In the aftermath of a humiliating high-security prison breakout a few weeks ago, Israeli police have captured scores of Palestinians in a major detention effort.
Following the Gilboa prison disgrace, Israeli forces arrested over 100 Palestinians due to unknown allegations. PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department confirmed Israel’s mass detention after the prison break.
“We have documented an average of 14 arrests per day in the occupied West Bank since the men escaped. This does not include the Palestinians arrested within Israel,” an official at the Addameer told reporters. Addameer is a Palestinian non-governmental organization that monitions the condition of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
Israeli soldiers caught the remaining two Palestinian escapees in Jenin city yesterday. That means that all men who managed to runaway through a tunnel out of the jail are now back behind the cells.
The story is, nevertheless, far beyond an escape, chase and catch. The controversial break, which hit the headlines across the world, is a denigration of Israeli security face. As such, during the pursuit for the fugitives, Israeli soldiers launched retaliatory operations in the Jenin region. They detained and tortured family members and close friends of most escapees.
Far beyond Jenin, people in Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron face backlash and detentions through the past weeks. Israel scattered and headlong mass detention indicates the state’s attempts to contain the threats to its security credibility.
On September 6, six Palestinian prisoners escaped from Gilboa prison in Israel using an extra-ordinary plot. The prisoners dug a tunnel through the cell toilet to outside the prison wall and used the night dark to escape. The controversial escape incited discussions on Israeli security measures in prisons.
This round of mass detention of Palestinians also included a group of children. Reports confirm that a thirteen-year-old Palestinian from Ramallah faced apprehension a week ago. This is one among dozens of children who were subject to terror and interrogations against international regulations.
Mustafa and his cousin were seized and abused by roughly 10 Israeli soldiers, according to his father. The children were in jail for a full night with no food or drink. Mustafa had a bruise on one eye besides scars on face after release.
The children were dragged on earth like violent criminals and were subject to long hours of interrogations. “Why did so many armed men have to beat a young boy? If they had a case against him why didn’t they deal with him legally and lay charges?” the father said.
Israeli security officers keep bashing and torturing youngsters, as a physician working with the Palestinian Red Crescent stressed. Israel’s history in beating and jailing children has also been subject of criticism by Amnesty International.
Israeli officials have invaded and number of Palestinian organizations and arrested their staff. Agriculture and health bodies, along with human rights organizations were then main targets of recent mass detentions.
Staff were detained, laptops and papers were confiscated, and some offices were forcefully shuttered for half a year at different offices and organizations. among the targets were Defense for Children, the Health Work Teams, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
Analysts believe that the latest wave of mass detention focuses in two main objectives. First, the officials meant to wash the face of security body of Israeli military forces.
Second, the backlash means to frighten and contains the resistance movements inside and outside Palestine. The solidarity with Palestinians may also be subject to pressure en route.