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Prisoner’s Day in Tubas

Tom Hayes

Today Tubas prisoner’s society held a rally outside the Red Cross building in Tubas to commemorate prisoner’s week.

Students at Al Quds Open University in Tubas also held a vigil for the families of prisoners in the university grounds

At the university vigil students gave prisoners’ families trees to plant. Each tree was the same age as the amount of years the person had been in prison.

Palestinians in Israeli jails are political prisoners, charged under a military apartheid legal system. The detention of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has no basis in international law.

The prisoner’s club took me to meet two families of prisoners. One was the family of a man imprisoned during the Intifada. His family told me that they had been imprisoned because the army were looking for their family member and that, in 2005, the Israeli Occupation Forces attempted a targeted assassination in Tubas using an Apache helicopter killing four people, three of them children. The attack failed to kill its intended target.

Another family told me of the conditions faced by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Prisoners used to receive money from the Palestinian Authority to pay for food in the canteen. However, since the international sanctions on the Hamas government these have ceased. Money from prisoners’ families is not getting through and prisoners are living on bread and water. One prisoners mother told me that the prison authorities often turn off the water and electricity. Family visits are severely restricted and many prisoners families cannot enter 1948 Israel to visit their loved ones.