After four of six escaped Palestinian political prisoners were captured over last weekend, lawmakers from Hadash spoke in support of them. Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) wrote in a Facebook post: “If six prisoners managed to break through the narrow and crowded prison, then together millions of Palestinians can end the occupation — so that they’ll be free and all prisoners will be released.”
In a Saturday night interview on Channel 12’s program Meet the Press on September 11, Odeh said: “We need to shut all of the prisons. All of these prisoners [who attempted to escape] need to be in the Palestinian state that will be founded alongside Israel. The occupation is the root of all evil. There is only one last occupation in the entire world, the one which Israel continues to impose on the Palestinian nation.” Odeh said further, “My dream is that there will be no more prisons; there will be no more occupation.”
Following the capture of the first two escapees, Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) predicted in a tweet that the apprehended prisoners would be tortured in revenge for their attempted escape. “Tonight, the two captured fugitives will be severely tortured, merely to avenge their success in deceiving the ‘masters.’ This is what colonialism has always done.” Cassif added, “The violence will only cease by ending the occupation! For the benefit all of us!”
Another Joint List MK, Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash), had repeatedly called during the past week to release all Palestinian prisoners who had been incarcerated for opposing the occupation. “The only guarantee for security and stability is an end to the occupation and recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Palestinian Prisoners to Start Protests
Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated by Israeli are expected to start escalating their collective protests on Friday, September 17, in response to the ongoing repressive measures being implemented against them, prisoner advocacy groups have announced.
The Palestinian Authority’s Detainees Affairs Commission (DAC) and the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said in a joint statement that the first planned escalation will be the mass infraction of rules set by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and the start of a hunger strike on Friday by a group of prisoners whose numbers will be gradually augmented every day.
Over 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated by Israel have been facing increasingly repressive measures since the escape of six Palestinians from Gilboa Prison a week and a half ago. These include the indiscriminate sending of many prisoners to solitary confinement and the restricting of prisoners’ access to essential services. In response to the Israeli crackdown, last week prisoners set fire to detention cells inside prisons.
Related: CPI Calls on Gov’t to Stop Attacks against Palestinian Prisoners