palestine_pis2doc - FRIENDS OF HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL .doc by liningnvp


									                  Friends of Humanity International
                      (Human Rights Organization)

                            Report entitled

    "The Condition of the Palestinian Prisoners at the
        Occupational Forces Jails during 2007"
                Report prepared by a team of law experts
             under the supervision of Mr. Fuad Al Khoffash

                          Vienna, 30 January 2008
                          Doc. Nr: P/ME/112/08/E


The dark history of the anguish afflicted on the Palestinian people due to
the Israeli occupation is multifold. However, this report focuses on one
side of this bitter experience which involves capture and imprisonment
and afterwards slow death and gradual killing of the soul and body.

The captured Palestinian movement strikes unprecedented examples of
human patience, anguish and endurance under extremely tragic situations
when Prisoners are forced to engage in continuous confrontations with
the occupation forces that are equipped with helmets, batons and gas
guns. Many are the fights and confrontation during which the
occupational army forces and Shabas have applied the most atrocious
methods of oppression and aggression. These forces opened fires at the

defenseless prisoners on several occasions at the Naqab desert prison
during the 1990s and by the end of last year 2007 when the prisoner
Mohamad Sati Al Ashqar was killed. On other occasions they used
helicopters to suppress the prisoners at Majedo detention facility in 2003.

The Palestinian prisoners' history is replete with various forms of
protestation, including hunger strike, which succeeded to spur a powerful
reaction that forced the occupation jailers to respect the commissions that
the prisoners elect to represent them.

The movement managed to restructure its intellectual, cultural and sport
activities which have given birth to a number of learners of the Holy
Quran, poets, authors, calligraphers and many artists. A good number of
prisoners challenged the detention restraints and learnt foreign languages
fluently. This achievement displays a determined will that have turned the
jails into centres of education and knowledge. Thus, the movement has
gained an extensive presence on the Palestinian arena which motivated
the Palestinian to continually fight for the freedom of the prisoners. This
effort counts for the prisoners’ swap which was made in 1985.

This spirit passed from the elite plans to the people's will leading to a
number of confrontations labeled as the prisoners' Intifada (upheaval).
The wave is exemplified by the episodes that emerged from the strike of
2000 when the whole Palestinian people got in motion to back the
prisoners on strike. Times of tumult and strikes at the jails were echoed in
the inflamed reactions of the Palestinian masses which showed high
sensitivity towards the ordeals endured by the prisoners.

The number of prisoners at the occupation jails reached last year 2007 the
total of eleven thousand (11000) including 120 women, 345 children and
51 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Seven active
ministers were captured, five of them are still in prison (Omar Abdul
Razaq, Minister of Finance; Nayef Al Rjoub, Minister of Waqf and
Religious Affairs; Essa Al Ja'abari, Minister of Local Government
Affairs; Khaled Abu Arafa, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs; and Wasfi
Qabha Minister of Prisoners Affairs).

It should be noted that the imprisonment of tens of ministers and
members of the Legislative Council is an unprecedented episode in the
human history and the occupation powers chronicles.

                            Prison Structure

A prison consists mostly of 2.5 m2 rooms each shared by two prisoners
(such as Eshil prison) besides other 5 m2 rooms that accommodate three
prisoners (Hadarim prison). There are a number of rooms that lodge 6-18
prisoners (Asqalan prison) while the new rooms offer a space of 13 m2
where 8-10 prisoners settle and suffer from poor ventilation and strict
security restrictions.

The jail administration allows every two prisoners to share one plastic fan
which reflects its inconsideration to the intense heat especially in the
southern jails and high humidity inside the jails of the middle and
northern areas. One fridge is made available for every 100 prisoners
while hot water is cut off for long hours a day. A T.V. set and cooking
utensils are available in every room and prisoners are allowed to buy their
needs of dairy products, vegetables, fish and chicken from the prison
kiosk (grocery) at very high prices and small quantities. For example a
prisoner is not allowed to buy more than one chicken every month.

                              Daily Routine

Prisoners are allowed only one hour workout in the early morning (six
a.m.) after counting is over in addition to one and a half hours in the
morning and in the evening (till 4-5 p.m.). They are allowed to walk

across a yard with a space of 80-120 m2 in some prisons such as the new
sections at the two desert prisons of Nafha and Sabe'e. It should be noted
that such space provides room for 20 prisoners while there are 80-150
prisoners in each section in the prison, bearing in mind that providing
larger spaces is possible as most of the jails are located in the desert.

