Israeli forces raid Palestinian prisoners' section in Asqalan
Israeli forces raided on Tuesday a section in the Asqalan (Ashkelon) prison where Palestinian prisoners are held, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said in a statement.
"There is only one section where Palestinian prisoners are held in the Asqalan prison," Ayah Shreiteh, spokesperson for the Prisoners’ Club told The New Arab.
"Police forces of the Israeli jail authority conducted a violent search incursion into the mentioned section on Tuesday," said Shreiteh. "Israeli forces damaged prisoners’ belongings and confiscated electric devices."
"This is a continuation of the escalation by Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of June," noted Shreiteh. "In mid-June, Israeli forces also raided Palestinian prisoners sections in the prisons of Rimon and Hadarim."
"Raids into prisoners' sections are a common practice by Israeli forces," a senior documentation officer at the Palestinian Addameer Prisoner Support Association told The New Arab, asking not to be named.
"Israeli authorities use the 'Matsada' special forces for these raids, who use the highest level of non-lethal violence allowed in prisons," the officer explained. "This includes tear gas, pepper spray, baton beating, and on a few occasions rubber bullets were fired."
In June 2021, Israeli daily Haaretz revealed video footage from the Negev Israeli prison during an Israeli raid against Palestinian prisoners. The footage showed mass beating with batons and other demeaning treatment, which commentators described as "brutalising". In 2019, Israeli media also aired footage of Israeli raids on Palestinian cells, showing similar content.
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
According to the Prisoners' Club and other human rights groups, Israeli authorities have escalated repressive measures against Palestinian prisoners after the Gilboa prison break last September.
Palestinian prisoners repeatedly protested Israeli escalation after the Gilboa prison break, refusing meals, disobeying the morning counting and even declaring the largest collective hunger strike since 2004 in March.
Israeli authorities agreed to the prisoners' demands and the strike was called off. Human rights groups, however, told The New Arab later that the demands agreed upon by the Israeli jails authority were mostly not met in practice.