February 2017 report: 498 Palestinians arrested, 99 administrative detention orders issued

Palestinian prisoners’ institutions, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, issued a report detailing the arrests and imprisonment of Palestinians in February 2017. This report is translated by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

498 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in February 2017, including 108 children, 19 women and one journalist; one Palestinian prisoner, Mohammed al-Jallad, died in occupation custody of his injuries at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

The four institutions documented that occupation authorities arrested 161 Palestinians from Jerusalem, 90 from al-Khalil, 55 from Bethlehem, 43 from Ramallah and el-Bireh, 39 from Nablus, 32 from Qalqilya, 25 from Jenin, 22 from Tulkarem, 10 from Tubas, 9 from the Gaza Strip, 7 from Jericho and 5 from Salfit.

In the context of the ongoing policy of administrative detention, the Israeli occupation authorities issued 99 administrative detention orders, including 25 new orders. These included administrative detention orders against journalists Mohammed al-Qeeq and Hammam Hantash, as well as the renewal of the administrative detention order against Sabah Faraoun.

There are approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 61 women prisoners, of which at least 12 are minor girls. There are a total of approximately 300 children in Israeli prisons, 516 administrative detainees and 23 detained journalists.

Last month, two repressive units, the Masada and Keter units, invaded section 16 in the Negev desert prison, severely beat the prisoners held there and sprayed gas inside the section, imposing a series of harsh sanctions and tampering with and ransacking the belongings of the detainees.

The occupation also continued its policy of medical neglect against hundreds of ill prisoners, alongside increased rates of administrative detention, isolation, the arrest of children and women, the imposition of heavy financial fines against Palestinian detainees and the denial of family visits to hundreds of prisoners.

The institutions also warned of the seriousness of the conditions inside Israeli jails heading toward an explosion, amid the continued repressive measures against Palestinian prisoners.

They also strongly condemned the ongoing grave Israeli violations of international humanitarian and human rights law against Palestinian detainees and expressed pride in the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners confronting their tormenters, confirming their continued efforts to defend Palestinian prisoners and expose the abuses committed against them.

Further, they emphasized that the issue of prisoners, in addition to being a Palestinian national issue and a humanitarian and moral issue, must also receive significant Arab and international efforts to put maximum pressure on the occupation state to stop its gross and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and human rights principles and to work to liberate Palestinian prisoners. In this context, they renewed their call to institutions of civil society and human rights organizations, political parties and progressive forces around the world to work to expose abuses and violations of international law by the occupying forces.

They also called for the United Nations and the international community to take action to stop the grave violations against Palestinian detainees, particularly the ongoing use of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, and the continued violation of the human rights of children, whether through arbitrary arrests among children or during interrogation and detention. They also called for international action to hold Israeli authorities accountable to their legal obligations to respect the rights of detainees to be protected from torture and ill-treatment and to receive their health care needs, family visits and proper access to communication. They urged the release of child prisoners, women prisoners and administrative detainees on the road to the release of all Palestinian prisoners.