Palestinian political leader, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat, was prohibited from family visits for three additional months in an order from an Israeli military court. The PFLP and Sa’adat’s family denounced the order on 27 December; the order came as a renewal of an initial order issued by an Israeli military court on 14 September, prohibiting family visits for three months.
Sa’adat, held in Gilboa prison, is a prominent Palestinian political leader and head of the PFLP, the second largest Palestinian faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was kidnapped from a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho on 16 March 2006, where he had been held for four years under US and British guard, by an Israeli military attack. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for political charges, including incitement, membership in a prohibited organization and holding a position in a prohibited organization, on 25 December 2008. He was held in solitary confinement for over three years, from March 2009 until May 2012, when he was released to general population with other Palestinian leaders whose isolation had sparked the Karameh Hunger Strike of thousands of political prisoners. The release of Sa’adat and others from isolation was part of the agreement that ended the strike.
The denial of family visits to Palestinian political prisoners is a weapon that has been repeatedly used by the Israeli occupation forces in an attempt to break the spirits of Palestinian prisoners and isolate them from their families and the broader community. Furthermore, it is collective punishment against the mothers, fathers, and children of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, targeting leaders among Palestinian prisoners.