Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli jail, seventh since October 2023

Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli jail, seventh since October 2023
Abdul Rahman Bassem Al-Bahsh from Nablus had been detained since May 2022 and sentenced to two years and eleven months at Megiddo prison.
3 min read
02 January, 2024
Israel is holding thousands of Palestinians in its jails and abuse and violence against them has increased since 7 October [Getty]

A Palestinian prisoner has died in jail in Israel, becoming the seventh Palestinian detainee to die in the 12 weeks since the Israel-Gaza war amid accusations of torture by Israeli prison authorities.

According to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli authorities killed 23-year-old Abdul Rahman Bassem Al-Bahsh who was detained at Megiddo prison in Israel.

Al-Bahsh, from Nablus in the occupied West Bank, had been detained since May 2022 and sentenced to two years and eleven months at Megiddo prison.

He is the seventh Palestinian prisoner to die in an Israeli jail since Israel's war on Gaza began on October 7.

PPS and the Commission said that Megiddo prison has been a hotbed of abuse and violence against prisoners by Israeli authorities, including torture. The prison holds Palestinians which Israel says are a risk to its "national security".

Since October 2023, three prisoners have been killed at Megiddo, including Abdul Rahman Mirie who died in November. Israel has since opened an investigation into Mirie’s death after his body showed signs of severe torture.

Israel holds around 8,600 Palestinians in prison, including 3,291 in "administrative detention", without trial or charge, according to the latest figures

Qaddoura Fares, head of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, said that there are “other slain prisoners from the Gaza Strip that no one knows about yet,” according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.

As part of its brutal air, ground and sea siege on Gaza, Israel has been arbitrarily detaining hundreds of Palestinians and taking them to unknown locations.

Distressing footage released by the Israeli army in December depicted scores of men lined up, stripped down to underwear, blindfolded and under the command of Israeli soldiers, who claimed they were suspected Hamas fighters.

The footage triggered global condemnation and was followed by testimonies from Palestinians in Gaza who said that they recognized some of the men as doctors and journalists.

Among them is the head of TNA Arabic's Gaza bureau, Diaa al Kahlout who was reportedly seen in Beersheba prison in southern Israel recently.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a Geneva-based human rights group which documents Israeli violations, has called on Israel to reveal the whereabouts of nearly 3,000 Palestinians who have been taken from homes or shelters in Gaza by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Israeli army said it has opened an investigation into the fatal shooting of a Palestinian man who had been captured by its soldiers in Gaza, AFP reported.

The man was "handed over to the supervision of a soldier, who, under suspicion, allegedly shot him, resulting in his death," the army said. 

The announcement follows a report from the United Nations human rights office in December which said it had received "disturbing" reports that Israeli troops had "summarily killed" at least 11 unarmed Palestinians in front of their families in the Al Remal neighbourhood of Gaza City. 

"The Israeli authorities must immediately institute an independent, thorough and effective investigation into these allegations," the office said.