Zakaria Zubeidi, one of the six Palestinian prisoners who had escaped the high-security Israeli Gilboa prison last week, was admitted to a hospital on Sunday, September 12. After being recaptured on Saturday along with three other escapees, he was allegedly beaten and tortured by the Israeli security forces.
Hasan Abed Rabbo, spokesperson of the Palestinian Detainees Affairs Commission, was quoted by the Wafa news agency saying that after Zubeidi’s arrest from a north Israeli town, the Israeli forces beat him on his face, led to deterioration in his health. Zubeidi was taken to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for treatment.
Reports Zakaria has been hospitalised after being attacked & beaten. No attorney has been allowed to see him. Legal & human rights organizations called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene & coordinate an immediate visithttps://t.co/3bZPjeVLdE
— The Freedom Theatre (@freedom_theatre) September 12, 2021
Zubeidi’s brother Jibril Zubeidi was quoted by the Quds news network claiming that “my brother is being subjected to the harshest form of torture” with electricity. He also claimed that Zakaria’s leg had been broken and he was not allowed to sleep by the prison authorities. According to the reports in the Israeli press, Zakaria Zubeidi refused to cooperate with the Israeli security forces.
Zubeidi is a former member of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and a co-founder of the Palestinian theater group The Freedom Theater. He was arrested several times by the Israeli forces. He has been awaiting trial since his arrest in 2019.
Rabbo also claimed that Israeli security forces have not allowed lawyers to visit the four prisoners, making it impossible to verify reports of their health given by Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency. Palestinian human rights groups have asked the International Red Cross to intervene and facilitate the visit of lawyers and family members to the captured prisoners.
The six Palestinian prisoners – Mahmoud Ardah, Mohammed Ardah, Ayham Kamamji, Yaqoub Qadri, Munadil Naf’at and Zubeidi – escaped the Gilboa prison through a tunnel on Monday, September 6. Israeli forces undertook a massive man-hunt to recapture the escapees. They harassed their family members and relatives during the operation and carried out violent raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. They also imposed severe restrictions against the remaining Palestinian prisoners, which human rights groups termed a form of “collective punishment,” considered illegal in humanitarian law. The repressive measures led to mass protests which the Israeli forces attacked, leaving more than 100 Palestinians injured.
Two escapees were re-captured in Nazareth on Friday evening and two others on Saturday morning from a north Israeli town of Shibli-Umm-al-Ghanam. Ayham Kamamji and Munadil Naf’at remain free.