The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs stated in its report some of the daily situations lived by female detainees at Damoun prison, which show the extent of violations they are exposed to on a daily basis, violate all international treaties, conventions and human rights principles.
The nature of Damoun prison:
Damoun prison is located north of Palestine on the Mount of Carmel in Haifa city. It was established since the British Mandate as a store of cigarettes. The land was owned by the Qurman's family from Haifa, and after 1948 it was seized by Israel and turned into a prison. The infrastructure of it was very bad and there was an order to close it because it lacks the minimum standards of living. However, with the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intiafda and the increase of Palestinian detainees, it was reopened. It currently holds 500 detainees, most of who are detained on the grounds of illegal entry to the occupied territories, and it contains a section where 53 female detainees are held.
Conditions of female detainees after being transferred to Damoun prison
On November 2018, all political female detainees were gathered at Damoun prison.
- Before transferring female detainees from Al-Sharon prison to Damoun prison, females of Damoun prison got transferred from their sections. They were held at section 6 and then transferred to section 3. They got transferred with 6 phases dating from 31/10/2018 to 7/11/2018.
- The administration of Damoun prison tried to distribute the female detainees on section, but the females refused and asked to choose their sections. As means of protest, they gathered and sit in the yard of the prison and refused to get inside their cells. After negotiations with the prison's administration they were allowed to supervise their own distribution and arrangement of sections.
- There are 53 female detainees at Damoun prison including: one minor female, a deputy in the legislative council, 8 injured females, 22 mothers and wives, 19 female arrested under interrogation, 2 females under the administrative detention and 3 females from Gaza Strip who are prevented from family visits.
- It is worth mentioning that the sentences issued against the female prisoners reached a maximum of 16 years.
- Females are held in sections that contain 13 rooms, and there are 4-8 females in each room. There is a solitary confinement with surveillance cameras, and also there is a room used to educate minors which is opened only once a week.
- Counting is done 4 times a day, and inspection is done twice a day.
- There is no safety for female detainees inside rooms, where beds are so high which resulted in many cases of falling down.
- Regarding water in the section: females buy mineral water from the canteen on their expense.
- Each family is allowed to enter two books in a month after getting a permit.
The yard of the prison
- There are two surveillance cameras in the yard, where female detainees are monitored by jailers. This prevents females from doing exercises and seeing the seeing the sun rays, especially that most of them put on hijabs.
- Female detainees are not allowed to gather in the yard.
- They spend 4 hours in the yard, in which time is distributed to bath tine, director visit and lawyers visits.
- The yard has no ceiling, so the females do not go outside during the rain.
- It is worth to mention that restrooms are located outside the prison's cells, which prevents females to use it in any time. Females are also not allowed to bathe unless at the time of the going to the yard. Females are forced to walk from their rooms through the yard which make them feel embarrassed.
- Female detainees are prevented from obtaining educational material, and lately the prison's administration found some materials and confiscated them.
- There is no library for female detainees, and they did not receive the books brought by female detainees who were jailed at Al-Sharon prison.
- The classroom that was opened for minors' education is very small and does not have a window, and it is only opened once a week.
- There is a bureaucracy to ask for the entry of specialized doctors from abroad, since it takes a long time to get permission to enter the prison. There is procrastination in transferring sick detainees to hospitals and making operations. A case in point is the case of the detainee Israa Ja'abees, who needs a special suit for the burns in her body and a plastic surgery due to the deformation in her face.
Products and stuff distributed by the prison's administration
- There is no specific list of products that are distributed at sections every month. The list lacks the special needs of females. According to instructions, female detainees must be provided with their own special stuff.
Materials for handcrafts
- Families of detainees are prevented from giving their daughters material for making handcrafts, and only materials from the Committee of the Red Cross are allowed.
Females under arrest
- Any girl under arrest, who is not held in interrogation centers, is transferred between borders of Mascoubya, Ramlah and Al-Sharon in harsh conditions. She is transferred to Damoun prison after one month of arrest. In many cases, girls are held in solitary confinement. A case in point is the detainee Iftikar Zakarneh, who was transferred to Ramlah prison after one month of interrogation.
