2020: the year of duplicated suffering on detainees in confronting the policies of jailor and the epidemic

During 2020, the Israeli occupation authorities continued in the policy of systematic punishment and violating the rights of detainees, which are guaranteed by international covenants and agreements, as part of torture policy imposed against the Palestinians. A series of violations took the first place in the reality of the cause of detainees in Israeli prisons, especially in light of the spread-out of the coronavirus pandemic, through various measures imposed by the administration of prison, which contributed to worsening detention conditions.
According to reports of human right organizations specialized in detainees’ affairs, the Israeli forces arrested (4634) Palestinians in 2020, including (543) minors, (128) women and issued (1114) administrative detention orders.
Detainees’ institutions and human rights organizations (the Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees’ Affairs, the Palestinian Society Prisoner’s Club, Al Dameer Association for Human Rights and Wadi Hilweh Information Center) pointed out in their report that there are currently (4400) Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including (40) women, (170) minors and (380) administrative detainees. The report also showed that the number of the martyrs of the Captive Movement is (226), where (4) detainees martyred in 2020 inside the prison, (Nour Aldeen Barghouthi, Saadi Gharabli, Dawood Khateeb and Kamal Abu Waaer).
(543) detainees have been sentenced to life imprisonment, including five in 2020, where the longest term is for the detainee Abdullah Barghouthi who is sentenced to (67) life imprisonment.
Moreover, there are nearly (700) sick detainees, including (300) with chronic and serious diseases who need appropriate treatment and continuous care, and at least there are tens of detainees who have cancer, such as the detainee Fuad Shobaki, 81 years old and Hussain Masalmeh (39) years old.
There are many detainees who are held at Al-Ramlah clinic : (Khalid Shaweesh, Mansour Mowqadi, Motasem Raddad, Nahed Aqraa, Saleh Saleh and Muwafaq Erouq).
(71) Detainees have been killed since 1967 due to deliberate medical negligence, which is a firm and systematic policy.
The occupation authorities still retain the bodies of (8) martyrs who died inside the prison; (Anees Dolah who died in Ashkelon prison in 1980, Azeez Ewaisat who died in 2018, Fares Baroud, Nassar Taqatqa, and Bassam Sayeh who died in 2019, and Saadi Gharabli, Dowood Khateeb, Kamal Abu Waaer who died in 2020.
There are (26) long-term detainees who were arrested before the Oslo Accord, such as; Kareem Younis and Maher Younis who are detained since 1983, and the detainee Nael Barghouthi who served the total of 40 years in prison. (9) Members of the Legislative Council are currently imprisoned.

Detainees confronting the epidemic and the abusive policies of the prisons’ administration
The Israeli occupation authorities continued its abusive measures against Palestinians. At the time that the whole world is facing the Corona epidemic, the occupation is misusing this case as a tool to suppress detainees, without taking into consideration the fears surrounding their fate, as prisons form a stimulating environment for the spread of diseases, especially with the lack of necessary preventive measures, in addition to the fact that the prisons are not suitable for human life.
Since March 2020, and with the declaration of the state of emergency, the prisons authority administration announced a set of measures, and imposed restrictions on several levels regarding the lawyers who defend detainees before the military and civil courts of the occupation, in addition to stopping visits of detainees’ families and lawyers. These acts made the detainees live in double isolation with difficult detention conditions.
The Commission monitored a set of facts that accompanied the spread-out of the virus, such as: arresting more than (3600) Palestinians since the beginning of corona virus spread-out, including children, women, elderly, sick and injured persons. By these acts, the epidemic turned into a tool of suppression against detainees, and despite the increased number of infected detainees, especially in November, the occupation authorities continued its systematic daily arrests.
However, (300) confirmed cases of corona virus were recorded since last April, as the prisons administration announced.
The detention campaigns increased the possibility of the spread of the epidemic among Palestinian citizens and detainees, by storming houses without taking the necessary health measures to prevent the virus. Testimonies of citizens confirmed that the Israeli soldiers tended to spit on roofs and public places during storming the houses.
The epidemic was used to reinforce the violations against detainees’ rights, such as obstructing the families and lawyers visits that was suspended temporarily. These restrictions imposed an additional suffering on detainees’ families and placed detainees on additional isolation, which posed a threat to their fate. For example: Jelboa prison witnessed the infection of (100) detainees in November 2020.

Hunger strike… a continuous confrontation against the policies of the occupation
The suppressive measures applied by the occupation authorities forced the detainees to confront the jailor with hunger strike, where more than (25) detainees started individual hunger strike, protesting against the policies of prison administration. The issue of administrative detention was the most prominent issue that affected detainees, in addition to medical negligence, solitary confinement, arbitrary transfer between prisons and torture in interrogation centers. The prison administration practiced various abusive and revengeful measures against detainees on hunger strike to force them end their strike, such as: depriving them of family and lawyers visits, repeated transfer between prisons, isolating them in cells not suitable for human life, in addition to a set of measures taken after transferring them to civil hospitals, represented in handcuffing them to beds which increases their pain.

