Palestinian political prisoners currently being held in Israeli detention have declared a state of general mobilisation against a new series of repressive measures by the Israeli regime.
The Palestinian Authority’s Detainees Affairs Commission said the decision was made after the Israel Prison Service (IPS) reneged on understandings that were previously reached with prisoners’ representatives following the Gilboa jailbreak last September, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Sunday.
‘In response, the Palestinian Captive Movement and all its affiliates have declared a state of general mobilisation, including the dissolution of all partisan bodies starting Monday,’ (yesterday) the commission said.
After six Palestinians managed to escape from Israel’s highly-fortified Gilboa prison in the northern part of the occupied territories through an underground tunnel on September 6th, 2021, the Tel Aviv regime implemented a repressive campaign against more than 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
The punitive measures included throwing tens of detainees into solitary confinement, preventing inmates from exercising and going to the prison yard, banning prisoners from seeing their families, and closing the canteens.
In protest against these repressive Israeli measures, Palestinian political prisoners in Israel are launching a set of measures, including a partial hunger strike. They also set fire to cells inside some Israeli prisons, namely Ofer and Kzi’ot.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has said detainees at Israel’s Nafha and Rimon prisons have decided to lock down all sections in the two jails in protest against the Israeli Prison Service’s decision to cut the daily break-time by 50 per cent.
In a statement on Sunday, the PPS said, as a result of the IPS decision, prisoners at certain sections cannot now meet prisoners from other sections during the daily break-time as before.
The Palestinian Information Centre also reported that the Palestinian Captive Movement decision to disband all its regulatory committees – which represent the prisoners – came after the IPS escalated its repressive measures against Palestinian inmates, including the new restrictions on their daily outdoor time.
It now means that, as of yesterday, Israeli jailers will be forced to deal with each prisoner individually.
There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli jails. Hundreds of them have been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention – where they are held without charge or trial, often for years.
Prison authorities keep Palestinian inmates under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. The prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression, according to Palestinian officials.
Human rights organisations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Meanwhile over the weekend, dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem, under the protection of the regime’s forces.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has been loudly warning Tel Aviv about the settlers’ increasing atrocities.
The Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem said in a statement that the settlers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, on Sunday morning.
They performed provocative tours of the site, which is venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and staged Talmudic rituals near Bab al-Rahma, which is the eastern gate of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli legislators and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians.
Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in Jerusalem.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Jewish visits to al-Aqsa are permitted but, according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
Last May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state with Jerusalem’s eastern sector as its capital.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates holds the Israeli regime ‘fully and directly’ responsible for settlers’ practices in the West Bank, and warn of dire consequences.
The ministry has called on the United Nations Security Council and the United States to take necessary measures to stop the occupying regime’s ‘crimes and violations’ against the Palestinian people.
It noted that, as the occupying power, Israel must abide by international laws of peace and legitimacy in order for the credibility of international institutions to be preserved.
The Palestinian foreign ministry then called on the US and the UN Security Council to ‘fulfil their legal and moral obligations towards the continued suffering of Palestinian people as a result of occupation, (illegal) settlements and the large-scale ethnic cleansing they are subjected to.’
The ministry expressed its ‘great surprise over Washington’s and the international community’s silence on the violations and crimes’ being perpetrated by Israel in the occupied Palestinian lands.
‘Israel’s disregard for the Palestinian cause and escalation of crimes against our people are clearly evident that the regime is not willing to be a partner for peace,’ it stated.
‘The settlers’ violations against defenceless civilians, their land, property, and trees throughout the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, are taking place without any punishment or deterrent,’ the ministry highlighted.
‘The Israeli settlers’ practices are a direct reflection of the Israeli government’s policy and decisions regarding the Palestinian cause,’ it added.
- On Sunday, the Israeli government decided to stop Palestinian families’ reunification rights, thus confirming that Israel acts as an apartheid regime against the Palestinians.
Right-wing Israeli Minister of Interior, Eyelet Shaked, a staunch opponent of uniting Palestinian families, pushed her government to support a law banning Palestinians from the occupied territories married to Palestinians living in Israel from uniting with their spouses and families inside Israel or in occupied East Jerusalem by denying them residency or citizenship.
The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, voted in July not to renew the law banning Palestinian family reunification – which has come up every year since 2003 for a vote and is constantly upheld – thus opening the way for tens of thousands of Palestinians who’ve applied over the years to be reunited with their families inside Israel or in annexed East Jerusalem to demand a review of their application.
However, Shaked, in her capacity as interior minister, refused to consider any application since the law was repealed in July despite an Israeli High Court order to explain why she refuses to consider these applications after families have petitioned the High Court to rule on their application for family reunification based on the July vote that ended the ban.
Shaked said after the government decision, that the law will again be brought before the Knesset tomorrow, Wednesday, for a vote, expecting that the parliament will uphold the ban this time.
International and Israeli rights groups, the latest of which is Amnesty International, have charged Israel with being an apartheid state for the way it treats the Palestinians under its rule.
- Hardline Israeli settlers on Sunday uprooted and vandalised some 25 olive saplings belonging to Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank province of Salfit.
Husam Samara, a Palestinian from Bruqin village in the province, said that as he entered his ranch on the outskirts of the village, he was shocked that that some 25 olive saplings had been shattered by Israeli settlers the previous night.
He’d planted the saplings about five years ago.
The incident came only a day after Israeli settlers uprooted and chopped down 90 olive saplings and trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the neighbouring villages of Yasuf and Kafr al-Dik.
Violence and vandalism by Israeli settlers are commonplace across the West Bank, and are rarely, if ever, prosecuted by the Israeli occupation authorities.
There are over 650,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of international law and consensus.