Gaza / Nour Abu Eisha / Anatolia

Dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip participated in a sit-down on Saturday in support of detainees inside Israeli prisons, and in rejection of the continuation of punitive measures against them.

The participants in the vigil, which was organized by the “Muhaja Al-Quds Foundation for Martyrs and Prisoners” (affiliated with the Islamic Jihad), and the women’s framework of the movement, in Gaza City, raised pictures of the six prisoners who escaped from Gilboa prison, before being re-arrested.

Muhammad al-Shaqaqi, a spokesman for the institution, said in a speech during the sit-in: “The six prisoners who were stripped of their freedom and were re-arrested are being subjected to abuse at the hands of the Zionist Prison Authority, as a result of their refusal to repress the repressive measures against them.”

He added: “From the moment of their freedom, the Prison Authority administration launched a fierce attack against Islamic Jihad prisoners in all prisons.”

He explained that Israel “deliberately disperses the prisoners of jihad in all rooms and sections, so as to prevent the presence of a number of prisoners of jihad in one room.”

According to Shikaki, the prison administration is also isolating dozens of prisoners of “jihad in cells and ghettos, including a number of members of the movement’s supreme leadership body, as well as extending the isolation of some of the others.”

He stated that Israel had recently been imposing “financial sanctions against all prisoners of jihad (…), in addition to a month ban on visits, and another month in which they are prevented from the cantina (prisoners’ store).”

Shikaki considered these measures a “flagrant violation of all international conventions and norms.”

He pointed out that the prisoners of jihad inside the prisons “declared a state of rebellion against the prison administration’s administration, through several measures, including the occasional sit-in in the prison yard, to demand the return of their conditions to what they were before September 6th.”

On Thursday, about 80 prisoners of the “Islamic Jihad” protested in the courtyard of the Negev prison (south), in protest against Israel’s continued imposition of punitive measures against them, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

Shikaki called on human rights and international institutions to “urgently intervene to stop the violations against the prisoners.”

He also called on these institutions, “to assume their legal and humanitarian responsibilities and send observers to see the reality of the isolated prisoners, and prisoners of jihad, in light of the continuing arbitrary attack against them.”

On September 6, 6 prisoners managed to escape from their cell outside Gilboa prison through a tunnel, before Israel succeeded in re-arresting them all at later times.

Since the prisoners’ escape, the Israeli Prison Service has initiated punitive measures, which the prisoners have met with escalation, sit-ins and confrontations.

Five of the escaped prisoners belong to the “Islamic Jihad” movement, along with Zakaria al-Zubaidi, a leader in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades affiliated with the “Fatah” movement.

Israel detains about 4,850 Palestinians in 23 prisons and detention centers, including 41 female prisoners, 225 children, and 520 administrative detainees (without charge), according to institutions specialized in prisoners’ affairs.

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