Commission of Detainees' Affairs Demands Protection for Gilboa Prisoners
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs calls on humanitarian and human rights organizations to make efforts to reveal the whereabouts of more than 400 Palestinian detainees taken to unknown locations after the prisoners' escape.
The Commission of Detainees' Affairs in Palestine called on humanitarian organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to work on revealing what happened to the more than 400 Palestinian prisoners who were taken from Gilboa prison to unknown locations.
On Monday, 6 Palestinian prisoners successfully broke out of Gilboa Prison, in a heroic escape through a tunnel they dug from beneath their cells over many years. In the aftermath of the escape, Israeli authorities transferred more than 400 prisoners to unknown locations.
The Commission's Chairman retired Major General Qadi Abou Bakir warned in a statement of possible Israeli retaliatory practices against other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons in light of the escape.
Israeli retaliatory measures underway
Abou Bakr said that "Israel's Prison Service has begun implementing retaliatory measures against prisoners" in Gilboa and other prisons as well, noting that "Israeli authorities are hiding 400 prisoners that were in Gilboa."
"As soon as the prisoners' escape was discovered, Israeli occupation authorities began their arbitrary measures, taking all" Gilboa prisoners to unknown locations, he said, confirming that "Israel" is using the escape, which brought to light its security failure, as a pretense for imposing strict measures against all Palestinian detainees in all prisons.
The retired Major General also demanded international intervention to put an end to the suffering of the detainees.
Five of the escapees are members of the Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, while the 6th is a Fatah member, most of whom are serving life sentences. All the escapees are from Jenin Governorate, north of the West Bank.
Israeli occupation tightens its punitive measures against prisoners
The Prisoners' Media Office stated that the Prison Service officials decided to cut the time prisoners spend outdoors down to one hour, in addition to reducing the number of prisoners available at the same time in the prison yards, closing the canteens, thus depriving them of their meals, and closing the sections of Islamic Jihad prisoners and transferring them to other prisons as punitive steps against the prisoners.
The head of the Office Riad al-Ashqar that things in prisons are heading toward a rapid escalation as a result of the punitive retaliatory measures imposed by the occupation, which will not stop at this point, but rather it is expected to increase in pace in the coming hours and days. The prisoners will not succumb to this fait accompli and they will face this arbitrary escalation with broad protest steps that may cause the situation in prisons to flare up.