Collective arrests, storming houses and destroying properties
The occupation authorities intentionally imposed collective punishment on the Palestinians, as a continuous punishment policy affecting all Palestinians. These policies varied between the continuous incursions into Palestinian cities, villages and camps, some of which take place during day hours and others in the late evening hours, accompanied by harassment of residents of homes, searching homes, and destruction their property. In addition, they control the archeological and historical sites, to provide protection for settlers for controlling these places, just as what happened in October 2020, when the Israeli occupation army carried out an incursion in Al-Baydar yard at Sabastya village, and fired gas bombs and rubber coated bullets causing injuries.
The occupation authorities continued to attack several cities and villages during the past year, and the towns of Ya’bad and Kobar had the largest share of attacks.
The occupation authorities steal the childhood of minor detainees
The occupation forces continued the daily arrests which target Palestinian children, in an attempt to destroy a complete generation. (543) children have been arrested since the beginning of the year, and (170) of them are still held in Israeli prisons, distributed to three prisons; Ofer, Megiddo, Damoun.
During the visits of human rights organizations to prisons, children detainees complained about many violations practiced against them, such as: the policies of suppression, arbitrary transfer between prisons, mistreatment and torture against injured and sick detainees. In addition, they tend to amend the military orders related to children detainees.

Arresting Palestinian women
The occupation authorities continue to carry out brutal arrest campaigns against the Palestinian people, including children, women and sick persons, violating their rights by torture since the first moment of arrest. Women and girls are attacked in many ways where the occupation authorities resort to measures aimed at harassing and suppressing them, or humiliating them and violating their dignity, without taking into account their special needs.
Till the end of 2020, (40) women are held in the Israeli prisons, including (13) mother, (8) wounded, (1) under administrative detention, (24) sentenced to actual imprisonment and (15) under arrest. According to the geographic distribution: (13) detainees from Jerusalem, (6) from the territories occupied in 1948, (2) from Gaza Strip and the rest are from the West Bank.
It is worthy to mention that Palestinian women are arrested in the same brutal way that the occupation authorities pursue against all the Palestinian people, as they are taken brutally from their homes, transferred to interrogation and detention centers, and subjected to various methods of physical and psychological torture, beatings and degrading treatment, with the aim of extracting confessions from them under pressure and threat.

Health conditions for detainees in 2020
There is no difference between Corona virus and the Israeli jailor, as they both attack the body, hurt and kill the soul. When they both meet, the suffering of detainees will increase.
The health condition of detainees inside prisons is very difficult, and the health care is very poor, where detention condition is very bad, there is harsh treatment, polluted environment, closed places, overcrowded rooms that lack proper ventilation and low level of medical services. The state of occupation allowed itself to violate the Forth and Third Geneva Convention and breached all international and humanitarian laws and agreements regarding the treatment of detained persons.
This situation worsens in 2020 since the spread-out of Coronavirus, and it is clear that the administration of prisons did not take any procedure to protect detainees and did not provide any preventive measures. Besides, they did not stop the incursions and did not change the rules of treatment, the conditions of investigation and torture, or reduce the level of their. They did not take into account the seriousness of contact and the possibility of infection.
(140) detainees got infected in Ofer and Jelboa prisons, according to the ever and always doubtful Israeli narration.
The occupation authorities are still holding about (700) Palestinian detainees in their prisons and detention centers, suffering from various diseases and multiple physical, psychological disabilities including (300) detainees suffering from severe and chronic diseases and in need of urgent treatment.
As a result of the nature of detention places, the ill-treatment, the bad health conditions and the policy of medical negligence, (4) detainees have been martyred in 2020: Nour Al-Deen Barghouthi, Saadi Gharabli, Dawood Khateeb and Kamal Abu Waer.

Solitary confinement… systematic policy to purge the Palestinian detainees
The policy of solitary confinement is considered one of the most dangerous violations implemented by Israeli forces against detainees, where they got isolated individually for a long time in a narrow dirty cell.
In 2020, the Israeli occupation authorities continued to use this policy against detainees, such as the detainees; Omar Khurwat, Hatem Qawasmi, Wael Jaghoub and Fadwa Hamadah.
The Israeli authorities aim at humiliating detainees by solitary confinement, in which the detainee is completely isolated from the outside world and cannot communicate his family or lawyer.

Detainees and the repeated suffering every winter
The suffering of detainees in Israeli prisons is repeated every year at beginning of winter, where they live in difficult conditions due to the lack of winter clothes, bed covers and heating devices in prisons and interrogation centers.
The commission pointed out that the suffering increases in the interrogation centers, such as Huwara and Jalamah centers, in addition to prisons located in the desert such as: Nafaha, Negev, Birsheba and Remon prisons, due to the cold weather.

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