After the evening counting is over, doors are locked and prisoners are not
given access to any supplies from outside the rooms such as cold water.
Israeli criminal prisoners cook the food which is usually of poor quality
and quantity. That's why prisoners depend on what they buy from the
grocery. The jail authorities prohibit the entry of any stuff from outside
the prison except for the seasonal desserts on feasts. The Palestinian
Ministry of Prisoners arranges for delivery of such stuff to the prisoners
through the International Commission of the Red Cross (they were barred
during 2007 for unknown reasons). In the past, the administration of three
prisons permitted small quantities of coffee, oil and lemon into the jail,
but now these are no longer allowed noting that few brown colour
clothing might be passed to the prisoner upon special request and in small

           Achievements gained through hunger and blood

Prisoners engage in numerous strikes, and since the occupation of the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, 193 of them have died due to
torture, medical negligence or shooting in addition to many diseases that
have afflicted thousands of them. Prisoners have managed to achieve
their demands only through hunger and blood. They had to go on hunger
strike to get even the simplest things as salt and mattresses. Other stuff
such as T.V sets, grocery and the fridge could not be obtained otherwise.
Hunger strikes lasted for more than one month to force the jails
authorities to respect them and respond positively to their demands.
However, the authorities refuse to recognize these demands as prisoners'
established rights. Long lasting strikes also helped to bring recognition

from the jail authorities of the commissions that represent the prisoners
and are run by board members elected in accordance with the regulations
set out by the prisoners themselves.

                     Profiles of prisoners' anguish

     First: Children

The worst dehumanizing practices are depicted by the anguish sustained
by the Palestinian children who are captured under the charge of
terrorism and violence. The occupational authorities place them in
Hasharon Telmond prison where they are left without care or education
and are tortured and degraded regularly by the jailers who treat them with
excessive brutality.

The children are deprived of any education or care and are not allowed to
make any exchange with the adult prisoners who are able to help in
solving their problems. Every three children are placed in one room that
fits two children who are usually pulled into heated arguments with the
jailers which are used as an excuse for assaulting and beating them. The
jailers also curse the imprisoned children for no reason and use improper
language to provoke their anger. They are further humiliated by being
placed in the same room with Israeli children imprisoned for criminal
charges and by insulting their families before their eyes.

     Second: Repeated arrests and long imprisonment periods

The prisoner is brought back to prison soon after his release for trivial
reasons such as attending a lecture or a colloquium on politics or a
Quranic learning circle. Sometimes a definite reason is not given when
the occupational authorities tend to keep the case confidential to which
the detainees and their lawyers are not allowed access. Consequently, a

prisoner may remain in prison for two or three years or even longer.

When a prisoner is sentenced to imprisonment for a specific period, a
similar imprisonment period is reserved for him under stay of execution
which will be activated in case he gets involved in a similar activity after
his release. Thus, this imprisonment ruling will be valid if the released
prisoner, who was previously charged with affiliation to some
organization, participates in a Quranic circle or attends a lecture on

     Third: The interrogation Ordeal

In the interrogation rooms, the Palestinian prisoners undergo an appalling
tragedy which makes hundreds of volumes of endless tales and episodes
about the inhuman torture and abuses which caused the death of many
prisoners, not to mention the others who suffered from critical and
chronic diseases and disabilities.

The jailers apply atrocious methods against the prisoner whose children
or wife are arrested and subjected to various forms of torture for no
reason except that they are used as a tool in the hands of the occupational
authorities to force the prisoner to confess or those wanted to surrender.
These atrocities take place in a country that pretends to maintain
principles of fairness and respect of law.

The interrogation tragedy assumes various shades and highlights. It is
enough to know that there are many who have been tortured in the
interrogation dungeons for long periods of time. For example, Yehya Al
Sinwar stayed in the interrogation dungeon for almost 11 months during
which he was admitted to the hospital seven times, and the jailers were
keen to employ the most obnoxious torture methods without exception.
Every part in his body was the object of torture and he was subjected to
the position torture and sleeplessness and charged with time bomb. What
counts for the jailers is to get the information they seek.

It is unfortunate that torture has assumed an accelerating mode even
following the ruling adopted by the Israeli Supreme Court on 6
September 1999 that explicitly ordained the suspension of torture
operations but restricted the acts of physical and psychic pressure to
certain cases labeled as time bomb charges provided a special permission
is obtained.

     Fourth: deprivation of freedom and family visitation

Depriving man of his freedom even though temporarily is a major crime
especially when guilt is absent. Many prisoners have been imprisoned for
a very long time as in the case of Said Al Otba (Abu Al Hakam) who has
been in prison for 31 years in addition to Nail Al Barghouthy (Abu Nour)
and Fakhry Al Barghouthy (Abu Shadi) who left his children 28 years
ago only to meet them for the first time upon their imprisonment as one
of his sons was sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of twenty for
attempting to capture a soldier.