Conditions of transferring female detainees to courts
- When female detainees are transferred to courts they got tightly handcuffed and treated in bad way.
- Detainees who are prosecuted in military Salem court and Lod court face many troubles due to holding them at Jalamah, Sharon and Ramlah borders in harsh conditions, and the way to court takes 3 hours which is considered a journey of suffering.
- A new achievement is accomplished regarding the transfer process of female detainees. This is due to complaints on transferring detainees who are prosecuted at Jerusalem court and Beersheba court, where previously they were transferred before one day of court date and the detainee remain 3 days in harsh isolation conditions. The new achievement is that the transferring process for female detainees takes only one day.
- There are visit request every week, where the representative of the detainees get very busy in applying requests for 53 detainees to enter clothes, books and photographs.
- Regarding the female detainees from Gaza Strip, they are prohibited from family visits due to the siege. After making many requests by the Commission of Detainees Affairs, they got allowed to phone call their families for 45 minutes.
- There is only one room for the lawyers' visits and it is very small, and the lawyer is allowed to visit only 3 detainees.
The Israeli occupation inherited the administrative detention form the British mandate, where it was the emergency law of the British mandate in 1945 and then was adopted by Israel.
Israel announced the state of emergency in 1948, where the administrative detention is used to arrest Palestinian politicians.
It is an arbitrary detention used by the Israeli authorities to arrest persons without any charge. According to the Israeli intelligence, it is a preventive measure to prevent any person from making any breach in the future, and there is no specific period for detention.
The administrative detention is conducted without a prosecution and it is based on an order issued by the military commander of area depending on confidential files.
- Palestinians are detained under administrative detention for long periods under the pretext of "confidential information", which are not known by the detainees or lawyers.
- Although the maximum period of administrative detention is 6 months, it could be prolonged and renewed until further notice. This unjust detention deprives the prisoners of the right to know the information they have been detained for and keeps them in darkness for long periods, since they do not know when they will be released, and sometimes it takes years.
- Female detainees under administrative detention:
1. The detainee Khalida Jarrar: member in the legislative council, she's 55 years old from the city of Ramallah. She was arrested in July 2, 2017. The military commander issued the order of administrative detention against her and it was renewed and extended.
The first extension of the order was in 27/12/2018 to 6 months.
The second extension in 26/6/2018 to 4 months
The third extension in 25/10/2018 to 4 months
The order of administrative detention ends by 28/2/2019.
2. The detainee Fidaa Du'mos (24 years old), is form Bait Ummar near Hebron. She was arrested On May 29, 2018 and was sentenced to 95 days of actual imprisonment. At the day of release, an order of administrative detention to 6 months was issued, it ends by 15/2/2019.
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs stated that the Israeli court of the occupation has prosecuted the 19-years-old Dahoud Manasra from Bani Naim Village to 11 years of imprisonment and compensation of 270.000 NIS, with exchanging the sum of money with 3 actual years of detention in case the compensation is not paid.
The commission also explained that the detainee Manasra, who was arrested on November 6, 2015, is sentenced to a fine of 10.000 NIS.
The occupation authorities have arrested Manasra in 2015 when he was only 16 years old, under the pretext of causing an injury to an Israeli soldier at Bait Aynoun east of Hebron.
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs denounced the extremist Israeli approaches in prosecuting Palestinians with high sentences, fines and compensations which are imposed on Palestinian detainees. These approaches emphasize the barbarity of the Israeli judiciary and its consistency with the policies of the Shin Bet and the Israeli intelligence services in causing the greatest damage and imposing punishments against the Palestinians.
The Arab and Palestinian communities in Berlin have organized a solidarity stand with the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails at the Potsdamer Platz square in Berlin, with the participation of many institutions.
These ongoing events in Germany come at the time of systematic repression against the Palestinian prisoner movement, and against the practices of prisons' administrations.
The international coordinator of "Samedoun network" Charlotte Keats stressed on the need to promote the international boycott of (BDS) against the state of occupation. This came in support of the struggle of the Palestinian detainees and the rights of Palestinian people, and against the companies and states that support the racist entity of Israel.
Keats called for the solidarity with the Palestinian detainees in facing the attack launched by the Israeli Minister of Defense, Gilad Erdan.
