RNA - Female captives view the cameras as a violation of their privacy, according to Anadolu Agency.
Thirty-four Palestinian female prisoners, including two minors at Israel’s HaSharon Prison, refused to leave their cells for the 60th day in a row Sunday to protest the draconian measures.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Authority's Prisoners Commission, said the IPS had also banned female Palestinian inmates from receiving family visits, adding that “the Israeli authorities also cut their access to hot water to punish them for protesting the cameras".
Abu Bakr described such measures as “illegal”, accusing the Israeli prison authorities of practicing a policy of collective punishment against female Palestinian inmates.
“For the last two months, those detained under Israel’s policy of ‘administrative detention’ have continued to boycott Israeli courts to protest their ongoing detention,” Abu Bakr said.
“And they plan to escalate their protests further if the Israeli authorities fail to end their administrative detention policy,” he added.
According to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO, the Israeli authorities are currently holding 50 women, including eight suffering injuries and two minors. Female prisoners are being held mainly at two detention facilities inside Israel: Hasharon and Damun.
According to the rights NGO, Israel has detained a total of 516 women since 2015, 90 of whom were arrested this year alone.
Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has arrested a staggering 10,000 Palestinian women, according to Palestinian figures.
"I can only imagine what the 34 female prisoners are going through now after two months of refusing to go out to the courtyards," Najwan Ouda, a former Palestinian prisoner, told Anadolu Agency.
Ouda, 36, was arrested in 2016 and spent 18 months at Hasharon Prison on charges of working for a “banned organization”.
“The five-hour break in the courtyards is the only time when prisoners can exercise, meet and talk. It is also the place where the library is located, so they can also read and study,” Oudeh said, adding that “most important, it is the only place where they can get any sunlight".
“Many prisoners haven’t seen the sun for a long time, which negatively affects their physical and psychological health," she explained.
About two months ago, the IPS revoked an earlier agreement made with female Palestinian prisoners not to install cameras in the courtyards.
Most of the female inmates wear the hijab, which they cannot remove because of the cameras. Nor can they wear sports clothing, meaning that they get even less exposure to the sun.
Eman Nafe, who spent almost ten years incarcerated by Israel, told Anadolu Agency that prisoners were locked in their cells from 5:00 pm to 10:00 am.
“Hasharon is a very old prison. It has small, moldy cells with one small window each for ventilation,” Nafe said, adding that “each cell accommodates up to six prisoners and has a single shared bathroom. It’s like a tomb”.
“The only time we could move around or speak to one another was in the courtyards,” she stated.
According to Nafe, female Palestinian prisoners face substandard conditions in Israeli detention facilities.
“Women are subjected to various forms of physical and psychological torture inside prisons,” she said, noting that “the worst form of which are the strip searches to which prisoners are repeatedly subjected”.
“Each time a prisoner goes to a court hearing she is subjected to a strip search; this is very humiliating,” she added.
“Sometimes we’re transferred [from one place to another] with Israeli criminals,” Nafe asserted, stating that “we’re locked in a small cage inside the vehicle, with our arms and legs bound”.
"Female inmates are frequently subjected to sexual harassment or verbal abuse by soldiers or criminals,” she said.
“They do everything to break your spirit,” Nafe added defiantly, stressing that “but they never succeed in doing so”.