biggest Palestinian factions, from each other, which negatively affected the prisoners’ ability to take effective decisions, to maintain the prisoners’ rights.

The Palestinian division negatively affected the Palestinian prisoners not only because of the separation of prisoners from one another, but also because of the weak Palestinian public support to the prisoners’ issue.  

 *number of jailed Palestinians and interrogation centers  

 

prison

 Number of prisoners 

Negev prison

1905

Ofer

860

Megiddo

1000

Nafha

870

Ramon

500

Ashkelon

420

Hadarim

150

Beer-Sheva (Beersheba)

360

Gilboa

360

Shata

400

Al Ramlah hospital

45

Damon

200

Telmond

36 (females)

Investigation and interrogation centers

180

 

 Total=7286 male and female prisoners 

 

ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

1) In general, the number of Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli jails reached 197. The last one was the Palestinian Prisoner Obeida Qudsi Dweik, 25, died on Sep. 13,  after 18 days of his arrest in August 2009. Qudsi Dweik was arrested after he had been shot by Israeli occupation forces at the entrance to Al-Shuhada Street in the West Bank’s Hebron. 

2) Forms of arrests and torture and the formation of an Israeli ministerial committee to increase restrictions on prisoners, this excerpt is quoted from a report done by Abdel Nasser Farawana, researcher and the Director of the Bureau of Statistics at the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, issued on January 6 2010. 

3) quoted from a statement issued by Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights on November 16 2009. 

4)United Press International, News on November 21 2009


FRIENDS OF HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL
Human Rights Organization
Hirschstettnerstrasse 19-21/D00, 1220 Vienna, Austria
Tel: 0043 1 2028501
Fax: 0043 1 2028547
www.friendsofhumanity.info
mfi.info@aon.at