‘Extreme tension’ in Israeli jails as Palestinian prisoners protest abuses

Palestinians gesture as others hold flags and banners during a demonstration in support of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons - Gaza City, August 22, 2022 (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 26, 2022

There is ‘extreme tension’ in Israeli prisons amid a growing standoff between officials and Palestinian detainees, a Palestinian NGO said on Friday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Palestinian prisoners in various Israeli jails kicked off a series of protests this week against persistent mistreatment by officials.

Israeli authorities have responded with even harsher steps, including “doubled isolation and removal of electrical devices” from jail cells, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society.

Additional personnel have also been called in at different prisons, the group said in a statement.

In retaliation, Palestinians have decided to disband all their different “factions” in Israeli jails from Sunday, forcing officials to deal with each prisoner separately.

Throughout this week, detainees have refused to take part in daily security checks, returned their meals and organized sit-ins in prison yards.

They accuse Israeli authorities of reneging on understandings reached after previous protests in March.

Palestinians cite arbitrary transfer of detainees, particularly female prisoners, as one of the abuses by Israeli officials.

According to Palestinian figures, there are nearly 4,550 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, including 175 minors and 27 female detainees, along with 670 detainees held under Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial.

For years, Palestinians jailed by Israel have used hunger strikes to demand better living conditions and an end to indefinite detentions.