Palestinian prisoner complains of poor food, rodent-infested Israeli prison

Prisoner Ahmad Manasra has recently complained of poor food and the rodent-infested solitary confinement cell in Israeli imprisonment, according to the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission.

The Commission said that during a court hearing on the extension of his solitary confinement three days ago, Manasra, 21, complained to the Israeli judge of ill-treatment, explaining that he has been suffering acute stomach ache for 45 days, barred from receiving the Canteen money, an allowance used to purchase different items from the prison’s shop, including food and hygienic supplies, from his family, served poor insect-infested food and locked into a rat-infested cell.

In total disregard to his ill-treatment and critical mental health condition and although a group of 36 psychologists has appealed to the Israeli president to pardon him due to his mental health condition, the judge, the Commission added, ordered the extension of Manasra in solitary confinement for another six months.

Manasra, who was arrested at the age of 13 in 2015 after being run over by an Israeli police vehicle and beaten on the head by Jewish settlers, suffers from severe psychological damage due to his detention, lack of medical treatment, and isolation.

He is being held in the isolation section of the Eishel prison in the Naqab desert.

An Israeli judge said that Manasra should remain in solitary confinement due to being a danger to himself.

He was initially sentenced to 12 years, after being charged with assisting his cousin in an attempt to stab an Israeli in Jerusalem. His cousin was shot and killed on the spot.

His sentence was later lowered to nine years in prison.

In April 2022, an Israeli court referred Manasra’s case to a special committee to determine whether to maintain the ‘terrorism’ charges against him.

The committee ruled in favor of maintaining the charge in June, and he was denied parole.

Manasra will now remain in solitary confinement until at least September, although his lawyer, Khaled Zabarqa, said that he will appeal the decision again.

The judge’s decision reflects what the progressive Jewish website Mondoweiss described as Israeli approach to Palestinian children as assumed potential threats to Israel’s occupation has proved lethal for children and minors.

In addition to killings, Palestinian children and minors also face the risk of imprisonment. According to Defense for Children International-Palestine, Israel is ‘the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections.’

In extensive research and analysis, Palestinian professor and psychologist Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian referred to this phenomenon as the ‘politics of un-childing.’

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, one of the leading psychologists on the case of Ahmad Manasra, explains un-childing as ‘the authorized eviction of children from childhood for political goals and is maintained by a violent, racist, sexist, and classist machinery that exists everywhere and always.’

In this way, Palestinian children are seen not as people, but as instruments and potential threats to be quelled.

According to the latest figures from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there are currently 4,780 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 160 children and 29 female prisoners.

Source: Palestine news & Information Agency