For the sixth day in a row, Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails continue on Sunday, 19 February 2023 their mass civil disobedience actions to protest against punitive measures imposed by Israel’s new far-right government.
On Tuesday, Palestinian prisoners in Nafha jail started measures in response to the Israeli Prison Service’s (IPS) decision to carry out unjust and inhumane punitive measures against them.
On Wednesday, Palestinian prisoners in the jails of Rimon, Ofer, Megiddo, Gilboa, and Negev joined their fellows.
The far-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered the IPS to take punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners. The measures included controlling the amount of water used in the jail and reducing access to bathrooms
“Our only demand is freedom,” said the Supreme Emergency Committee for Prisoners in a statement on Tuesday.
“Everyone must get our message and hear our voice, for we can no longer tolerate the violations being committed against us day and night, the committee added.
Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir wasted no time delivering on his plans to create harsher conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
On 6 January, one week after assuming the role, he visited Nafha prison, considered one of Israel’s most severe for Palestinians, tweeting afterward: “Those who murdered Jews would not receive better conditions than the existing ones”, before stating his aim to pass “the death penalty law for terrorists”.
Early in February, Ben-Gvir ordered the closure of Palestinian prisoner-run bakeries in the Israeli jails.
Human rights organizations have long condemned Israeli prisons holding Palestinian prisoners for their inhuman treatment of Palestinians.
Palestinian prisoners resort to hunger strikes to fight issues such as solitary confinement, denial of family visits, inadequate medical treatment, and other degrading conditions.
Israeli occupation is holding 4,780 Palestinian detainees, including 160 children, some 30 women, and five Palestinian Legislative Council members. All of them will be affected by Israel’s implementation of punitive measures.