Publish date23 Jun 2024 - 20:28
Story Code : 640214

Israel cancels 20 arrest operations in occupied West Bank due to prison overcrowding: State media

The Israeli army halted around 20 arrests of Palestinian activists in the occupied West Bank due to its already overcrowded prisons, according to official sources.
Israel cancels 20 arrest operations in occupied West Bank due to prison overcrowding: State media

“The Israeli army and the Shin Bet (General Security Service) were forced to cancel about 20 arrest operations planned for this week due to a lack of space in prisons,” the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation reported.
"Due to worsening conditions in detention facilities, security services are compelled to assess the risks posed by detainees,” the corporation said.
It said Israeli security services are being compelled "out of necessity" to release administrative detainees – those held without charge – at the conclusion of their detention period in order to accommodate detainees deemed a “higher security risk.” There are some 6,627 prisoners being held without charges, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said earlier this month.
Israeli security officials caution that the shortage of space in detention centers and prisons may result in further cancellations of arrests and countermeasures in the occupied West Bank, it added.
In April, the country's Prison Service and the National Security Ministry said the designated detention capacity for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons was 14,500, whereas the actual number of detainees exceeded 21,000, according to the same source.
Last week, daily Maariv said Tel Aviv had arrested about 4,150 Palestinians from across the West Bank since the current Gaza war began last Oct. 7, according to Shin Bet data.
However, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society announced on Sunday that the number of detainees from the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the war had reached 9,345, or over twice that number.
"The occupation has committed horrific crimes” against prisoners leading to at least 18 deaths, said the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club earlier this month, adding that 310 women and at least 640 children are among those detained.
The Prisoners' Club decried Israel’s refusal “to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit them and check their detention conditions."
The club said "methods of mistreatment include thirst, hunger and the deprivation of basic life necessities" adding that Israel prisons leave “each detainee with only one set of clothes, adopting a policy of overcrowding.”
Tensions have been high across the occupied West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 37,500 victims since Oct. 7.
Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.
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