One side of the imprisonment agony is revealed by the story of the four
sons of Said Bilal (Muath, Othman, Baker and Obada) who face one fate
inside the jail. Similarly, the prisoner Hamid Al Bitawi reside in the same
prison with his two sons without being able to see them as every one of
them is placed in a separate dungeon. As for Nail Al Barghouthy, his
dying mother had come over to the prison to see him before she died. The
old mother yearned over 25 years to the moment when she saw Nail free,
but the poor mother's dreams failed her and she died before her wish
could come true.

The same misfortune applies to the prisoner Abbas Al Sayed who is
sentenced to 6700 (six thousands seven hundreds) year imprisonment. His
mother died last year without being able to bid her farewell.

On the other hand, the Israeli former Premier and the Minister of Defense
Ehud Barak responded to a question on prisoners following the elections
of 1999 by saying: "Let them decay inside the prison", so did Tzachi

Hanegbi, the Minister of Internal Security, who commented on the
prisoners' strike in 2004 noting "let them all die".

     Fifth: The systematic policy of degradation and demoralization

         A. Solitary confinement

There are currently 18 isolated prisoners (it was 13 during 2007) scattered
in the jails of Sabe'e, Asqalan, Al Ramlah, Galboa', Shatta and Kfar
Yuna. Some of them were moved directly after interrogation by virtue of
a decision made by the Israeli Intelligence (Shaback). Among these are
Mazen Malasa who was freed after six years of imprisonment, Abdullah
Al Barghouthy and Ibrahim Hamid.

The Shaback passes the isolation decision under the pretext of precaution
against troubles or source of danger. Periods of isolation may exceed five
years as in the case of Mahmoud Essa, Mo'taz Hijazi and Hasan Salamah
who are still placed in solitary confinement.

The isolated prisoner is allowed to go out to the yard (Fora) for one hour
only which he spends by himself. The jail administration repeatedly
imposes on prisoners penalties that deprive them of the privilege of going
out to the Fora or shopping at the prison grocery or dispossessing them of
their electrical appliances. Such punitive measures turn the isolation
dungeons (with a space of 1.75m x 2.75m) into a hell where electricity is
absent and little air is available.

The prisoner Jamal Abu Al Haija from Jenin suffers from skin diseases
due to surrounding unhealthy conditions. The jail administration applies
degrading naked search on the isolated prisoners who are beaten, stripped
off their clothing, showered with water and gas. Furthermore, they are
placed among the criminal prisoners with charges of killing, drug
smuggling and robbery. The criminal prisoners do not show any respect
to the Palestinian detainees and treat them offensively. They even came to
a point where they sprayed them with hot oil.

Muhammad Jamal Al Natshah, member of the Palestinian Legislative
Council, is among the prisoners who have been recently isolated for
unknown reasons. The isolated prisoners threaten to resort to hunger
strike to force the Shaback to end their isolation. They could achieve this
end following the strike they staged in 2000, but isolation was re-
enforced two years later.

          B. Naked Search

A prisoner is tightly chained and stripped off his clothing under the
pretext of searching for illegal items. This degrading method is so
infuriating to the prisoners that Mohamad Dawas stabbed an officer at
Asqalan prison while Taha Al Shakhshir got so angry that he beat the
security and intelligence officer causing him several fractures.

Later, the administration of Nafha jail attempted to impose this policy on
the families who came to visit their imprisoned sons, which was
conceived by the prisoners as overstepping the red lines and consequently
provoked Hani Jaber into stabbing the jail director.

This behavior exceeded all limits when the jailers at Shatta and Galboa'
jails applied naked search on prisoners not only on their way in and out
the jail, but also after their clinic visit or visitation time or while moving
from one section to another.

During the search, clothes are taken away for inspection while the
prisoner is left naked among the policemen who make him the target of
their ridicule. Sometimes this practice becomes a collective procedure
when a number of prisoners are undressed at the same time. This form of
degradation was ceased only following the scandal of Abu Ghraib prison
in Iraq and the 19-day hunger strike staged by the prisoners in 2004. This
does not mean that this policy has been totally terminated as it is still
applied at certain times and on limited scale.

          C. Night Raids

These are carried out by the Metsada forces under the search pretext.
They use rubber and pepper bullets, electric batons and gas spray and
sometimes live bullets. The prisoners are attacked inside the sections at
midnight when prisoners are chained, thrown to the ground where they lie
with the faces down for long hours and are cruelly beaten once they show
signs of resistance. This is exemplified by the attacks waged against the
prisoners at Naqab in October 2007 during which the prisoner Mohamad
Al Ashqar was killed. Many prisoners believe that this tactic is intended
to panic them and is applied as part of collective suppression measures.
For instance, if a heated argument takes place between a Palestinian
prisoner and an Israeli officer in the jail, all the prisoners in the section
are punished by barring family visitation or paying cash penalty.

