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Israel Continues to Arrest Dozens of Palestinians Even as it Releases Others During the Truce

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Israel Continues to Arrest Dozens of Palestinians Even as it Releases Others During the Truce

(CTN News) – Israel continues to hold scores of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of a prisoner release deal with the armed group Hamas, based in Gaza.

Israel freed 150 Palestinian inmates, including 117 children and 33 women, in the first four days of the current truce between Hamas and Israel, which started on Friday.

Out of 69 hostages, 51 were Israelis, and 18 were from foreign countries; Hamas released all.

Palestinian prisoner associations report that during the same four days, Israel detained 133 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

No one will be able to avoid being arrested so long as the occupation continues. To limit any resistance, this is a fundamental policy of occupation against Palestinians, and the public must comprehend this, stated Amany Sarahneh, a spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners Society, in an interview with Al Jazeera.

She said the practice does not end with October 7; it is ongoing. “Throughout these four days, we had anticipated the arrest of a greater number of individuals.”

On October 7, the day Hamas attacked Israel unexpectedly, killing almost 1,200 people, Israel began its 51-day assault of the beleaguered Gaza Strip. Qatar negotiated the ceasefire.

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Since then, over 15,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been slain in the Gaza Strip by Israel.

An extra 60 Palestinians and 20 prisoners are anticipated to be released during the two-day extension of the first four-day truce, which was announced on Monday.

Israeli soldiers routinely conduct nighttime raids into Palestinian homes during the 56-year military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, detaining 15 to 20 individuals on “calm” days.

Israel increased the number of Palestinians held in its custody from 5,200 to over 10,000 in just two weeks following October 7. A total of four thousand Palestinian laborers were jailed after working in Israel; they were then released and returned to Gaza.

Since October 7, there have been 3,290 arrests in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to monitoring groups and Palestinian prisoner lawyers. The 35-year-old TikTok streamer Eyad Banat was taken into custody in the middle of November. He was eventually let go.

Since the truce started, people have been pouring into Ramallah’s streets to greet the released inmates.

Even after their release, Palestinian prisoners continue to live in constant fear. Israeli forces typically recapture most of the liberated individuals within days, weeks, months, or even years following their release.

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Rearrests and sentence reinstatements affected dozens of individuals involved in a 2011 Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange.

The question of whether Israel has promised not to recapture the released individuals remains unclear, according to Sarahneh.

“With this line of work, there are no assurances. These individuals could face a rearrest warrant at any moment. According to her, even after their release, the occupation always takes them back.

The fact that most of the persons being held are incarcerated is the strongest indication that they may be re-arrested, she said.

There has been a dramatic improvement in the plight of Palestinians in prison or under arrest since October 7. There have been reports of severe beatings and six deaths among the Palestinian inmates in Israeli captivity.

Released during the truce, numerous women and children have spoken out about the brutality they endured while incarcerated in Israeli institutions.

In addition, other recordings showing Israeli soldiers brutally assaulting and humiliating Palestinian detainees while they are blindfolded, handcuffed, or partially or undressed have surfaced in the past few weeks.

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Viewers on social media expressed distress as the scenes reminded them of the 2003 torture that occurred at the hands of U.S. personnel at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons were subjected to brutal beatings and, according to rights organizations, were denied medical treatment for at least one week following October 7. Both routine lawyer visits and meetings with family members were halted, according to the groups.

As reported by rights organizations, prisoners’ access to the yard, where they were once allowed three or four hours, has been reduced to less than one hour.

According to them, many inmates sleep on the floor since cells are overcrowded and hold twice as many detainees as they were originally designed for.

The canteen, where inmates purchase food and necessities like toothpaste, has been closed by the Israeli prison administration, who have also turned off the power and hot water, searched every cell, and taken away all electrical items (including televisions, radios, cooking slabs, and kettles).

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