Gilboa Prison Break: Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest Family Members Of Escapees

Since its illegal occupation of Palestine, Israel has relied on “collective punishment” as a tool to further humiliate the innocent Palestinians. Earlier this morning, the Israeli occupation forces have arrested family members of the Palestinian escapees, a Palestinian prisoners’ group reveals.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said the two brothers of Mahmud Ardah, the mastermind of the escape as described in local media, have been arrested.

The occupation forces have also taken into custody three other people, including fellow family member Dr. Nidal Ardah, along with the brother of a second fugitive and the father of Munadel Infeiat, another escapee, according to Al-Ahram Weekly.

The Islamic Jihad movement—which the five Palestinian escapees are affiliated to—slammed on Tuesday the Israeli regime for transferring a huge number of prisoners from Gilbao’s second ward to another Israeli prison, in addition to halting prisoners’ access to the television and taking members of the movement to Gilbao’s integration center.

The movement said it’s monitoring the situation and warned the occupation forces of any “retaliatory” measures against the prisoners. The movement, moreover, reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the rights of its people: “We are prepared to and capable of defending our prisoners and have several options at our disposal to do so.”

The Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot, writes: “This is typical. Israel often resorts to such mafia tactics to coerce compliance and maintain its apartheid in occupied territory. Arresting family members and relatives is collective punishment and a war crime, but sadly normal for Israel. Should not come as a surprise in absence of international scrutiny!

The international community, topped by the United Nations (UN), has called on Israel to halt any actions amounting to “collective punishment”.

“It is an affront to justice and the rule of law to see that such methods continue to be used in the 21st century and that Palestinians collectively continue to be punished for the actions of a few,” said Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967. “These practices entail serious violations against Palestinians including the right to life, freedom of movement, health, adequate shelter and an adequate standard of living.”

According to Resolution 242, Israel is obliged to withdraw from territories occupied in 1967. Yet, the occupying power refuses to withdraw, relying on naïve justifications. Under the guise of self-defense, the Israeli occupation forces have been detaining a large number of Palestinian activists, and Journalists. It seems the Palestinians have no other option but to resist, using their social media platform as a means of resisting in such an asymmetric conflict.

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