Many European countries and other countries all over the world witness a series of solidarity events in the National Day of solidarity with the detainee Ahmad Sa'adat, which started on January 15 and lasts to January 22.
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs sent on Monday an urgent letter to many international bodies and humanitarian and legal institutions warning about the critical health condition of the sick detainee Sami Abu Dyak, requesting an immediate intervention to save his life before it's too late.
The Commission explained in the letter, which was sent to more than 20 international bodies including the International Quartet, the Office of the European Union, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Health Organization, that there is a real anxiety that threatens Abu Dyak's life and that he may die at any moment.
The Commission also stated that the 35-years-old detainee Abu Dyak, who is currently at Al-Ramla Hospital, is suffering from cancer and is living under the policy of medical negligence and procrastination by the Israeli authorities.
The Commission also explained in the letter that Abu Dyak is held in the Israeli jails since 17/7/2002 and sentenced to life imprisonment and 30 years, and that he had a surgery on September 2015 to cut 80 cm of his intestines, in which he got infected. This led to a kidney and lung failure.
The commission stated in its letter that "the Israeli authorities have the full responsibility on Abu Dyak's life, who were exposed to a real medical negligence which led to the deterioration of his health conditions.
2018 is the year of racist legislations and collective punishments
2018 witnessed a violent attack against detainees in Israeli jails, where the Israeli occupation authorities launched a fierce war against detainees and their families through systematic policies. These policies are represented in the policy of oppression and abuse, breaking into of the detainees' rooms and sections, administrative detention, solitary confinement, medical negligence, the detention of minors, imposition of high fines, preventing visits and prohibition of education.
The Israeli Knesset has witnessed a race among its extremist members in adopting racist and arbitrary laws against Palestinian prisoners, such as deducting salaries of martyrs and detainees, execution of detainees, terminating the funding of detainees medical treatment, displacing detainees' families far from their residence and legislating a law that prohibit the early release of detainees.
Facts and figures
(6489) detention cases during 2018
The Israeli occupation authorities have increased the range of detention against Palestinian people, where the total number of detention cases during 2018 is (6489) cases, including: (1063) minors, (140) females, (6) deputies and (38) journalists.
Moreover, the Israeli courts issued (988) administrative detention orders, and the highest rate of detention was on January with (675) cases.
Geographical distribution of detention cases in 2018
The largest percentage of detention cases was in the west bank cities with (4495) cases, constituting (69.3%) of the total number of arrests during 2018. Then comes Jerusalem with (1803) cases, constituting (27.8%) of the total number. Detention cases also included arrests from Gaza strip with (191) cases, constituting (2.9%) of the total number of arrests.
By the end of 2018, there are (6000) Palestinian detainees, distributed on 22 jails and detention centers, such as: Nafha, Raymond, Jelboa, Negev, Ofer, Megiddo, Hadareem, Al-Ramlah, Ashkelon and Beersheba.
Detainees are distributed as the following:
(8) Deputies in the Legislative Council
(450) administrative detainees
(750) sick detainees who suffer from different diseases, including (200) who need an urgent medical intervention, there are also (34) who have cancer.
(87%) are detainees from West Bank, (8%) from Jerusalem and (5%) from Gaza Strip.
Long-term detainees: there are (48) detainees who spent more than 20 years in jails, including (27) who was arrested before Oslo Accord.
(217) Martyrs of the Prisoners' Movement: (5) detainees died during this year, including those who were in jail and those who died after being arrested; Yaseen Saradeeh, Azeez Ewaisat, Muhammad Anbar, Mohammad Marshood and Mohammad Al-Khateeb. Moreover, occupation authorities have retained the bodies of martyrs directly after killing them in fields without constituting any threat to the Israelis.
(23) Arab detainees who carry the Jordanian and Syrian nationalities are jailed in Israeli prisons.
Palestinian female detainees in jails
The Israeli occupation authorities increased its violations against female detainees during 2018, where the (54) females jailed at Damoon prison suffer from the violent procedures of the prison administration, in addition to the overcrowding in rooms, neglecting their medical cases, depriving them of visits and exposing them to attacks by the Nahshon forces. Moreover, they suffer from the transfer to courts in the light of transferring them from Hasharon to Damoun prison.
