The year 2020: Double suffering for the prisoners in the face of the wardens’ policies and the epidemic
December 31, 2020

Prisoners' institutions: The occupation has arrested more than (4,600) Palestinians, including (543) minors and (128) women.

During the year 2020, the Israeli occupation authorities continued its policy of systematic abuse, and their systematic violations of the rights of prisoners and detainees guaranteed by international covenants and norms, as part of the structure of violence that it imposes on the Palestinian presence. The violations against detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons escalated, especially with the spread of the "Corona" virus, and the changes that accompanied the epidemic, through a set of measures imposed by the occupation prisons administration, which contributed to the worsening of detention conditions.

According to the follow-up of human rights institutions related to prisoners' affairs, the Israeli occupation forces have arrested (4,634) Palestinians, during the year 2020. Among them (543) children, (128) women, and the number of administrative detention orders issued reached (1114).

The Prisoners' Affairs and Human Rights Institutions (Prisoners Affairs Authority, Palestinian Prisoners Club, Al-Dameer Institution for Prisoner Care and Human Rights Foundation, and Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwan) indicated in an annual report issued on Thursday, that the number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the occupation prisons reached about (4400) prisoners at the end of December 2020, including (40) female prisoners, while the number of children and minors in the occupation prisons reached about (170) children, and the number of administrative detainees reached about (380) detainees, while the number of martyrs of the captive movement reached (226)  as four prisoners were martyred in the occupation prisons during the past year, they are: (Nour al-Din al-Barghouti, Sa’di al-Gharabla, Daoud al-Khatib, and Kamal Abu Wa'er).

The number of sick prisoners has reached nearly (700) prisoners, of whom about (300) are chronic and serious cases and are in need of adequate treatment and continuous care. Also, there is at least ten cases with cancer and tumors of varying degrees. Among the prisoner, Fouad El Shobaki (81), who is the oldest of the prisoners.

The most prominent names of sick prisoners in the "Ramla Clinic" prison: (Khaled Al-Shawish, Mansour Mawqdah, Mutasem Raddad, Nahed Al-Aqra ', Saleh Saleh and Muwaffaq Al-Arouq). Note that most of them have been in the Ramla clinic for years since being arrested. Fellow prisoners who were detained for years with them have passed away, including Sami Abu Dayak, Bassam Al-Sayeh, and Kamal Abu Wa’er.

The number of prisoners killed by the occupation through deliberate medical negligence (slow killing), which is part of a fixed and systematic policy - has reached (71) since 1967.

The occupation continues to detain the bodies of (8) prisoners who were martyred in prisons, they are: Anis Dola, who was martyred in Ashkelon Prison in 1980, Aziz Aweisat since 2018, Faris Baroud, Nasar Taqatqa, and Bassam Al-Sayeh, and four of them were killed during 2019, and Sa’di Al-Gharabla and Daoud Al-Khatib and Kamal Abu Wa’er who passed away in 2020.

The number of old prisoners detained before the signing of the Oslo Agreement reached (26) prisoners, the oldest of whom are Karim Younes and Maher Younes, who have been detained since January 1983, and Nael Barghouti, who is serving the longest detention period in the history of the captive movement, a total of more than (40) years. He spent (34) years of them continuously, and was released in 2011 in the prisoners’ exchange deal, until he was re-arrested in 2014.

The number of the detained deputies of the Legislative Council in its last session is (9) deputies.

A reading of the percentage of arrests carried out by the occupation throughout the year 2020

The highest rate of arrests was in January 2020, with (496) arrests, and the lowest rate of arrests was recorded in April 2020, with (197) arrests. However, since May the occupation have escalated its systematic detention operationsdespite the spread of the "Corona" epidemic since March 2020.

The Prisoners' Institutions confirm that the highest rate of arrests in the governorates was recorded in Jerusalem and its towns and villages during 2020, and it reached (1975) cases, with the highest being in the village of Issawiya, where (642) arrests were recorded, among them (363) minors, and (100) women, including 3 girls.

The occupation authorities have escalated their targeting of towns and refugee camps that witness continuous confrontation with the occupation forces, especially those that are close to settlements built on large parts of the Palestinian territories.

The arrests also targeted university students in an attempt to undermine any social or militant contribution that could constitute a lever for Palestinian society and contribute to spreading national awareness. Birzeit University students in particular were targeted and the number of detainees reached 70 students.

The institutions report includes the most prominent cases that affected the detainees and prisoners, as the issue of the "Corona" epidemic constituted a radical turning point on the reality of prisoners, with the accompanying measures imposed by the occupation prison administration, which turned the epidemic into a tool of repression and abuse, and doubled the isolation of prisoners, not to mention the continuation of conducting systematic arrestsdespite the spread of the epidemic, and storming homes and harassment of citizens, as the number of arrests since the beginning of the epidemic reached more than (3600) cases of arrest.

The report reflected on the issue of the systematic detention of children and women, which targeted in particular the children and women of Jerusalem as the city witnessed the highest rate of arrests among children and women, in addition to some areas and towns that witnessed an ongoing confrontation with the occupation. The report explains the most prominent looting and violations carried out by the occupation army against the detainees' right from the moment of their arrest through the investigation stage, and the conditions they face later after they are imprisoned.

The report also reviews the set of policies that the Israeli occupation authorities have continued to implement against the prisoners, most notably: torture and deliberate medical neglect (slow killing), which led to the martyrdom of four prisoners during the year 2020, and the solitary isolation that remarkably increased, and the incursions and systematic repression of prisoners’ sections and rooms, in addition to the nightly raids of citizens'homes, including the harassment operations that accompany them, which fall within the policy of collective punishment, and the policy of house demolitions, the denial of hundreds of prisoners' families from visiting, and the transformations imposed by the epidemic measures on the right to visit, especially prisoners from Gaza strip and their families.

Within the framework of the escalation of policies targeting the rights of prisoners and their families, the report touched on the escalating war on the issue as a whole, which affects the Palestinian existence, and the Palestinian right to struggle and self-determination, as the issue of war over the allocations of prisoners and their families was the most prominent issue in 2020.

In the face of the occupation policies, most notably the issue of administrative detention, the report reviewed the hunger strike as a historical means of confrontation, and the effectiveness imposed by the prisoners, through education, and the smuggled sperms, which imposed a new equation in the lives of prisoners and their families.