The Metsada forces also take shots of the raiding operations and pictures
are published on the local newspapers and broadcasted on the satellite

          D. Collective punishment

The Israeli occupational forces impose a collective punitive policy on the
Palestinian individuals and groups outside and inside the prison. Once a
heated argument occurs between a prisoner and an Israeli officer, all the
prisoner's fellows in the section are punished by banning the family
visitation or imposing a cash penalty which the Shaback has enforced
since 2002 as a source of cash flow at the expense of the prisoners.
Though law restricts the use of these funds to expenses related to the
prisoners, Shaback utilize them to build additional dungeons and more
security fortifications.

The punishment might include solitary confinement and confiscation of
electrical appliances together with the fans even during the hot summer.
Jihad Yagmour is moved 10-15 times a year and so is the captured
Legislative Council member Aziz Dweik who was moved from Majedo

jail to Owfer court 10 times during July 2007 in humiliating

Nahshon squad is specialized in the transportation operations and its
members act violently and aggressively during the degrading search and
seizure of personal possessions including clothes. The most abhorrent
punishment form is the collective suppression policy when all the
Prisoners of the section dwellers are transferred in the dark without
having the chance of carrying any of their belongings with them
including their clothes. Also, the section might be set on fire in the dark
while the prisoners are asleep as happened in Majedo detention facility in
2003 when helicopters fired gases at the tents until they caught fire and
all the prisoners' possessions were burnt.

Collective punishment policy is exemplified by the events that took place
at Naqab and Owfer detention facilities in 2006 and 2007 when the
prisoners were moved to other sections at Al Ramlah jail and had to stay
there for one month during which they could not change their clothes
because they were not allowed to take along their clothes.

      Sixth: Deprivation from education

The prisoners have engaged in several confrontations with the          jail
administration demanding permission to pursue their studying at        the
Palestinian universities such as Jerusalem Open University. But        the
administration refused and denies the earlier promise given to         the
prisoners during the strike of 2000.

One hundred twenty prisoners were allowed to pursue their studying at
the Hebrew universities, of whom twenty have graduated so far.
However, these students did not have the freedom to select the study
course of their preference as they were permitted to study such courses as
political sciences, administration, history, economics and sociology while
they were denied admission to courses relating to war, strategy and Israeli
external policy. This prohibition was invalidated only after a case had
  been filed against the jail administration.

The administration interferes in the course of study by way of linking the
issue with the prisoner's behavior, not to mention the intentional delay or
obstruction of the delivery of the books. This happens even in the new
jails which are lacking in references. Also, in many instances the
prisoners were not allowed to continue their studying after they had
completed successfully a good number of courses.

      Seventh: Illness and medication

Statistics indicate that more than 1000 prisoners are suffering from
chronic diseases including 150 critical cases that require extensive care
and follow up as in the diseases of the heart, blood pressure, diabetes,
cancer and the kidneys. When a surgery is necessary, it is done only
when the condition of the patient reaches a very critical stage. One of the
shocking examples in this connection is the case of the prisoner Anas
Shehada who had undergone the appendix surgery without anesthetic at
Naqab prison in 2003.

Many are the prisoners who sustained severe injuries during the Aqsa
Intifada (uprising) and their bodies contain traces of explosives and the
remnants of tiny metal and platinum bits. They are left without any care
or follow up which is part of the medical negligence policy adopted by
the jails administration. On 4 November 2004, Mohamad Abu Hadwan,
who had spent 19 years in prison, died after long years of ailment. Jamal
Al Sarahin, who had suffered from blood cancer, strikes a tragic example
of medical negligence. Instead of providing him with the proper medical
care that fits a human being, he had waited for hours until he could visit
the clinic. He died at Beer Al Sabe'e jail on 16 January 2007.

In the same manner Maher Dandan died at Galboa' jail on 10 June 2007
and Fadi Abu Al Rob on 29/12/2007 at Galboa' jail due to medical

When it comes to eye diseases, it should be noted that some prisoners
lose their vision gradually for the same reason. It is an established
procedure that the specialized doctor visits the prison clinic only once
every six months. Once the medical checkup is over, the prisoner
embarks on the bitter experience of demanding permission for medical
treatment at a specialized hospital which is treated with continuous
postponement. Even the request of some prisoners to call a doctor at their
expense is ignored.

