Tension rises in Israeli jails after punitive measures on Palestinian detainees
Tension is growing in most Israeli jails following punitive measures announced by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian detainees, a Palestinian prisoners' NGO said on Sept. 8.
Israel's new measures were announced in response to the escape of six Palestinians from the heavily guarded Gilboa prison in northern Israel.
In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said Palestinian detainees in the Negev and Rimon prisons, southern Israel, set fire to their prison cells, protesting Israel's abuses and threats against them.
Palestinian detainees, according to the same source, in the Negev prison set seven cells out of 12 ablaze while the prisoners in the Rimon prison raked two cells.
Israeli special forces also stormed several prisons where they assaulted detainees and transferred some to other prisons.
The NGO warned that tension would escalate between Palestinian detainees and the Israeli prison service staff over the targeting of some detainees from the Islamic Jihad movement, as most of the six escapees are believed to be affiliated with the group.
The statement said all Palestinian detainees announced they would confront any punitive measures imposed on them.
The resistance group Hamas, for its part, warned Israel against the "continued attacks targeting the Palestinian prisoners."
In a statement, Hamas leader Mousa Dudin called on the Palestinian people "everywhere" to "resist" the Israeli occupation.
"The Israeli attacks against Palestinian detainees and their families will not deter us from continuing resistance," he asserted.
The Israeli prison service has yet to comment on this development.
Scores of protests erupted in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
In the central Ramallah city, hundreds of Palestinians took part in a protest called by several Palestinian factions, including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The northern city of Tulkarm also saw a protest condemning the Israel's "repressive" policies against the prisoners.
Protests were also seen in the northern cities of Nablus, Tulkarm and Jenin, and southern Hebron and Bethlehem cities.
During the protests, dozens of Palestinians were affected by tear gas canisters fired after clashes erupted with the Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that its crews responded to 100 cases of gas inhalations in different parts of West Bank.
It also added that three Palestinian protesters were injured in Jerusalem's Bab al-Amoud area after Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and sound bombs against them.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army continues its manhunt to nab the six Palestinians jailbreakers.