Despite the protests of female detainees, the prison administration continues the abusive and provocative procedures against them, and the surveillance cameras are still installed in the prison's yard and inside the sections, which restricts their freedom. (32) Female detainees have refused to go to the yard in a protest against the installation of cameras in Hasharon prison.
Child detainees,, sentences and fines
The international conventions on human rights, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child, stressed on the necessity of protecting children and their lives and their chances of growth and development. However, the Israeli occupation authorities made killing and arresting Palestinian children their first choice. They still hold (250) minors the vast majority of them are held in Ofer and Majeddo prisons. They Israeli authorities practice the worst policies of torture, repression, the issuance of high sentences and fines, deprivation of family visits and prosecuting them on courts of adults. Moreover, there are nearly 100 minors from Jerusalem who got held in house detention in 2018, which caused serious social, psychological and educational effects on them and on their families.
Administrative detainees conducted a hunger strike represented in boycotting the occupation courts at all levels since 15/2/2018, due to making the administrative detention a collective punishment for detainees and their families.
The step of hunger strike and the boycott is very supportive to the collective work of administrative detainees through the formation of a committee that speaks on their behalf, as well as the lawyers' commitment of not appearing before courts of occupation. However, nearly (450) administrative detainees are still held in Israeli jails including 6 elected representatives.
(750) sick detainees are held in occupation prisons, they suffer from different illnesses, including (200) detainees who suffer from serious diseases and need a life-saving surgeries. (34) of them have cancer, and (70) of them suffer from physical and psychological disabilities. In addition, there are tens of wounded detainees who were shot during their arrest.
Detentions and collective punishments
The daily arrests by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinians constitute a flagrant violation of the rules of international humanitarian law, international human rights law.
As part of the policy of collective punishment by the occupying power, several Palestinian families have been targeted to demolish their homes, withdraw work permits and arrest the majority of family members. The occupation state has recently adopted a policy of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, especially the families of martyrs and detainees. This policy is used by the occupation to press on Palestinian families and destroy their lives, to deter them and break their will and to stop the struggle against this racist state.
The year 2018 witnessed a battle of will and determination with the so-called "empty stomach battle" inside the Israeli jails. Cases of hunger strikers have increased individually and sometimes some of them have joined in solidarity. All strikes were as protest against the policy of administrative detention, transfer, solitary confinement and medical negligence. In this context, (39) administrative detainees have conducted hunger strike during 2018 protesting against their administrative detention, such as: Rezeq Rjoub and Kefah Khateeb.
Israel racist laws
The year 2018 witnessed a great deal of extremism by the Israeli Knesset in presenting draft laws and racist legislation against the Palestinian people in general and the captive movement in particular, including: a draft law to expel the families of operation executors, the law of deducting money paid by the Palestinian National Authority, the law of preventing the fund of detainees and wounded persons, the law of prohibiting family visits and the law of retaining martyrs bodies.
Targeting Palestinian journalists
The Israeli occupation authorities increased the targeting of Palestinian detainees and arresting activists on social media since the outbreak of "Al-Quds intifada" on October 2015. It witnessed an unprecedented repression of the freedom of opinion and expression. The occupation forces have arrested more than (40) journalists and tens of violations against them were recorded. (27) Journalists are still held in Israeli jails in an attempt to deter them and preventing them of saying the truth. They also arrested more than (350) Palestinian citizens during 2018, including females, children, journalists and authors due to posts on social media.
The second oldest long-term detainee in Israeli jails, Maher Younis (61 years old) from Arah village, enters his 37th year in jail on Friday. He is currently held at Negev prison, and he's the cousin of Kareem Younes.
Maher Younes was born on January 9, 1958 in Arah village in the occupied territories of Palestine, and he has five siblings. He ended his elementary study in a school in the village and then joined the Agriculture School in Al-Khdaira city. He was arrested by the Israeli army in 18/1/1983 after two weeks of the detention of his cousin Kareem younis. After his interrogation, the military prosecution of the occupying state accused him of belonging to the Fatah movement, illegally possessing weapons, and killing an Israeli soldier. He was sentenced to death penalty with the detainees Kareem Younis and Sami Younis on charges of "betraying the citizenship", since they were holding the Israeli ID and considered Israeli citizens. A month later, the court issued a sentence to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. In September 2012, the occupation authorities set the life sentence of 40 years for a number of detainees, including Maher Younis.
