Addameer - Ramallah: The Israeli Occupation Forces raided section 4 in the Naqab desert prison, yesterday night, March 24, 2019. The raid was accompanied by physical aggression on the prisoners, which led to a number of injuries, some of which were transferred to the hospital. The raid took place following the Israeli occupation forces' attempt to transfer the prisoners of section 4 to section 3, employing assault and provocation against the prisoners. The attempt led to a clash between the prisoners and the prison guards, after which the occupation forces accused two prisoners of having stabbed a guard and an officer. Addameer continues to monitor the details of the events in the Naqab prison, until this moment.

The escalation in the Naqab prison is not the result of the moment. It is rather a continuation of the occupation’s policy of systematic repression against Palestinian prisoners. During the past months, Addameer documented several raids against prisoners, the most violent of which took place in the Ofer prison in January, where the occupation forces assaulted the prisoners using pepper spray and gas grenades. In addition, the prison forces transferred several prisoners to solitary confinement. The same methods were repeated during the raids in the Rimon prison last week, which indicates a systematic policy that aims at deteriorating the prisoners' life conditions.

Additionly, the events of the Naqab prison since last night are the result of the occupation authorities’ plan to restrict the life conditions of Palestinian prisoners. The plan started was made by a committee formed by Israeli minister Gilad Ardan, explicitly aiming deteriorating the life conditions of Palestinian prisoners. The committee published its recomendations last June and implementation started in September. The first result was to install surveillance cameras in the female prisoners' section of Hasharon Prison, before transferring all Palestinian female prisoners to the Damoon prison. This was followed by the installation of cell-jammer devices in the Naqab and the Rimoun prisons, along with an escalation of repression raids against prisoners.

As Addameer continues to monitor the ongoing repression in the Naqab Prison, It holds the occupation authorities fully responsible for the lives and safety of all Palestinian prisoners. It also affirms that the occupying state and its prison services bear absolute responsibility for the escalation of tensions in prisons and all its consequences. In the same context, Addameer calls on all regional and international stakeholders, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the international community, to assume their responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Addameer also calls upon the international community and the contracting parties to take practical and effective steps to pressure the occupying state, in order for it to stop its ongoing violations against the Palestinian prisoners and to ensure respect for their rights under international humanitarian law.