The ongoing inhumane treatment of our political prisoners and detainees who are being held in Israeli jails as well as the collective punishments levelled against their families must end.
After 6 detainees gained their freedom from high-security Gilboa prison, Israeli authorities began a crackdown inside their prisons, forcibly transferring detainees, locking them in cells, denying family visits and removing basic rights.
Among the collective punishments meted out:
These measures violate the prohibition of collective punishment in international humanitarian law most clearly enshrined in Article 33(1) of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Palestine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said
“Israel’s decision to impose additional forms of collective punishment on the 4600 Palestinians it unlawfully detains, including women and children, as well as their families, exacerbate the conditions of their illegal and inhumane incarceration.”
“Re-arresting the four prisoners after they gained their freedom is illegal according to the Geneva Conventions, especially Articles 93, 92, 91, and 90 of the Third Geneva Convention.
“The Ministry is following with great interest what the prisoners are exposed to and will, in cooperation with the relevant parties and authorities, ensure that documented reports about their torture are delivered to the ongoing investigation committee set up by the Human Rights Council, as well as submit these reports to the International Criminal Court.”
Four of the detainees have since been recaptured with one, Zakaria Zubeidi, having to be hospitalised following a severe beating. His legal representative reported that he has a broken jaw and two broken ribs. The detainees had been denied legal representation for days after their capture and the occupation forces are not providing any updates on the health of the prisoners.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has now intervened and are expecting to be able to see the recaptured prisoners soon. The Palestinian prisoners’ movement announced that 1380 prisoners in Israeli jails would have embarked on an open-ended hunger strike in protest against the prisons’ administrations escalated repressive measures and collective punishments. However, the Israeli Prison Authority agreed to end collective punishment measures this week.
The State of Palestine holds Israel, the occupying power, fully responsible for the health and well-being of our political prisoners and detainees. We call the international community for immediate intervention to ensure the protection of all our political prisoners and detainees and hold perpetrators accountable for its violation and crimes.