Occupied East Jerusalem – The 4 recaptured Palestinian prisoners – who broke out of an Israeli jail final week – are more likely to face further jail time and harsh punitive measures, based on attorneys.
The 4 prisoners appeared individually on Saturday earlier than the Israeli Justice of the Peace Court docket in Nazareth, which determined to increase their detention till September 19 to “full the investigation”, based on a press release from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Fee of Detainees Affairs.
Israeli authorities introduced the rearrest of Mahmoud Abdullah al-Arida, 46, and Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri, 49, on the southern outskirts of Nazareth late on Friday. Zakaria Zubeidi, 46 and Mohammad al-Arida, 39, had been arrested close by early on Saturday, within the Palestinian village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.
They had been amongst six males – together with Ayham Nayef Kamanji, 35, and Munadel Infaat, 26, whose whereabouts stay unknown – who broke out of Israel’s Gilboa jail at daybreak on September 6.
The prisoners had uncovered some extent of their cell’s rest room that led to an underground cavity the place they dug a tunnel that opened up a number of metres past the jail wall.
Israeli forces launched an infinite manhunt to seek for the six males, discovering the primary pair 5 days later.
On the court docket listening to on Saturday, based on the PA Fee, a number of preliminary expenses had been offered towards the 4: “Escape, aiding and abetting in an escape, conspiracy to commit an assault, and membership in a hostile organisation and offering providers to it.”
Khaled Mahajneh, the lawyer for a number of of the prisoners on behalf of the Fee, stated authorities refused to supply details about the “conspiring to commit an assault” allegation.
“I requested the interrogation officer in court docket what they’re basing this declare on, however we obtained no solutions. They stated it’s a secret file. We don’t know the place that declare got here from, or what it has to do with the escape from jail,” he instructed Al Jazeera.
Trial proceedings may final at the least a yr, stated Mahajneh. Whereas an official indictment has not but been offered, he stated his workforce expects the prisoners may face an extra 4 to 5 years on their sentences based mostly on the preliminary expenses.
Earlier than breaking out of the jail, 4 of the six prisoners had been serving life sentences, whereas two had been being held in detention awaiting army trial. These sentenced had been arrested between 1996 and 2006 and had been convicted of finishing up assaults towards Israeli army and civilian targets. 5 of them are affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, whereas one is a senior member of the armed wing of Fatah, a Palestinian group that dominates the PA.
Underneath worldwide legislation, a prisoner of battle who escapes from jail “shall be liable solely to a disciplinary punishment”, that means that no further years must be added to their preliminary sentence, even when it’s a repeated try.
In earlier incidents the place Palestinian prisoners escaped from Israeli prisons and had been rearrested, a number of confronted punitive measures reminiscent of lengthy durations in solitary confinement however didn’t obtain longer sentences, based on attorneys.
On Saturday, a spokesman for Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip, stated in a televised assertion it will place the six prisoners on the high of any future prisoner change cope with Israel.
The 4 prisoners are being held on the Jalama Interrogation Facility close to Haifa and, based on their attorneys, have undergone interrogation by the Israeli intelligence providers and the Lahav 443 unit of the police. The interrogation may final for as much as 45 days, attorneys stated, throughout which period they are going to stay on the Jalama facility.
The prisoners have been banned from accessing their attorneys below an order from the Israeli intelligence providers efficient till September 14 and more likely to be renewed, based on Mahajneh. As a result of ban, the attorneys haven’t been in a position to converse to the prisoners and have little details about the character of the interrogations and potential violations being carried out towards the prisoners.
In comparable high-profile circumstances that Israel has labeled as security-related, detainees may be denied entry to a lawyer for as much as 21 days. The prisoners’ attorneys have submitted an enchantment towards the ban that shall be heard in court docket on Monday.
Mahajneh stated the knowledge blackout and the dearth of restrictions on interrogators is trigger for fear. “I feel the intelligence providers will do all the pieces – all that they’ve and haven’t executed earlier than – to acquire info from the prisoners.”
He stated authorities are anticipated to be utilizing “ugly ways” together with lengthy interrogations that exceed 20 consecutive hours, sleep deprivation, offering them with inadequate, unhealthy high quality meals, in addition to bodily assault and torture.
Whereas the Israeli Supreme Court docket outlawed using torture in 1999, interrogators – notably the intelligence providers – have continued to make use of violence towards Palestinian detainees, which courts have retroactively sanctioned.
Zubaidi, one of many prisoners, appeared in court docket with extreme bruising on his face. In keeping with native media, Israeli forces beat him throughout his arrest, and he was transferred to a hospital early on Sunday for remedy.
Individuals protest in help of the six Palestinians who escaped from Gilboa jail [Ammar Awad/Reuters]Punitive measures
Mahajneh stated he expects Israeli jail authorities to put the re-arrested prisoners in solitary cells within the nation’s southern prisons, the place detention situations are notoriously tougher in the course of the summer time and winter seasons due to the dearth of air flow and heating.
Sahar Francis, a lawyer and director of the Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Assist and Human Rights Affiliation, instructed Al Jazeera she expects the prisoners shall be put in whole solitary confinement, together with a ban on household visits and restrictions on lawyer entry.
Francis stated Palestinian prisoners are often allowed between three to 4 hours within the jail yard in the course of the day however expects the prisoners will “solely be allowed one hour a day within the yard, and they are going to be alone”.
“They gained’t be allowed to combine with the opposite prisoners. They’ll be fully remoted from the world. They could get a go to from their lawyer or from a Crimson Cross consultant, however that’s it,” stated Francis.
She added the prisoners could have their legs shackled, and probably their arms too, throughout their hour within the yard.
Khaled Zabarqa, a lawyer and human rights defender who represents Palestinian political prisoners, described solitary confinement as “probably the most troublesome punishment that may be imposed on a prisoner”.
He instructed Al Jazeera he believes Israeli forces are more likely to launch an arrest marketing campaign within the coming weeks towards people suspected of getting aided the prisoners.
“They are going to take anybody who supplied the prisoners with meals, shelter, or every other assist,” he stated.