Palestinian prisoner prefers pain to confinement

Israel prison offers her 3 months solitary in lieu of cure


Israel Prison Service (IPS) would offer a Palestinian female prisoner medical treatment only if she accepted solitary confinement for three months, a Palestinian news agency reported on Wednesday.

Ahmed al-Bitawi, a researcher in the International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, told Ma’an News Agency that the prisoner, Woroud Mahir Qassim, aged 48, came seeking help from IPS to treat the acute pain in her teeth and jaws, but was shocked when IPS offered her “treatment” if she accepted solitary confinement for three months.

According to al-Bitawi, Qassim’s pain hinders her ability to talk and eat, and she has rejected the three-month confinement offer in al-Ramla prison, and prefers to suffer in pain with other female prisoners than suffering in pain alone.

Blackmailing Palestinian prisoners

Al-Bitawi said IPS uses the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners to blackmail them, and staying in a solitary confinement is being one of the latest tactics used by IPS.

Previous “offers” in lieu for treatment included giving in confessions or staying outside the Palestinian territories.

Medical negligence and solitary confinements are behind Palestinian prisoners stances of protest against IPS.

Qassim has been in prison since 2006 for resisting the occupation “charge”, and she is among three other female prisoners hailing from the 1948 Palestinian territories.

IPS is under the jurisdiction of the Internal Security Ministry, and is most known in Israel by its English acronym or its Hebrew one, Shabas. IPS is also responsible for maintaining civilian prisons in the Jewish state, as well as some security prisons containing Palestinian detainees.