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Hamas decries Israeli reprisal measures against Palestinian prisoners

Demonstrators take part in a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on September 8, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has decried the reprisal measures adopted by Israeli authorities against Palestinian captives following the recent escape of six inmates from a maximum-security Israeli jail.

In a statement on Wednesday, Hamas warned against the continuation of the repressive and retaliatory Israeli measures against the prisoners, holding the Tel Aviv regime responsible for the consequences of these dangerous policies.

Hamas hailed the prisoners’ success in grabbing their freedom, describing the move as “a courageous and heroic resistant incident and inspiring for all freedom seekers in the world.”

Hamas also urged international organizations and rights groups to stop the Israeli violations against the rights of Palestinian prisoners.

In the early hours of Monday, Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of the Palestinian resistance group al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade in Jenin, and five members of the Islamic Jihad group managed to tunnel their way out through their cell’s drainage system to escape from the maximum-security jail Gilboa.

It was the biggest Palestinian escape from an Israeli jail since 1987, when six members of the Islamic Jihad broke out of a heavily-guarded jail in Gaza.

After the recent escape of the six inmates, Israel adopted collective punitive measures against the Palestinian prisoners.

The punitive measures include moving tens of detainees to solitary confinements, preventing inmates from going to the prison yard, banning prisoners from meeting their families, and closing the canteens.

Israeli forces on Wednesday launched raids in several prisons, including al-Naqab and Rimon.

In reaction to the escalated crackdown, Palestinian prisoners set fire to seven cells in Section 6 in al-Naqab on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Information Center said the prison’s authority moved all the captives from Section 6 to an undisclosed site.

Israeli special forces also raided Section 1, 4, 5, and 7 in Rimon prison and moved prisoners affiliated with the Islamic Jihad to different sections. The crackdown pushed the detainees to set several cells in Section 4 and 5 ablaze.

Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network also reported that Israeli forces attacked Palestinian prisoners in Majdo prison.

The Asra media office said the confrontation between Israel’s prison authority and the detainees was in a dangerous stage.

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said Israel’s brutal attack on the Palestinian captives and the detention of relatives of prisoners aim to “cover up its failure and defeat against the Palestinian captives’ firm will,” urging the international community to put an end to the “Israeli craziness.”

It also warned that the crackdown would “ignite all arenas inside and outside the prisons.”

The crackdown also sparked protests in the occupied West Bank.

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