Yunis was arrested before getting married, and thus he spent his youth in detention without establishing a family. He is also deprived of seeing his siblings' sons and daughters by a decision from the central court of Nazareth. His petition of seeing his father on deathbed in 2008 was rejected, and he did not see his father before passing away.
Younis has conducted an open hunger strike for 10 days on February 25, 2013 in order to highlight the suffering of detainees in Israeli prisons, especially the detainees from the Palestinian occupied territories who are excluded from exchange deals. He ended his strike after the intervention of the President Mahmoud Abbas who promised to put their issue on top priorities.
Younis is one of the detainees who were arrested before Oslo Accord, and one of the detainees who were supposed to be released within the exchange deal in 2013. Israel has released three groups of this deal; including 23 detainees for each group, and then breached the agreement and did not release the forth group, and who was supposed to be released on March 2013.
The forth group (27 detainees) of the exchange deal are still held in Israeli jails, half of them are from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, including Kareem Younes, Maher Younis, Ibraheem Abu Mokh, Rushdi Abu Mokh, Waleed Daqqah, Ibraheem Bayadseh, Ahmad Abu Jaber, Basheer Khateeb, Ibraheem Ighbaryeh, Mohammad Ighbaryeh, Yahia Ighbaryeh and Mohammad Jabari.
The report of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees' Affairs showed that the administration of prisons have arrested 497 minors and jailed them at Ofer prison throughout 2018, and that 99% of them were beaten and exposed to ill-treatment during their detention in Israeli interrogation centers.
Among those minors, 232 of them were arrested from their houses, 188 were arrested from the roads, 28 were arrested at military checkpoints, 29 were arrested after summon, 20 due not having a permit and 25 of them were arrested after being shot.
The Commission indicated throughout the report that the total sum of fines imposed on those minors is about 1.018.000 NIS. Moreover, there are 428 minors who were prosecuted with unfair sentences and 3 minors who were sentenced to administrative detention.
The Commission of Detainees states that the issue of children detention is a systematic destruction of the Palestinian childhood, where the occupation authorities practice many violations against them since the first moment of detention. Minors are jailed in very difficult and inhuman conditions that lack the minimum international standards for the rights of children and the rights of prisoners.
It's worth mentioning that 250 child are currently held in the prisons of the occupation, distributed in Ofer and Megiddo prisons.
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs documented in its report on Thursday the testimonies of 5 detainees, who narrate the details of torture and degrading treatment they were exposed to during their arrest and interrogation in Israeli detention centers.
In this context, Obada Qnais (16 years old) narrates his detention conditions, indicating that he was arrested after the occupation forces broke into his house in Ayda camp near Bethlehem. He was beaten and slapped on the face in front of his family, and then transferred to Al- Maskoubya detention center to interrogate him. During his existence at the interrogation cell, interrogators deliberately humiliated him and forced him to sit handcuffed on the chair and did not allow him to go to the restroom. He remained at the same situation all the day. Later, he was transferred to the minors' section at Ofer prison.
The occupation army attacked the 16-years-old Mohammad Sbaih after breaking into his house in Khader village near Bethlehem. He was transferred to Itzion detention center for interrogation; while they intended to yell at him and frighten him in order to force him confess guilt. He was also forced to go out of the interrogation cell and stay outside in the cold weather for 6 hours before transferring him to Ofer prison.
The Israeli soldiers tortured the minor detainee Qais Jamous (16 years old) during clashes broke out in his hometown Qalqilia. He was attacked by many soldiers who beat him in an arbitrary way. He was then transferred to Are'ail interrogation center and then to the minors' section and Megiddo prison.
The report also showed that the Israeli occupation forces severely beat Mohammad Bahsh (21 years old) and Mohammad Shakhsheer (20 years old) from the city of Nablus. This happened during breaking into their houses and arresting them. They were transferred to Megiddo prison.