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Tel Aviv steps up ‘collective punishment’ across Israeli prisons: Report
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a well-known Kahanist, has assumed control over Israel’s prison system as part of his new position
By News Desk - January 31 2023
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Demonstrators standing in solidarity with jailed Palestinians. 30 January, 2023 (Photo credit: AA)

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) released a report on 31 January detailing the developments taking place across Israeli prisons over the past hours, which come in the aftermath of Israel’s massacre in Jenin and the subsequent Palestinian retaliation in Jerusalem.

According to the PPS, authorities in the Israeli Damon prison carried out a ‘massive crackdown’ on female prisoners, resulting in physical assaults against them and the unwarranted confiscation of their belongings.

In Negev prison, “a state of extreme tension prevails,” as 120 prisoners from sections 26 and 27 of the facility announced yesterday that they will be starting a hunger strike in protest of the collective punishment against them and of being stripped of basic necessities by prison authorities.

The report adds that over the past three days and continuing on into today, the Israeli prisons of Ofer, Negev, Megiddo, and Damon have witnessed extreme tension, as authorities continue to violently storm the prisoners’ sections and strip them of their belongings.

In the Ofer and Megiddo prisons specifically, Israeli authorities “fired a barrage of gas bombs at the prisoners’ cells, and dozens were transferred to solitary confinement,” Middle East Monitor reported.

The PPS went on to say that “conditions in prisons are heading towards something more dangerous in light of the current escalation against the prisoners, which are aligned with the escalating threats from the fascist minister Itamar Ben Gvir,” who – as part of his role as national security minister – has assumed control over the Israeli prison system.

Having assumed this role, Ben Gvir has vowed to continue monitoring the conditions of jailed Palestinians to ensure they do not receive “excessive rights.”

These latest escalations being carried out by Israel against Palestinian prisoners represent a brutal form of “collective punishment,” something Tel Aviv is well known for. This punishment is in response to the killing of ten settlers by Palestinian Khairi Alqam, who was shot dead shortly after the operation.

The operation carried out by Alqam was retaliation against Israel for its raid in the Jenin refugee camp on 26 January, during which Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians in what officials, media outlets, and eyewitnesses all referred to as a massacre.

The last few days have witnessed a dangerous and unprecedented escalation in tensions, and the Palestinian resistance has announced its readiness for the outbreak of all out war.

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