Sun 26-May-2024

The joy of receiving the freed prisoners is mixed with sadness

Sunday 26-November-2023

Palestinians received the second batch of released prisoners as part of the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and the Israel which included 6 of the oldest-serving female prisoners and 33 children.

The released prisoners arrived in several groups to the cities of Bireh and Beitunia in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Saturday night and at dawn Sunday.

Defying the measures of the Israeli occupation the released prisoners were carried on shoulders while Palestinian flags were raised amidst cheers for the people of Gaza and the Palestinian resistance despite the Israeli forces’ attempts to prevent any signs of celebration.

We are ashamed to rejoice
Feelings of sadness and pain were mixed with joy in the homes of the released prisoners their families and the Palestinian masses in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Israa Al-Jaabis the freed prisoner said in her first statement to the media after her release on the evening of Saturday November 25 2023 as part of the second batch of the exchange deal between Hamas and Israel: “We are ashamed to rejoice when all of Palestine is wounded.”

Israa also said after arriving home “There are many wounded inside the occupation’s prisons and we must work on releasing all the prisoners from the occupation’s prisons.”

Large forces of the occupation police stormed the house of the prisoner Israa Al-Jaabis in the town of Jabal Al-Mukaber south of Jerusalem where they demanded the evacuation of all journalists and family members from the house before forcibly removing them and keeping them away from the house.

Videos showed the suppression of the Israeli occupation forces of the residents and journalists and their forced removal from the family house of Israa.

As the release of Palestinian prisoners continues testimonies have emerged about the Israeli malpractices inside the prisons and the escalation of repression and persecution since the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation launched by the Palestinian resistance on October 7 2023.

Testimony of the oldest-serving prisoner
The oldest-serving prisoner in the Israeli occupation’s prisons Maisoon Al-Jabali said after her release that the prison guards treated them harshly and some prisoners were subjected to beating and many of them suffered from health conditions.

Al-Jazeera quoted the released prisoner Shorouq Duwaikat as confirming that the prisoners witnessed a difficult period inside the prison of “suppression starvation thirst and overcrowding.”

She added that despite her release from prison she is concerned about the female prisoners there due to the severe repression pointing out that she saw prisoners inside the prison who were under 18 years old with the youngest being 12 years old.

Child prisoners
As for the released prisoner Omar Shweiki he said that they did not have any respite inside the prison for 50 days.

Omar mentioned that there are many children in the occupation’s prisons between the ages of 13 and 15 noting that he was 15 years old when he was arrested by the occupation authorities.

Prior to the release of the second batch of prisoners the occupation forces suppressed the press and medical crews present at the gate and outskirts of the Ofer prison. They assaulted a number of journalists and forced them to leave using tear gas and rubber bullets.

The reporters and media crews were gathering near the prison south of the city of Beitunia to receive the freed prisoners’ buses.


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