Prisoners of the “Freedom Tunnel” and “Islamic Jihad”… a whole year of isolation

The hole of the tunnel dug by prisoners a year ago to escape from Gilboa Prison (AFP)

Today, the sixth of September, coincided with the first anniversary of Operation “Freedom Tunnel”, the largest escape operation from the Israeli occupation prisons, which took place in the most fortified Israeli prison, Gilboa, through a tunnel dug by six prisoners, who took their freedom from it for a few days, despite the military measures and tight Israeli security, before they were arrested after five days of freedom, and since then they have spent a year in isolation and abuse.

The retaliatory measures were not limited to the six prisoners, which are: Mahmoud, Muhammad al-Ardah, Ayham Kammji, Yaqoub Qadri, Zakaria al-Zubaidi, Munadil Enfaat, and five other prisoners who helped them escape. Rather, it expanded to include all the prisoners of the Islamic Jihad movement, numbering about 450, who tasted all kinds of punishments from isolation and the destruction of the organizational structure, through continuous arbitrary transfers, and a long list of retaliatory measures.

Prominent sources in the Higher Committee for Prisoners of “Jihad” told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “After a year of retaliatory measures, the Prisoners’ Higher Emergency Committee reached an agreement with the prison administration, within a specific timetable, according to which the struggles of the prisoners of Islamic Jihad would stop, in exchange for the termination of the procedures The repression imposed by the prison administration on the prisoners of jihad since last September.

The agreement stipulates “an end to the isolation of the two prisoners Abdullah Al-Ardah and Abdul Obeida, two of the leaders of the “Jihad” prisoners, in addition to the preparation of a list of all prisoners subject to repression and transfer operations is. a year ago, to be sent back to the prisons they were in, and to ease the restrictive measures against prisoners.” The Freedom Tunnel, in addition to stopping the long detention operations at the crossings of the arrested “Jihad” prisoners, so that they are transferred to the rooms after the process of transferring them to the prisons.

Sources from the highest leadership body of the “Jihad” prisoners confirmed that “the implementation of the prisoners’ steps depends on the prison administration’s implementation of the agreement, otherwise we will return to zero, and there is a time frame for the steps. “

A source of the representatives of the “Jihad” prisoners, who prefers not to be named, said in an interview with “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed”: “The prisoners of Islamic Jihad, which are about 450 prisoners tel, were subjected to various subjects. forms of abuse and collective punishment since last September until today. Years of torture hit all the prisoners of jihad, even the new ones.” He added: “None of them escaped the persecution in retaliation for the defeat with which the occupying army appeared after the prisoners’ success in escaping from the Freedom Tunnel, in Gilboa prison.”

Isolation is the most severe punishment for prisoners, and the word literally and practically means to isolate the prisoner from his entire environment, so that the narrow cell in which he cannot walk is his only world.

During this year, the prisoner Ayham Kammaji lost his brother Shas, who was tortured in Jenin last April, while Daoud Al-Zubaidi, the brother of the prisoner Zakaria Al-Zubaidi was tortured last May, and in the same month the prisoner Yaqoub Qadri lost his mother, and everyone learned about the loss of their loved ones Days later, through lawyers, due to their dismissal.

The isolation cell is usually in the sections of Israeli criminals convicted of major criminal cases, where they finish what the prison guards started by creating riot and chaos in the sections, so that the prisoner in his cell cannot sleep, in additional torture for him.

One of the prisoners, who prefers not to be named, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “The isolation means that the prison administration sings the prisoner completely, after removing him from his protective environment of the prisoners, and he is usually prevented from his most basic rights, such as buying food from the detainee’s grocery store (the cantina) and prevented from bathing, i.e. the bathroom, and prevented from visiting.”

And the same prisoner continues: “The cells, with their difficult, narrow conditions, high humidity and the presence of a toilet in them, and what that means about mice and insects, cause psychological and health problems for the prisoners, and the consequences of that. some of these problems remain with the prisoners throughout their lives.”

Since the “Freedom Tunnel” the prisoners in general, and the prisoners of the Islamic Jihad movement in particular, have been living in extremely difficult conditions from the brutal abuse they have all suffered in various Israeli prisons, which has led to tension and ‘ a series of actions and hunger strikes, which all prisoners took to deter the prison administration that mistreated the prisoners of “jihad”, and raided the remaining profits that the prisoners had seized over many years.

The inmates have stepped up their fighting over the past two weeks as they have refrained from going out for the security check, which is an examination in which the inmates are taken out of the cells for security inspection teams to examine them, to see if there are attempts to digging a tunnel or hiding equipment that the prison administration considers forbidden, but the Prison Administration and the forces of His suppression have dealt with more violence and cruelty with the prisoners of “Islamic Jihad”.

The same source says: “For two weeks, the Israeli repression teams entered the rooms of the “Jihad” prisoners and handcuffed them so that they could search the rooms, and this happened three times a day.” He added, “It was denied access to the security checks of the rooms in response to the inmates being denied access to the Fura (the prison yard), after the prison administration turned the inmates’ rooms into cells from which they are prohibited from leaving.”

The source continues: “There is a perception among the prison administration that the exit of the “jihad” prisoners to the fort will lead to their non-return and their sit-in in the square to achieve their demands, so is the rooms closed for them and turned into cells.”

The occupation prisons administration began repression operations after the “Freedom Tunnel” operation, emptying the Gilboa prison of prisoners, subjecting it to a thorough inspection to see if there were other tunnels dug by the prisoners, and closed the sections where the “Jihad” prisoners are dug. detected, and the duration of the “housing” reduced. And depriving them of buying food at the grocery store, and transferring a number of them to “isolation”, while the rest of the prisoners are constantly arbitrarily transferred between prisons, to prevent any stability for them, in a continuing punitive measure.

The “Islamic Jihad” movement is considered the third faction in terms of the number in the Israeli prisons after the “Fatah” and “Hamas” movements, as the number of Jihad prisoners is 450.

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