The International Commission Hashd Issues a Research Paper on The Situation of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons After October 7, 2023

The International Commission Hashd Issues a Research Paper on The Situation of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons After October 7, 2023

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The International Commission “Hashd” Issues a Research Paper on

“The Situation of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons After October 7, 2023”

The International Commission “Hashd” has issued a research paper on “The Situation of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons After October 7, 2023,” prepared by the lawyer and human rights activist, Mohammed Ali Khalifa.

The paper highlighted the increase in the number of Palestinian prisoners detained from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by the Israeli occupation forces to record numbers since the beginning of the aggression on Gaza on October 7, 2023, with 9,500 male and female prisoners held in 23 prisons and detention and interrogation centers. Eighty female prisoners are predominantly held in Damon Prison, along with 200 children distributed among Ofer, Majdoo, and Damon prisons.

It noted that there is no accurate count of the number of detainees from Gaza so far due to Israel’s policy of enforced disappearance and the difficulty of receiving reports in Gaza due to the dispersal of families and the semi-permanent interruption of communications and the internet. However, preliminary estimates indicate the registration of more than 3,000 arrests, including at least 200 women and girls. Based on available information, Israeli forces have arrested at least 900 Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip, where the occupation state detains most of the detainees from Gaza at the Zekeim military base.

It clarified that the number of Palestinian detainees in the occupied West Bank has risen to 4,695 since the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7, 2023. Israeli authorities also hold 450 Palestinian bodies in occupation cemeteries and refrigerators, including 256 martyrs in the number cemeteries, and 194 martyrs since the return of the detention policy in 2015, including 18 bodies belonging to prisoners who died inside occupation prisons, 21 children under the age of 18, and 5 women. There are 52 bodies from the Gaza Strip before October 7, 2023.

The paper emphasized that the occupation authorities practice a retaliatory, repressive policy and the crime of enforced disappearance against some Palestinian prisoners since October 7, transferring them to unknown locations and military camps such as Sdeh Teimah camp and army camps in Be’er Sheva. The occupation still refuses to disclose any information about the Gaza detainees and their places of detention, and prohibits their visits by any parties, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The paper reviewed Israeli violations against Palestinian prisoners after October 7, 2023, in addition to testimonies from a group of released detainees in the past days, after spending various periods of detention, during which they spoke of harsh practices, including “brutal and retaliatory” beatings, unleashing dogs towards them, solitary confinement for long hours, complete nudity, deprivation of food and access to toilets. The most dangerous testimony received was that female detainees were subjected to direct sexual harassment, with several detainees reporting that “Israeli soldiers harassed them, including touching their private parts and forcing them to undress and remove the hijab.”

The paper called on the Israeli occupation state to immediately disclose the fate of forcibly disappeared detainees, including disclosing their names and whereabouts, and to fully assume its responsibilities towards their safety and to immediately stop torture and ill-treatment.

It called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to assume its responsibilities and work to monitor the conditions of detainees, reveal the fate of Gaza detainees, visit them, expose the practices and violations they are subjected to, and investigate the conditions of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and their detention conditions.

It stressed the necessity for the UN rapporteur on torture and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to immediately conduct a neutral investigation into the circumstances of the deaths of all detainees who have died in Israeli prisons since the start of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, and to take appropriate steps to hold those responsible accountable and provide justice to the victims.

It also called on the special rapporteur on enforced disappearances to take immediate action regarding Gaza detainees and reveal their fate and places of detention, and for the International Criminal Court to open an immediate and serious investigation into the conditions of detainees and prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons, as what the occupation authorities are doing constitutes war crimes, if not crimes against humanity.

To read the paper, click here.

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