      Eighth: Family visitation

 Upon the breakout of the Aqsa Intifada in 2000, the occupational
authorities barred family visitation for two years. The restriction included
most of the Palestinian areas (visits from Nablus were barred for 4 years),
and it was over, the visit turned out to be a strenuous journey that
involved 20 hours of traveling and search at checkpoints and inside the

In the prison the visitors are allowed only 45 minutes to see their
imprisoned relatives through thick glass boards and to hear their voices
over phones placed at the side of the glass board, not to mention the act of
holding back all the visitors until the visit of that day is over. Thus, the
visitors leave the prison at late hour and reach their homes at midnight.

The complications relating to visitation are many including the
difficulties of obtaining permission and the relevant restrictions which
grant permission only to the prisoner's parents and close relatives of
certain age. For example, a prisoner's children over the age of 13 are not
given permission. The security prevention applies to many parents, wives
and children who are prevented from seeing their imprisoned relative for
long years.

Many relatives get visit permission from the occupational authorities and
sustain the pains of traveling all the way to the prison on the visitation
day only to be shocked by the news that their prisoner has been moved to
another place. Sometimes they are denied access to the prison for various

reasons including the pretext that the jail administration has not received
their names from the Red Cross. The jails authority prohibits transferring
the prisoners to areas close to their homes which is in line with the policy
intended to aggravate the agony of both the prisoner and his family.

      Ninth: Discharge and the "one third" (Shalish)

There has never been a genuine discharge campaign except that
implemented during the prisoners swap between the occupational
authorities and one of the Palestinian factions in 1985. During the pre-
Oslo phase, Israel refused to release hundreds of prisoners who were
labeled as "their hands stained with blood".

While the Hebrew word "Shalish" means "one third", it refers to a state
when the prisoner stands before the court after having completed two
thirds of his imprisonment period. However, the process of reducing the
prisoners' detention duration is not yielding any tangible results except
for the case when the "one third" diminution was granted to 250 prisoners
who were released together with the 750 prisoners released upon an
accord between the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority
following the Wye River Agreement.

      Tenth: Administrative detention

* Definition

 Administrative detention means the decision to capture and imprison a
 prisoner passed by the Israeli Administration bodies that are concerned
 with the on-the-field conflict with all sects of the Palestinian people.
 Such decision is based on the justification that the indicted is guilty
 until it is otherwise proved and does not require a decisive charge
 supported by conspicuous proofs or definite duration as it is mostly
 grounded on alleged or confidential pretexts. In this case a prisoner is
 placed in prison without trial or explanation and for unknown period of

 * Historical background

 This despotic policy dates back to the dark phase of the British
 Mandatory which transferred its expertise of oppression and torture to
 the Israeli occupational authorities. Israel started to apply this policy in
 the 1970s at limited scale. Later, in the 1980s this policy accelerated
 and was practiced against tens of Palestinians.

 Following the first Intifada in 1987, the administrative detention
 indicator recorded a considerable increase when thousands of
 Palestinians were detained without definite reasons. Soon, the Israeli
 decision makers went beyond the established detention period and
 passed a resolution by which the competent authorities were authorized
 to renew the detention for further periods several times.

 Following the closure of Naqab detention facility at the time when the
 first Intifada calmed down, the administrative detainees were moved to
 Majedo prison. When the Israeli settler committed the horrible massacre
 on 25/2/1994 when tens of Palestinians were killed while praying in the
 Al Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, the use of administrative detention
 speeded up with such a momentum that some detainees were
 imprisoned for three years with the charge of endangering the state

 After 1998 the administrative detention scale started to go down until
 there were only seven administrative detainees at Majedo prison in
 2000. However, soon after the breakout of the Aqsa Intifada by the end
 of September of the same year, this policy was revived bringing the
 number of detainees to a total of 1500 including a good number of
 detainees who had spent in prison five years before they were released.
 Recent statistics inform that there are 1000 administrative prisoners in
 the prisons of Naqab, Majedo, Ramon and Owfer.

* Profiles of the agony sustained by administrative prisoners

      Forcing out confession

 A prisoner is placed in the interrogation dungeon where he is accused of
 a number of charges. In case he does not admit these charges, one of the

 possibilities is the administrative detention which means that he is likely
 to remain in prison without trial for long years that might count double
 the imprisonment period imposed by virtue of a court verdict. Then the
 prosecutor assumes the role of the interrogator at every extension when
 the prisoner faces the bargain of either confession or limitless
 extensions of administrative detention. The 1990s are replete with
 examples of such inhuman extortion.

      Successive extensions

 The first detention decision is not all that counts as detention period
 might be extended for more than ten times. There are many who have
 spent more than five years in prison by way of extension, for example,
 Ahmad Qatamesh, Abdul Aleem Da'ana, Raed Qadiri, Walid Khaled,
 Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi, Majdi Sharouf and Saleh Arouri, while the list
 contains tens of names of those who stayed in detention for two or three

      Into the circle maze

 Prisoners' detention is prolonged by consecutive extensions. When all
 the possible false excuses are consumed, the prisoner is discharged only
 to be recaptured in few weeks or sometimes on the very day of his
 discharge or even upon his arrival at the nearest army checkpoint on his
 way home as in the case of Adbul Hadi Taha.

