Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem -Israel continues to arrest Palestinians, including children, to suppress Palestinian resistance and political opposition to the occupation.
In May 2021, at least 3,100 Palestinians were arrested in random and organized operations in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the occupied territories in 1948. Israeli arrests, The Palestinian Prisoners Association Addameer reported in its report this month.
Among them, the largest proportion arrest2,000 occurred within Israel’s internationally recognized Green Line borders, following large-scale protests against Israel’s attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the expulsion of Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem, and conflicts with Israel Israeli settlers and army.
“Similarly, in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, an arbitrary arrest operation resulted in the arrest of more than 1,100 people, including 180 children and 42 women and girls. The highest of these arrests occurred in Jerusalem, with 677 arrests,” Addameer reports.
In early May, 60 released Palestinian prisoners, activists and politicians were targeted, and 25 of those arrested were transferred to administrative detention or detention without trial.
Kaed Rajabi, 43, from Silwan, East Jerusalem, was among those arrested and was subsequently released a week after being detained in Jerusalem’s notorious Moscobiya Prison in West Jerusalem a few weeks ago.
The Israeli prison has become Rajabi’s second home. Rajabi is a married father with eight children. Since the age of 14, his life has involved the revolving doors of various Israeli prisons.
His sentence ranges from several years to several months, sometimes only a few days, and he has experienced prison life in several Israeli detention facilities, including Nafha, Gilboa, Shatta and Hasharon prisons.
He estimated that due to his anti-occupation activities, he spent a total of at least eight years in Israeli prisons.
“The first time I was arrested was in 1992, when I was 14 years old, and I was imprisoned for five years for throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at Israeli settlers and organizing protests,” Rajabi told Al Jazeera.
“I was tied to the back of the chair with my handcuffed hands and tied my ankles to the legs of the chair. I was interrogated directly on the chair for 70 days. During the interrogation for several hours every day, I was repeatedly beaten, kicked and beaten with clubs. , Some of these attacks caused me to bleed.
“The time to go to the toilet is very limited. Only when I get food, my hands are released, causing pain in my back and legs,” Rajabi said.
the light is on
He said police officers often search cell phones and other contraband, and search prisoners’ cells, including beatings, tear gas and police dogs.
Each cell was packed with 12 prisoners sharing bunk beds, with lights on all night.
“The food was also terrible, with almost no fruits or vegetables, old eggs, scattered chicken or meat slices, and a lot of bread,” Rajabi recalled.
The arrests that followed over the years usually involved more than a dozen Israeli police, detectives and Shabak-or Israeli domestic intelligence agents-raiding his home in the early morning, keeping his wife, mother and children in a small house at home. , A cramped room, and then beat him severely.
The last time he was arrested was when he and other Silwan residents gathered to support protest activity Through the community, protests against the demolition of Palestinian houses and the expulsion of residents to make way for Israeli settlers.
This is unlikely to be the last time he was arrested because he and his brother’s family are facing Expelled from their home Make way for Israeli settlers.
“Our neighbors have been evicted and we have settlers living next door. But I was born here. This is my home. Although the settlers offered to pay, we would never leave,” Rajabi said.
Critics say that the cruel treatment Rajabi suffered during his arrest and interrogation is normal and nothing special.
“The forms of torture and ill-treatment used against Palestinian prisoners include beatings, tying prisoners in a’stressed position’, interrogations that last up to 12 hours, deprivation of sleep and other sensory deprivations, isolation and solitary confinement, and threats against the lives of their relatives, “Addameer said.
“In the past, detainees died due to torture while in custody.”
Human rights organizations stated that Israel’s defense of its interrogation technology is a legal way for its citizens to “fight terrorism”, but in reality, “These practices directly violate international law, including the ratified United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT). 1991 It was promulgated by Israel in 2000 to require any State party to prevent the use of torture and related practices”.
Atef Mirei, 37, from Beta near Nablus, has been accustomed to freedom after 16 years in several different Israeli prisons.
Newly married, he runs a supermarket and looks forward to establishing his own family. He was released from prison 10 months ago.
Mirei was arrested during the second Palestinian uprising or uprising in 2004, when he was a member of the Palestinian resistance, and he shot and wounded Israeli settlers.
That night, 10 military vehicles carrying about 40 soldiers and intelligence personnel raided his home and used explosives to blow up the front door after initially surrounding his house.
“When I was arrested, they also arrested my brother and my 82-year-old father at the time,” Mire told Al Jazeera. A few days later, his brother and father were subsequently released.
“On the way to the Huwarra military base, I was hit by a soldier with a rifle butt.”
The former resistance fighter was interrogated by Shabak for 90 days because he was tied to a chair in a stressful posture.
“The daily interrogation lasts for more than six hours, and I am only allowed to go to the toilet after the day’s interrogation is over,” Mire said.
Like Rajabi, Mire said that the food was terrible. Eight prisoners were packed into a cell and slept on bunk beds, and prison guards raided the cells regularly.
“I used to dream of being able to reunite with my family again and enjoy delicious home-cooked Palestinian food,” Mire said.
“Sometimes my situation is frustrating and I feel sad for my life, but I know that as a Palestinian, I have no choice but to fight for my people.”
He smiled and recalled his emotional experience a few days after his release.
“It’s great to see my family again and see all the changes that have taken place in Beta over the past 16 years. The new family and neighboring children who were not born when I was arrested have a lot to see.”
‘Worry about the future’
However, when he recalled the bitter memory of being robbed and the dark experience of prison disaster, his smile disappeared.
“I hope there will be peace now, but given the current situation in the West Bank, I am worried about the future,”-then added that he has no regrets about fighting for his country.
Addameer estimates that since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned under Israeli military orders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt).
Addameer said: “This figure accounts for about 20% of the total population of OPT Palestine and 40% of the total Palestinian male population.”
“It also includes approximately 10,000 women who have been in prison since 1967, and 8,000 Palestinian children arrested since 2000.”