Palestinian prisoners in dire conditions; West Bank arrests skyrocket
The Israeli occupation's crimes extend well beyond the besieged Gaza Strip into the West Bank, the occupied 1948 Palestinian territories, and Israeli occupation prisons.
Six Palestinian detainees have been tortured to death by the Israeli occupation, according to the WAFA news agency, citing a statement by the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs, while they were held in Israeli occupation prisons. This comes as part of the systematic campaign of assaults against Palestinian detainees and prisoners since October 7.
The six Palestinians who were martyred as a result of Israeli torture are Omar Daraghmeh from Tubas, Arafat Hamdan from Ramallah, Majed Zaqoul from Gaza, Abdel Rahman Marei from Salfit, Thaer Abu Assab from Qalqilya, and a martyr whose identity remains undisclosed.
The statement underscored that alongside severe torture, the occupation prison authorities have been cracking down on detained Palestinians by sending them to isolation and preventing them from any form of communication with the outside world, including their family members and lawyers.
Inside the prisons, the statement noted, entire sections are subjugated to almost daily raids, and prisoners get brutally attacked by the Israeli jailers who beat them with batons and rifles while also throwing tear gas at them causing suffocation. It has also been reported that detained Palestinians have suffered from wounds resulting from rubber-coated bullets.
Often, Palestinians in Israeli prisons end up with multiple injuries, ranging from bruises to deep wounds and fractured limbs.
WAFA also reported that according to the Commission, "Israeli occupation soldiers deliberately vandalize the homes of detainees during arrest raids. This includes violent beatings from the moment of arrest to the investigation and imprisonment stages. The detainees face verbal abuse, threats, deliberate neglect of their injuries and health conditions, and denial of medical treatment."
According to the Commission, the occupation frequently reacts violently to requests for medical attention, threatening greater abuse and recalling the fate of previous prisoners who were killed in Israeli prisons.
The statement detailed the severe and discriminatory actions that the detainees and prisoners have to endure, including the lack of aluminum windows on the cell bars, which exposes prisoners to freezing weather.
The statement also highlighted more injustice and explained that any "attempts by detainees to close the windows with cardboard result in room invasions and punishment."
As for the food provided, the statement described it as "terrible, both in quality and quantity, often cold and emitting foul odors," adding that "the quantity allotted for 12 detainees is insufficient for only four. Detainees are also not allowed access to the courtyard immediately and face restrictions on personal belongings."
Most significantly, the statement voiced concern that "this aggressive crackdown on the detainees coincides with the absence of a role played by human rights institutions in providing minimal protection and oversight of the detainees' conditions and rights."
Arrests across the West Bank skyrocket
Moreover, in a joint statement with the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs said, "Israeli occupation forces arrested about 60 individuals from the West Bank from yesterday evening until Sunday morning, including 5 young women (university students). Notably, some were released subsequently."
Moreover, the statement said, "The mass arrests were concentrated in al-Khalil and Ramallah governorates, with additional arrests distributed across Areeha, Jenin, Salfit, and Beit Lahm," adding that "the arrest campaign was marked by widespread incidents of abuse, severe physical beatings, threats against the detainees and their families, and extensive acts of vandalism and destruction in citizens' homes."
The Commission confirmed that as a result of the most recent arrest campaigns since October 7, the number of newly detained Palestinians exceeded 3,480, adding that among them are 147 women, including those arrested from the occupied 1948 territories and the Gaza Strip.
As for journalists, 41 journalists were arrested in total. While some of them were later released, 28 journalists remain in Israeli occupation prisons.
As for the number of administrative detention orders issued, it stands at 1,666 distributed between orders of renewal of detentions and new detention orders.
It is also worth noting that the arrest campaigns across the West Bank also included children.