World, Middle East

Palestinian jailbreakers handcuffed in Israeli solitary confinement

Last month, 6 Palestinians tunneled out of high-security Gilboa prison

Awad al-Rujoub   | 05.10.2021
Palestinian jailbreakers handcuffed in Israeli solitary confinement Israeli security forces take a Palestinian inmate after being arrested in Umm al-Ghanam town, Israel on September 11, 2021. ( Israeli Police - Anadolu Agency )

RAMALLAH, Palestine

Israel has placed six Palestinians, who had tunneled out of a high-security prison last month, in solitary confinement with their arms and legs cuffed around the clock, according to a Palestinian NGO on Tuesday.

On Sept. 6, six Palestinian detainees successfully escaped from high-security Gilboa prison by digging a tunnel from their cell to outside the prison.

Israeli forces, however, managed to recapture them after almost a week of their prison break.

“The six prisoners are now held in solitary confinement in a number of prisons,” Amin Shouman, head of the Higher Follow-up Commission for Prisoner Affairs, told Anadolu Agency.

“They are held in Ayalon, Rimonim, Eshel, Ashkelon and Ohalei Keidar prisons with their hands and legs cuffed around the clock,” he said.

Shouman said Israeli prison authorities “don't allow the prisoners to have showers and deny them their simplest rights.”

He said the decision to place the prisoners in solitary confinement was taken upon orders from the Israeli internal security service, Shin Bet.

Shouman noted that Mahmoud al-Arida, one of the escaped prisoners, is on hunger strike for the second day in protest of his prison conditions.

On Sunday, the attorney of the Nazareth central court filed an indictment against the six prisoners, which included illegal fleeing from their confinement, a charge that could reach up to 7 years in prison.

There are around 4,850 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 40 women, 225 children and 40 administrative detainees, according to institutions concerned with prisoners’ affairs.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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