 Sometimes an intelligence officer would visit the discharged prisoner
 few days later and say to him "the vacation is over". This is how things
 went on with Saleh Al Arouri and Walid Khaled who spent five years
 under administrative detention and were recaptured few months after
 discharge. This policy provokes the prisoners' ridicule as they tend to
 see that a detainee in this case is allowed a six month administrative
 discharge before he goes back to prison. Thus, the administrative
 decision and discharge play reverse roles.

      Psychological warfare

 The administrative detention is intended to exert a psychological
 pressure on the prisoners and their families who are stressed by

 prolonged anticipation as they are kept ignorant of the discharge date.
 Sometimes they are told misleading dates so that when the day comes,
 and just few minutes before the hoped for release, they are informed of
 the extension for further four or five months. At this moment, the
 prisoner's despair comes to a climax and his wife's expectations and
 children's yearning are ruined while the hearts of his mother and sisters
 are broken with anguish.

      The deceit of the administrative courts

 A trial is held in a deceptive attempt to impart a legal justification to the
 administrative detention policy. This trial is actually a drama or rather a
 lie that debilitates human feelings and obliterates hopes for fairness. It is
 the kind of trial which, in the first place, the prisoner's family can not
 attend and specific charges are not declared. The case is settled by the
 prosecution's magic word "confidential file" that renders the lawyer
 totally speechless and powerless. It is a drama being performed on stage
 where the indicted is ignorant of the reasons for which he is being tried
 and the lawyer has no grounds to base his defense on.

 The first of these courts is called the endorsement court whose function
 is revealed by the name. Once the prisoner is informed of the
 administrative detention decision, he is brought before this court which
 is entitled to either discharge him or endorse the verdict. However, the
 latter requires some polish which goes with the court's title. Therefore,
 the judge reduces the detention period to one or two months to attribute
 some legality to the verdict. Nevertheless, what value does such
 reduction have when in most case the next extension is ready?

 In line with this drama plot goes what is called the court of appeal
 which follows the endorsement. The confidential file allegation remains
 a powerful and fatal weapon. The best judges are those who request to
 keep the file for few days in order to consider the case thoroughly. This
 process takes one or two months and at the end the prisoner's request for
 appeal is rejected.

 The most impressive scene in this drama is performed at the Supreme
 Justice Court, or rather the supreme injustice court, whose judgment
 based on rejecting the prisoner's demands is used as a justification for
 repeated extension of the administrative detention. The prisoner is made
 conscious of the possibility of rejection and is, therefore, pushed to
 withdraw the case from the court except in rare cases when some
 prisoners are discharged according to verdicts passed by this court.

      Primary dereliction and new information

 A prisoner might be offered what is called primary dereliction and no
 extension, particularly by the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.
 Amidst an air of hopeful expectations for freedom and the family's
 ecstasy over the imminent reunion, the shocking news that the
 intelligence has got further incriminating information that justifies the
 extension is announced. Certainly the file retains the confidential nature
 as the authorities allege.

      The switch game

 Shukri Al Khawaja completed eight and a half years in prison, and just
 when his family had made all the preparation to welcome him back
 home, he was transferred to the administrative detention for an
 additional imprisonment period of 18 months whereas the charge
 remains unknown specially that he has been inactive for full 8 years.
 Immediately after Saleh Al Arouri's five year imprisonment was over,
 he had to sustain additional ten years in prison based on the switch from
 the administrative detention decision to the case-based verdict. Al
 Arouri's was released on 11/3/2007 only to be recaptured three months
 later, i.e. on 26/6/2007, under six month administrative detention which
 was extended to further six months on 22/12/2007.

 In other words, none of the administrative prisoners knows for sure the
 date of his discharge. The same applies to prisoners convicted for a
 specific period under a clear case as they are vulnerable to

 administrative detention which does not require any justification or
 explanation simply because it carries the label "confidential file".

      The worst comes from the worst

 The long years of administrative detention and the consecutive
 extensions come to the culmination point when the prisoner is given the
 choice either to stay in prison for obscure period of time or go out of his
 homeland. The majority of the prisoners who have been bargained for
 their freedom prefer the dehumanizing experience of prison than the
 anguish of exile.

