Israel raids Ofer prison, two dozen Palestinian inmates injured
More than two dozen Palestinian inmates have been reportedly injured due to Israeli violent attack days after a prisoner died in jail.
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Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS)said on Sunday that the Israeli prison guards raided the cells and attacked the prisoners at Ofer Prison and Detention Center near West Bank city of Ramallah.
The jail authorities also confiscated all electric appliances and their personal belongings, it added.
The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs said that the extremely hot and humid atmosphere inside Israeli jails has turned the lives of Palestinian prisoners into a hell.
According to the commission, the severe heat wave has aggravated the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, especially in the desert and coastal prisons, such as Negev, Nafha, Ashkelon, Damon, and Gilboa.
The latest raids come after a 45-year-old Daoud Talaat Khatib died of heart attack at Ofer prison on Wednesday night.
Khatib, from the West Bank city of Bethlehem, was detained by Israeli occupation forces in 2001 and was sentenced to 18 years and 8 months in jail. He was scheduled to complete his prison sentence and be released on December 4.
The deceased Palestinian suffered from bad health condition during his detention and in 2017 had a heart attack, but medical negligence by the Israeli prison authorities contributed to the deterioration of his health until his death.
At least 850 Palestinian prisoners, including minors, are held in Ofer and lately there were reports of coronavirus cases among some prisoners.
The Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs estimates that at least 225 Palestinians have died in Israeli jails since 1967, when Israelis occupied the Palestinian territories.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas recently blamed "Israel's policy of medical negligence" for the detainee's death, describing the policy as "a crime against humanity and a brazen violation of all international law and norms".
Many Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli custody without trial or charge under the so-called Israeli policy of administrative detention.
Palestinians complain that they are subjected to assault and torture at Israeli prisons. The detainees have on many occasions resorted to open-ended hunger strikes to voice their outrage at dire prison conditions.
In recent months, several countries and international organizations have called for the release of Palestinian prisoners with health problems as well as children, women and elders in Israeli prisons.
Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees.
There have been growing calls from regional and international rights groups, including the Europal Forum, to put pressure on the Israeli regime to provide Palestinian prisoners with enough protection against the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 6, the secretary general of the Arab League appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli jails amid rising coronavirus cases in the occupied territories.
Ahmed Abul Gheit, in a letter addressed to Director General of ICRC Robert Mardini expressed regret that the Israeli authorities had released some settlers charged with criminal offenses, but excluded the Palestinian prisoners.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in March that Tel Aviv must “take full and direct responsibility for the life and health of the prisoners” as the contagion rages around the world, including across the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Israeli authorities have also announced measures to seize the ancient ruins of Deir Samaan, located northwest of the town of Kufr al-Dik, west of the northern West Bank city of Salfit.
Abdullah Kmail, the governor of Salfit said that the Israeli occupation authorities had published an announcement written in Hebrew declaring seizure of the site.
Deir Samaan, which dates back more than 1,600 years, is an ancient Byzantine village located on top of a hill 350 meters above sea level with archaeological buildings.
The Israeli regime has always come up with different excuses to grab Palestinian-owned land and to continue building and expanding illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
US President Donald Trump had already given Tel Aviv the green light for the land grab in his self-proclaimed “deal of the century,” which was unveiled in January with the aim of re-drawing the Middle East map.
Palestinian resistance groups have pledged unity against Israel’s annexation of Palestinian areas and vowed to “topple” Trump's Middle East plan.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.