Israel cracks down on West Bank prisoner solidarity rallies

Israeli forces crack down on prisoner solidarity rally in Hebron
2 min read
12 September, 2021
Israeli forces deployed tear gas and stun grenades against Hebron protesters supporting the Palestinian prisoners who escaped from the high-security Gilboa prison.
Israeli forces have cracked down on Palestinian protesters and imposed further measures on prisoners[Getty]

Israeli forces on Sunday attacked dozens of Palestinian students who protested in Hebron in support of the six Palestinian prison breakers, who last week escaped the Israel's high-security Gilboa prison.

The protest, which took place in the village of Tuqu, was violently shut down by Israeli forces, according to Palestinian Authority's news agency, Wafa.

Taysir Abu Mufarreh, mayor of the village, said Israeli soldiers attacked the students and dispersed them using tear gas canisters and stun grenades.

The Israeli army shut down the northern entrance to the village with a metal gate, he added.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces also teargassed dozens of Palestinians who held similar protests in Al-Arroub and Al-Fawwar refugee camps, in Hebron province, causing many cases of suffocation from gas inhalation.

Perspectives

On Saturday, thousands of Palestinians held protests across the occupied West Bank in support of the six Palestinian escapees, particularly the four who were recaptured.

The protests come as Israeli prison authorities retaliated in prisons by enacting further measures on hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs spokesperson Thaer Shreiteh told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that "all sections in all prisons have been closed and prisoners are forbidden to go out to [the prison yard]".

He added that authorities are "sometimes failing to give food to [jail] sections, in addition to isolating tens of [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad prisoners and transferring their leaders to Al-Jalamah Prison for investigation".

He said Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) prisoners held in the same cells were being mixed with other detainees.

It is claimed that five of the men who broke out were affiliated with the PIJ.

The six men, who escaped on Monday, are believed to have lived in the same cell in the high-security jail in northern Israel and were able to flee through a tunnel under a cell sink, prison authorities said at the time.

So far, four of them have been recaptured.

The UN, Red Cross, and other international rights groups have been urged to help protect Palestinian prisoners by the Palestinian Prisoners Club.