      Administrative detention as an act of debilitating the individual
       soul and society's growth

 The policy of administrative detention operates at two levels: the
 individual and the social. It aims at undermining the individual's spirit
 and morale through torture while focusing on the higher goal of
 demolishing the growth of the Palestinian society. As such, the
 authorities target the Palestinian elite including politicians, legislative
 council members, social activists, academics, and scientists, members of
 municipal councils, clubs and local corporations in addition to
 university students, school teachers, doctors and engineers.

 Accordingly, the administrative detention is a tool toward obstructing
 the growth of the Palestinian society by way of excluding the role of the
 qualified elite who form the basis of the advancement of societies.
 That's why this segment of the Palestinian people is continually

      Eleventh: On the move / Autobus

 One of the torture tactics is depicted by the process of moving the
 prisoner to the court or from one prison to another. This operation is
 carried out by a special security squad called Nahshon whose members

 are well known for toughness and boorishness and are well versed in the
 most degrading practices including the most common practice of naked
 search. A prisoner is stripped off his clothes together with the socks
 several times during that day and is cursed and savagely beaten. All
 prisoners are treated in this brutal manner regardless of their age or
 health condition.

 During this journey in company of the Nahshon gangsters, the prisoner
 is seated inside the vehicle on narrow chilly iron-made seats which turn
 out to be harmful in terms of the pains they cause to the knees, joints
 and back. Further, the hand and foot cuffs make the situation worse as
 they are so tightly fastened that the prisoner is rendered incapable of
 sitting or moving comfortably.

 It is the habit of the Nahshon forces to tighten the cuffs on the prisoner's
 wrists and ankles which become congested with blood as the cuffs are
 retained for long hours. The prisoner remains in this uncomfortable
 posture inside the tightly shut vehicle which allows only little air to pass
 in through very tiny vents.

 The prisoner is not allowed to go to the toilet and he has either to
 suppress his need for a long time or use a bottle for egesting before the
 other prisoners and the soldiers amidst the ridicule and sarcasm of the
 latter. Sometimes the mere request to go to the toilet is a sufficient
 reason for beating the prisoner.

 The journey goes on until the prisoner arrives at the "passage" which is
 a transitional waiting room where the prisoner is lodged for two or three
 days before and after the court session. Being narrow and unfurnished,
 these rooms are in no way suitable for human accommodation. Fifteen
 or twenty prisoners are stuffed in a room with a capacity of four
 persons. Prisoners traveling from the southern prisons to attend the
 court in Salem in the north or in Owfer in the middle have to stay in the
 “passage” for eight or tend days.

 Al Ramlah “passage” is known to all prisoners for its horrible setting. It
 is the destiny of those prisoners who travel to the court to stay for some
 time in dark and filthy rooms with extremely low temperature in winter
 and unbearably high temperature in the summer. There the prisoners are
 forced to eat the poor quality food offered to them in despicable

 Following a prolonged anguish the prisoner reaches the court where he
 is made to wait in cuffs for long hours inside 2m x 1.5m cement
 chambers which resemble graves.

 Twenty to twenty five prisoners are crammed in standing position inside
 one chamber over the court working hours, i.e. from early morning till 3
 p.m. These chambers are guarded by members of the aforementioned
 Nahshon gangs who prevent the prisoners from using the toilet or
 performing their prayers.

 Finally, the prisoners are led to the court where they are not allowed to
 speak or just signal to their families. They are even forced to incline
 their heads to avoid looking at their families for security reasons as any
 attempt to exchange words or gestures would prompt assaults on the
 prisoner and his family members by the Nahshon squads.

 This is the situation of the prisoners under arrest who are taken to the
 court. As for those who stay in these waiting rooms without trial, they
 are finally told that the prosecutor is not available, or the judge is busy
 and can not see them, or they even might be told that they have been
 brought over there by error. Thus, the prisoners under arrest are trapped
 in this endless anguish for long years until the occupational authorities
 finally pass the verdicts.


It is easy to record these episodes of anguish in headlines on paper.
However, they undoubtedly reflect the profound tragedy which can not be
fathomed except by those whose mothers, wives and children have
yearned for the moment of return, whose heart beats have raced with the
last strikes of the clock pointers announcing the approaching freedom
when all of a sudden the joy sinks deep in despair which becomes the
overwhelming reality due to the oppressive extension decision. And it
goes on until God wills some way out of this calamity.

We may assert that last year 2007 was the worst year ever in the history
of the Palestinian captured movement. Nine of the prisoners were killed
during this year which witnessed the resurgence of the spirit of the 1960s.


Jails authority: The Israeli jails are supervised by Shabas (Jails
Authority) and are distributed on the following geographical locations:

The northern area: includes the prisons of Majedo, Shatta, Galboa',
Hasharon, Hadarim and Damoun.

The middle area: includes the prisons of Owfer, Al Ramlah and Ramlah
hospital prison.

