RAMALLAH, April 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli Special units late Friday night stormed Palestinian prisoners’ cells in the Israeli Remon Jail, firing tear gas canisters at them and causing many to suffocate, said the Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee on Saturday.
A report issued by the committee said that the incident came shortly after Israeli special units brutally beat up three Palestinian prisoners, causing them injuries. They prisoners were identified as Ibrahim Samhan, Hilmi Hamamreh and Amir Abd An-nabi, who was transferred to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel, for treatment after being struck on the head.
The incident infuriated Palestinian prisoners; who protested by chanting religious slogans and banging on the doors. In response, the units stormed wards 5, 6, and 3, where they fired tear gas and sound grenades at prisoners, leaving around 24 prisoners suffering from tear gas suffocation.
The prison administrations imposed further sanctions on prisoners following the incident; including transferring prisoners to ward seven at midnight, where they were left without blankets to shield them from the cold weather. The prison warders also smashed the walls and damaged prisoners’ personal belongings and electric appliances, as well as cut off the electric and water supply.
Meanwhile, in retaliation to the incident prisoners threatened to embark on various protest measures; including going on a hunger strike. They made several calls urging to halt the prison service’s ongoing brutal policy committed against them.
More than 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners are currently held in Israeli jails, of whom dozens serve multiple life sentences. About 1,500 prisoners are believed to have health problems due to medical negligence.
Palestinian prisoners are held in overcrowded cells that lack basic health standards, including the infestation of insects and rats, extreme cold and lack of heating methods, and wastewater leakage into their cells, which further aggravates their already poor conditions.
Prisoners are often subjected to physical abuse during their detention, interrogation and transfer between prisoners, which is prohibited by international law.