Israel’s oppression of Palestinian prisoners may lead to protests, experts warn

A protest in support of Palestinian prisoners in front of the ICRC building in Gaza City (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 22, 2022

The decision to tighten restrictions imposed on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons is likely ushering in an open confrontation between prisoners and Israeli prison services, Al-Resalah newspaper reported yesterday.

“The situation inside Israeli prisons, where Palestinian prisoners are enduring harsh imprisonment conditions, are boiling,” Hassan Abed Rabbo, spokesman of the Palestinian Commission of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, said in a statement.

Abed Rabbo said that “all factional organizations inside Israeli prisons had been dissolved “and the situation is likely bracing for an open and comprehensive confrontation with the Israeli prison services.”

He pointed out that the reason for the ongoing situation is “imposing new sanctions and fines” on the prisoners.

The spokesman, who is a former prisoner, said that Nafha Prison “has been boiling for two weeks as prisoners do not go out for their daily break.”

Meanwhile, head of Prisoners Affairs Department at Waed Association, Abdullah Qandil, said: “Israeli prisons are witnessing an unprecedented escalation.”

Qandil warned that the escalation in Nafha Prison might reach all other Israeli prisons where Palestinian prisoners are incarcerated.

“Freezing the factional organizations inside prisons means that every prisoner has the choice to fight for his own right in the way he wants,” he said, stressing “this will lead to massive aggression on the prisoners.”

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) had cut water and electricity supplies to Nafha Prison, which is located in the desert. “This is an alarm that Israeli repression has started,” Qandil said.