The southern area: includes the prisons of Asqalan, Sabe'e (Eshil and
Ohali Qidar), Nafha, Ramon and Al Naqab.

Nahshon Unit: operates within the Jails Authority and undertakes the
operation of transferring the prisoners. Its members are in charge of the
autobuses that transport the prisoners from one prison to another or from
the prison to the court and vice versa.

Metsada Unit: was formed under the pretext of protecting the Israeli
policemen against the prisoners' kidnap attempts. It comprises well
trained forces equipped with special weapons which are used in
confrontations with the prisoners or during the oppressive attacks on
them. Trained police dogs are also used by these forces.

 Security prisons: There are 11 thousand Palestinian prisoners in a
number of prisons scattered over the northern, middle and southern areas.
These prisons are affiliated to the Jails Authority and the Ministry of
Internal Security. The Authority is managed by a director who is backed
by a deputy director in each of the three areas. The team includes as well
a security officer, intelligence officer, media officer in addition to
education and purchasing officer … etc.

Prisons and detention facilities:

o Galboa' and Shatta prisons are located near Jenin. The first has the
  capacity of 780 prisoners distributed in seven sections while the latter
  has two section accommodating 263 prisoners.

o Hasharon prison is located near Toulkarem and Natania and comprises
  three sections for children, two for women and another section where
  120 prisoners from Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories occupied
  in 1948 are imprisoned. There is another section that accommodates
  257 prisoners. The nearby Hadarim detention facility has two sections
  with 241 prisoners whereas there are a total of 120 women prisoners
  of whom 114 are in Hasharon and 6 in Jalamah. The children are
  placed in three sections at Hasharon prison and another section at
  Damon prison besides more sections at Owfer and others. The total
  number of imprisoned children reaches 345.

o Ramlah prison: it contains two sections with 224 prisoners including
  the Legislative Council members and ministers. Within a short
  distance, the prison of Ramla hospital is located where 40 prisoners
  are receiving medical treatment.

o Beer Al Sabe'e prison: It includes two sections: Eshil and Ohali Qidar,
  each comprising of three new sections in addition to one old section.
  There are 1000 prisoners in both prisons. Additionally, Beer Al Sabe'e
  prison includes the isolation sections. There are 18 isolated prisoners
  (the total was 13 prisoners at the end of 2007), including five
  Lebanese prisoners, distributed in three prisons: Beer Al Sabe'e,
  Asqalan and Kfar Yuna.

o Asqalan prison is a very old prison located in the centre area of the
  City of Asqalan. It is known as Shikma and accommodates 450

o Nafha and Ramon prison is located to the south east of Beer Al Sabe'e.
  Nafha prison has four old sections and five new ones; whereas Ramon
  prison is a new facility attached to Nafha prison and contains five new
  sections including the administration section. There are 1320 prisoners
  at Nafha and Ramon.

o Majedo prison was handed over to Sahabas by the army at the
  beginning of 2007 when the tents were removed and constructions
  containing 10 sections and 1340 prisoners were build instead.

o Owfer prison was handed over to Shabas and is located within the
  army camp near Ramallah City. It includes nine tents that
  accommodate 850 prisoners.

o Al Naqab prison was passed over to Shabas. It is located to the south
  east of Beer Al Sabe'e near the Egyptian border. It has 20 sections and
  2350 prisoners and the sections still contain tents. Four sections with
  the capacity of 500 prisoners are under construction.

o Damon prison is located on the top of Carmel Mountain in Haifa City
  and has two sections with the capacity of 266 prisoners in addition to
  the children section where 90 children are imprisoned (the prison has
  been closed recently).

o Kfar Yuna prison is located near Natania and includes some of the
  isolated prisoners. Former prisoner Ahmad Yassin spent the recent
  period of his imprisonment here in addition to the two Lebanese
  captives identified as Abdul Karim Obaid and Mustafa Al Dirani.

                           Selected statistics

            Description              Number of

Number of prisoners in jails and       11000
detention facilities

Women                                   120

Children                                345

Legislative Council members              51

Ministers                                 3

Isolated prisoners                       18

Geographical distribution

       District name        Number of

Jerusalem                         552

Palestinian territories           142
occupied in 1948

Gaza Strip                        762

The West Bank                 8456


     Imprisonment         Number of
       duration           prisoners

Above 20 years               64

Above 25 years                7

From 15 – 20 years          124


Conviction period          Number of

life imprisonment              612
and above 50 years

From 15-50 years               718

From 10 – 15 years             447


     The case           Number of patients

Various diseases         More than 1000

Critical diseases              150

Surgery needed          Tens of prisoners

Prisoners who died inside the prison

Prisoners who died or
were killed in prison

The End


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