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Palestinian prisoners give Israel until Friday to end punitive measures against inmates

An Israeli soldier is seen on a guard tower in Gilboa Prison. (Photo by Israeli media)

A Palestinian prisoners’ advocacy group has issued an ultimatum for Israel to quit repressive measures against inmates in the wake of an escape by six inmates from a high-security Israeli prison.

Addressing a pro-prisoner sit-in outside the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City on Monday, Ibrahim Mansour, a senior official from the Palestinian Captive Movement said Palestinian people and factions would take massive steps if the Israeli violations persisted against the inmates.

Mansour gave the Israel Prison Service (IPS) until September 17 to revoke the punitive measures against those languishing behind bars in the Israeli jail, adding, "The prisoners would start an open-ended battle as of Friday if Israeli jailers did not respond to their demand.” 

For his part, senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri described the issue of the prisoners as a top priority for the Palestinian nation.

In the predawn hours of September 6, at least six Palestinian prisoners escaped from a high-security Israeli prison. Five of them belong to the Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad, coming from towns near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Israeli authorities announced they had arrested Zakaria Zubeidi, Mohammad Arda, Mahmoud Arda, and Yacoub Qadri across the occupied West Bank in recent days.

Emerging reports indicate that they were severely beaten and that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has sent many Palestinian prisoners into solitary confinement and restricted their access to essential services.  

Palestine Foreign Ministry warns against retaliatory measures against detainees

Separately, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement called on the international community, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations to follow up on the conditions of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

The ministry demanded that the humanitarian organizations ensure the inmates are not subject to torture and abuse, and compel Israel to implement the Third Geneva Convention, related to the treatment of prisoners.

Since last week, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons have been facing a repressive campaign following the escape of the six inmates.

“Israel's decision to impose additional forms of collective punishment on the 4,600 Palestinians it unlawfully detains, including women and children, as well as their families, exacerbate the conditions of their illegal and inhumane incarceration. It is an outrageous and unacceptable indignity that is utterly incompatible with its obligations under international law,” read the statement.

“The State of Palestine holds Israel ... fully responsible for the health and well-being of Palestinian detainees, including, Zakaria Zubeidi, who was rushed to a medical center in Haifa for medical treatment after he sustained extreme beating by Israeli police, especially in his face.”

The Palestinians resistance groups have held Israel responsible for the lives of the prisoners, and warned the regime against the repercussions of harming them.


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