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Palestinian prisoners plan protest measures to protest Israel’s repression: Advocacy groups

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli soldiers gather behind a security fence in the West Bank town of Jenin on September 6, 2021, following the breakout of six Palestinians from an Israeli prison. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention plan to start a set of measures, including a partial hunger strike, next week in protest against the ongoing Israeli regime’s repressive measures, prisoners’ advocacy groups say.

The Palestinian Authority’s Detainees Affairs Commission and the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said on Saturday that the prisoners would boycott the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and its rules and start a gradual hunger strike while more inmates are expected to join the strike every day, Palestine's official WAFA news agency reported.

After six Palestinians on Monday managed to escape from Israel’s highly-fortified Gilboa prison, the regime implemented a repressive campaign against more than 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Four of the six prisoners have been caught while the remaining two are still at large.

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.

Tel Aviv has also decided to relocate inmates in Gilboa following the jailbreak, with Palestinian resistance factions having declared Friday a day of rage to protest the Israeli decision.

In response to the Israeli crackdown and the IPS measures, the prisoners set fire to detention cells inside the Israeli prisons of Ofer and Kzi’ot last week. The IPS has sent many prisoners to solitary confinement and restricted prisoners’ access to essential services.

Citing the International Committee of the Red Cross, the PPS said in a statement Thursday that the IPS banned Palestinian families from visiting their loved ones in jail until the end of this month.

The Islamic Jihad resistance movement and several Palestinian political factions on Saturday warned Israel against causing harm and endangering the lives of prisoners allegedly detained after they escaped from Gilboa.

In a statement, Islamic Jihad said it holds Tel Aviv fully responsible for the lives of Yaqoub Qadri, 48, and 45-year-old Mahmoud Abdullah Ardah, who were said to have been re-arrested in the city of Nazareth.

Islamic Jihad warned that any harm to their lives would amount to a declaration of war against Palestinians, and trigger a series of swift retaliatory measures against the Tel Aviv regime.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Israeli forces have arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000.

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