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Palestinian Prisoners` Day
Palestinian Prisoners' Day
By: Tania Kepler
Alternative Information Center
17 April 2011

Today, 17 April, is Palestinian Prisonersí Day. The day commemorates the release of Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Hijazi in the first prisonersí exchange between the Palestinians and the Israelis in 1974.

This year Palestinian Prisonersí Day comes in the midst of a wave of mass and arbitrary arrests by the Israeli military forces in the West Bank village of Awarta, following the murders of 5 family members in the nearby settlement of Itamar.

So far more than 500 men, women and children have been arrested, questioned, detained, and asked to sign statements in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.

While most villagers were released within hours of their arrest, 50 still remain in detention without charges, including two children, according to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.

The situation for Palestinians in Israeli prisons is grim. According to ADDAMEER, the Palestinian Prisoners` Rights NGO, over 6,800 Palestinians, from the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and 1948 Palestine, are currently imprisoned by the Israeli state. Of those, over 300 are children, 34 are women, 18 are elected Palestinian representatives and almost 300 are `Administrative Detainees` - that is they have been interned without trial not having been charged with any crime or seeing the secret evidence against them.

The prisoners are being detained in 17 prisons and detention centers; such as, Nafha, Ramon, Ashkelon, Beersheba, HaDarom, Gilboa, Shata, Al-Ramla, Damon, Hasharon, Naqab, Ofer and Megiddo.

Over four decades of illegal Israeli military occupation, Palestinians from all walks of life have been illegally detained by Israel. Since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel, reports ADDAMEER.

An estimated 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained since 1967 under Israeli military orders, which govern nearly every aspect of life in the occupied Palestinian territory. As of 1 February 2011, 36 Palestinian women remain in Israel`s prisons and detention centers, including 3 women in administrative detention. The two prisons in which Palestinian women are detained are located outside the 1967 occupied territory, in direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Sign this petition to free all Palestinian Women Prisoners in Israeli Jails:


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