Israeli occupation forces raided on Sunday Palestinian prisoners’ cells in section 12 in the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club on Monday.
The Prisoners’ Club said that there is no information yet about the raid or if there are casualties.
The raid came after the Israeli prison authority found smuggled cell phones in Palestinian prisoners’ cells in Ofer, the Club reported. Israeli Prison Service (IPS) often uses such incidents as a pretext for conducting punitive, violent searches.
— أسرى فلسطين (@PalPrisoners) August 4, 2019
For several years, Palestinian prisoners have been demanding the installation of public phones in prison to communicate with their families outside.
Public phones were a key demand in the Palestinian prisoners’ 2017 40-day-long mass hunger strike, but a deal was not achieved with the Israeli occupation authorities.
The same demand was brought up once again during the 209 eight-day-long hunger strike, when Israeli authorities agreed, for the first time, on installing phones for Palestinian prisoners. The phones, however, were never installed.
Meanwhile, Palestinian media reported news that Palestinian prisoner leader and Gilboa prison breaker, Zakariyah Zubeidi might have started a new hunger strike to protest his isolation.
Released footage shows heavily armed Israeli prison guards raid the cells of the Palestinian prisoners in Naqab prison, occupied Palestine, last week. #قروب_فلسطيني#GroupPalestine#IsraeliCrimespic.twitter.com/wwloJPdoch
— Cruz Landaeta | @landa_jj (@landa_jj) March 30, 2019
The Prisoners Club has not confirmed yet if Zakariyah has entered a new hunger strike. However, Zakariyah and the other members of the Gilboa prison break are in isolation and constantly been moved between prisons, which is a form of punishment.
Earlier in July, the Palestinian High Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs reported that another prisoner, who also participated in the Gilboa prison break last September, Yaacoub Qaderi, was undergoing medical exams for a tumour he was diagnosed with in the thyroid gland to determine whether he has cancer.
Currently, over 4,650 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 30 women, 280 children and 650 detainees without charges under the “administrative detention” system, according to human rights groups.