Palestinian prisoners subjected to raids and repressive attacks in Israeli prisons

Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli Ofer prison have been subjected to systematic repression and violence at the hands of guards and repressive forces for several days, reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies on 18 November.

Several special units stormed sections in Ofer prison last week and carried out large-scale searches, ransacking prisoners’ belongings, breaking apart walls in the rooms of the prisons, while beating prisoners and cursing at them. Section 12 and 18 were stormed by Israeli units in the early pre-dawn hours alongside dogs and armed police, and many prisoners were forced outside in the cold with tied or shackled hands for four hours. Palestinian political prisoners reported that they were returned to their rooms after the search raid and found that their walls had holes in them and their belongings were ransacked.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that the purpose of such raids is not security for the occupation, but intentional sabotage and humiliation of prisoners, destruction of their living environments, cooking utensils and other items in order to impose further restrictions on their lives. The center warned that an atmosphere of tension is rising in the prison and that the prisoners have returned meals in protest as well as planning further escalation of protest if these repressive attacks continue.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, 16 November, the Dror repressive units stormed room 5 in section 3 of Ashkelon prison, ransacking prisoners’ belongings as prisoners were forced into the yards in their sleeping clothes.

Palestinian prisoners in Megiddo prison also spoke about overcrowding in the prison sections. Izzedine Mohammed Attar, 34, from Tulkarem, told the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee that 136 prisoners are held in Section 6 and 16 prisoners sleep on the ground without beds. He also reported ongoing searches and ransacking of prisoners’ belongings on an almost daily basis in the early morning hours.