29 Dec, 2023


Israel accused of ‘forcibly disappearing’ Marwan Barghouthi and other Palestinian prisoners

Qassam Muaddi

Currently, Israel continues to hold 7,000 Palestinians in its jails, including at least 200 children and 62 women, according to human rights groups

Israel “bears full responsibility” for the life and fate of Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi, said the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club in a joint statement on Monday, 18 December, 

The ‘Revolutionary Council’, the general assembly of the Fatah movement, of which Barghouthi is a senior leader, also issued a statement warning that Barghouthi’s life “is at real risk” in Israeli jails.

Both statements came after the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club reported that Barghouthi had been transferred by Israeli authorities from his previous detention location, at the Ofer detention centre, to an unknown location a week ago.

Also on Monday, the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Prisoners’ Club accused Israel of ‘forcible disappearance’ of Palestinians from Gaza, detained since 7 October.

The two organisations called upon international human rights bodies to pressure Israel to release information about Gazan detainees. The statement referred to news reports by the Israeli press about the death of some Gazan detainees, the most recent of which was a report by the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

“The occupation’s insistence not to reveal the fate of Gaza’s detainees, and to continue to disappear them forcibly, only has one explanation, which is that there is a decision to commit crimes against them away from the public eye”, the statement read.

Last week, the Israeli army released images of dozens of detained Palestinian men in Gaza, stripped naked and taken on the back of trucks to an unknown destination. Israeli forces claimed that the detainees were Hamas fighters who surrendered. Hamas denied that the detainees were fighters in its ranks.

Palestinians gave testimonies that they had recognised relatives among the detainees in Gaza, insisting that they were civilians who were taking refuge in asylum centres. Among the detainees identified in the footage was TNA’s Arabic reporter, Diaa Al-Kahlout.

Shortly after 7 October, Israel detained Palestinians from Gaza who were working in Israel. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club told TNA then that their numbers are estimated in the thousands.

Gazan workers who were released by Israel and expelled to the occupied West Bank told TNA that they had received ill-treatment, including beating and threats, before being released.

Before 7 October, Israel held some 5,000 Palestinians in its jails, including 1,300 without charges or process. Since 7 October, Israel has arrested around 4,500 Palestinians, placing about 2,000 of them under administrative detention without charges.

Earlier, Palestinian human rights groups warned that testimonies of released Palestinians indicated that Israeli authorities increased repressive measures against Palestinian inmates, including repeated raids to cells involving tear-gassing and beatings, deprivation of food and sun-exposure.

 In late November, Israel released dozens of Palestinian women and minors in exchange for Hamas releasing 110 Israeli women and minor hostages and other hostages from Asian nationalities.

Palestinian released women shared with TNA testimonies of “brutal” treatment in Israeli jails since 7 October, including the cut-off of water and electricity, overcrowding of cells, violent search-raids of cells and severe reduction of sun-exposure time.

Currently, Israel continues to hold 7000 Palestinians in its jails, including 200 children and 62 women, according to human rights groups.

Israel ‘forcibly disappears’ Marwan Barghouthi and others (newarab.com)

SEE: https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20231104-can-marwan-barghouti-the-palestinian-mandela-bring-peace-to-gaza

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