Freedom Tunnel's Mahmoud Al-Arida speaks of Israeli prison brutality
Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Al-Arida, one of the six who liberated themselves from the Israeli occupation's Gilboa prison last year, sends a message to the world about the brutality of the Israeli occupation behind bars.
Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Al-Arida has written a message that was received by Al Mayadeen and other Arab media outlets on Thursday, saluting the media outlets that "did not forget the cause of the prisoners held in the Israeli occupation prisons."
Mahmoud Al-Arida is one of the prisoners behind Operation Freedom Tunnel, which saw six brave prisoners liberating themselves from the unjust prisons of the Israeli occupation.
The prisoners who managed to escape through a tunnel are Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Munadel Yaqoub Nafi'at, Mohammad Qassem Al-Arida, Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri, Ayham Fouad Kamamji, Mahmoud Abdullah al-Arida.
Al-Arida, alongside four other prisoners, was sentenced by an Israeli court to five years and eight months in prison. He was also fined 5,000 shekels for his pursuit of freedom.
He revealed that he and his comrades were subjected to a severe revenge campaign by the Israeli occupation prisons administration. "[We are being subjected to] constant transferring, strip-searching, deprivation of visits, and restrictions in all respects."
The Israeli occupation, Al-Arida added, "tried to put the hero Mahmoud Chreim in a monitored room with a mentally ill prisoner, and he carried out a heroic act and fought with the prison guards and broke all the CCTV cameras, and he is now in solitary confinement."
The Palestinian tragedies in the Israeli prisons have long been ongoing, and there is a lot of mistreatment against prisoners and unjustified maltreatment. Hundreds of prisoners have spent long decades in these prisons, and this is a tragedy and a tremendous, inexplicable scandal. What is even worse is the constant violations committed by the Israeli prisons administration and pushed by political agendas, the message read.
The Palestinian prisoner also sent out a "love-ridden salutation to all of our people in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, who stood by us and the heroes that paved the way to Al-Quds with us, as well as the tunnel of freedom."
"The executioner cannot be merciful, and the oppressor does not know justice."
Al-Arida touched on the Israeli court decision, stressing that it was in line with the brutality of the usurping Israeli occupation.
The sentence they received, he said, only gave them strength and the willpower to carry on. "The occupation prevented media from entering [the prisons] so we don't speak of martyr Shireen Abu Akleh."
"I, Mahmoud Al-Arida, am ready to give up my freedom for the people held in prisons to live with dignity and honor," he concluded his message by saying.
This comes after Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation reported that Palestinian prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, a fellow Freedom Tunnel prisoner, was reported to be on the fourth day of his hunger strike launched in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners.
"Prisoner Al-Zubaidi is on his fourth day of hunger strike in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners Khalil Awawdeh and Raed Rayan," the foundation said in a press release.
Palestinian prisoners Khalil Awawdeh, 40, from the town of Idna in Al-Khalil, and Raed Rayan, 27, from the village of Beit Duqu north of Al-Quds, continue their open hunger strike for the 99th and 63rd consecutive days in protest against their administrative detention.
Rayan is suffering from headaches and joint, flank, and knee pain, as well as difficulty in walking. He has not been examined by a doctor and has not undergone any medical examinations since the beginning of his hunger strike, while Awawdeh is suffering from severe joint pain, headaches, vertigo, and blurred vision. He is also unable to move and is wheelchair-bound.