by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies
Former Political Prisoner, Palestinian Researcher, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, issued a report marking the 12th Anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (September 28 2000), and said Israeli soldiers conducted more than 75.000 arrests, and deported hundreds of residents.
Farawna said that more than 9000 children were kidnapped by the army in addition to nearly 940 women, including four who gave birth in prison; the army also kidnapped dozens of disabled and wounded Palestinians, in addition to dozens of elected legislators, ministers and officials.
Israel also issued more than 22.000 Administrative Detention orders to forcibly imprison thousands of Palestinians without charges.
He added that, currently, there are 4500 Palestinians who are still imprisoned by Israel including 198 children, eight women, 14 legislators, 115 Administrative detainees and hundreds of ailing and disabled Palestinians.
Farawna stated that the arrests carried out by the army targeted all sectors of the Palestinian society, including wives and mothers of political prisoners, and added that these arrests are not concentrated in one area. and are carried out on a daily basis.
He said that Israel is still holding captive the remains of dozens of Palestinians killed during the Al-Aqsa Intifada and hundreds who were killed before the Intifada started.
The researcher added that the arrest ratio dropped over the last five years, yet, the violations carried out against the detainees witnessed a serious escalation.
Israel also reopened several prisons such as the Negev detention camp and Ofer, and built new prisons, such and Ramon; these prisons are used to detain hundreds of detainees under strict and harsh conditions. The large number of arrests also pushed Israel to expand existing prisons.
Farawna stated that there are 23 detainees who were kidnapped and imprisoned since more than 20 years, including some detainees who have been detained since more than 25 and 30 years.
79 detainees have died in prison since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada due to torture, medical negligence, excessive use of force by the soldiers and interrogators, in addition to several detainees who were executed by the arresting officers.
A total of 202 detainees died or were killed in Israeli prisons since 1967; dozens of detainees also died after they were released due to diseases they encountered in prison or due to complications resulting from extreme torture and bad conditions in prisons.
Farawna further stated that the Prisoner Swap deal that was carried out in October of 2011, managed to secure the release of 1027 detainees in exchange for the release of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit.
He also saluted the repeated hunger strikes and the ongoing struggle carried out by the detainees demanding their internationally guaranteed rights.
Also, Israel deported more than 280 West Bank detainees to the Gaza Strip, in addition to dozens of detainees who were forced into exile.
Although the Israeli Authorities deported dozens of detainees throughout the years since Israel occupied Palestine, the occupation stepped-up its illegal policy on May 2002 when it forced into exile 39 detainees who were taken prisoner after taking shelter in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem when Israel surrounded the church for 40 days.
13 of the exiled detainees were sent to a number of European countries, and 26 were deported to the Gaza Strip under a Palestinian-Israeli deal that ended the siege, but its full details were never made public despite the fact that 10 years have passed since then.
Following the deal, Israel reinstated its illegal deportation policies and forced into exile 40 detainees who were released under the Shalit swap deal, and addition to 163 West Bank detainees who were deported to the Gaza Strip.
Farawna voiced an appeal to human rights groups around the world to intervene and act on obliging Israel to respect International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
It is worth mentioning that the Israeli army, and armed settlers, shot and killed more than 5000 Palestinians since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, including 1077 children and 244 women. Two Egyptians were killed by Israeli army fire in 2002, two international peace activists killed in 2003, one British activist was killed by Israeli fire in 2004, and two Egyptians killed in 201. Dozens of thousands of Palestinians were wounded, including thousands who suffered permanent disabilities.
The ongoing Israel assaults since September 2000 led to the total destruction or more than 5694 homes and caused partial damage and destruction of approximately 8000 homes.