Punitive measures could lead to ‘general insurrection’ in Israeli prisons - Palestinian official

Prisoners affiliated with Fatah declared a state of “general alert” in all Israeli prisons and said they were ready to “battle for independence.”

 A guard is seen at an observation tower along a wall of Gilboa Prison, from where six Palestinian prisoners escaped, on September 6. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
A guard is seen at an observation tower along a wall of Gilboa Prison, from where six Palestinian prisoners escaped, on September 6.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s plan to impose further restrictions on Palestinian security prisoners could lead to a “general insurrection” in Israeli prisons, Qadri Abu Bakr, chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, warned on Monday.

Abu Bakr, a member of the ruling Fatah faction’s Revolutionary Council, told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds newspaper that dozens of prisoners are already being held in solitary confinement in various prisons. They include 11 inmates linked to the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa Prison on September 6, 2021.

He said that the solitary confinement and the decision to redistribute prisoners among several prisons aim to cause “distress” among the inmates.

According to Abu Bakr, prisoners who refuse to be relocated to other facilities face punitive measures, including solitary confinement.

“The upcoming phase could witness a dangerous escalation inside the prisons if the prisoners are targeted with more punitive measures,” he cautioned. “The prisoners are determined to confront the measures. They could resort to a comprehensive insurrection, which means some could be martyred or injured.”

“The prisoners are determined to confront the measures. They could resort to a comprehensive insurrection, which means some could be martyred or injured.”

Qadri Abu Bakr
 Gilboa Prison (credit: FLASH90) Gilboa Prison (credit: FLASH90)

Last week, the Israel Prison Service transferred 70 security prisoners to other prisons. The Palestinians fear the move is the first in a series of measures aimed at imposing severe restrictions on the prisoners.

Fatah-affiliated prisoners on "general alert" and ready for battle

Prisoners affiliated with the Fatah faction on Monday declared a state of “general alert” in all Israeli prisons and said they were ready to lead the “battle for independence and freedom.”

During his election campaign, Ben-Gvir said he would push for the Knesset to adopt the death penalty for terrorists. He also said he would ensure that Israeli prisons no longer serve as “summer camps.”

According to Palestinian figures, there are 4,700 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 29 female prisoners and 150 minors.