Ahed Tamimi upon her release from prison. (AP/Majdi Mohammed) (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Ahed Tamimi

“We watched TV, for example we jumped around in the rooms and did silly things; we did a lot of things,” Tamimi says of her “hard time” in an Israeli prison.

By: United with Israel Staff and PMW

Israel has been repeatedly charged with inhuman treatment of Palestinian terrorists captured and imprisoned for their offenses, but a look at the facts, as described by the prisoners themselves, depicts an entirely different picture.

Indeed, the singing, dancing, reading, TV watching described by prisoners refute Palestinian lies about conditions in Israelis prisons, painting a picture of an environment akin to a summer camp, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

Palestinian 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who was recently released after serving eight months in Israeli prison for inciting suicide bombings and for striking Israeli soldiers, was asked by Russian RT TV how she passed the time.

In response, she described her wing’s daily routine of singing, dancing, reading books, watching TV, legal studies and even matriculation exams, debunking the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing lies about Israeli prison conditions.

“I did a lot of things: a legal course, we spent a lot of time on that, and matriculation exam studies; I read books,” Tamimi shared. “We would sing; we even had joint breakfasts of the entire wing – we would go outside, every room would bring its things, and we would eat together. We also ate lunch together most of the time.”

Tamimi gained nine kilos (almost 20 pounds) while in prison.

“We also had parties; we would sit and sing, and dance. There were a lot of things that we did to pass the time: We watched TV, for example we jumped around in the rooms and did silly things,” Tamimi says of her “hard time” in prison.

‘We’d Chat, Talk, Eat, Drink, Joke and Play’

A few years ago, a released terrorist named Muhammad Hilal described the good life in the male side of prison.

In 2013, Hilal told official PA TV, “In the morning, we’d exercise from 7:00 until 8:00… Then the guys would get together in the prison yard and we’d chat, talk, eat, drink, joke and play, etc., throughout the day.”

At noon, “The guys would go to their rooms for roll-call. Noon roll-call is from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Roll-call time is time for resting in the rooms. Each group has a routine inside the rooms: Nap time, reading time, study time. Some sleep, some read,” he said.

“At 1:30 or 12:30 p.m. they’d take us out to the yard again. We’d spend [time] with the guys walking, laughing, playing, joking, etc., until dark. Then back to the rooms. They’d lock us up until 6:00 a.m., roll-call time.”

Hilal said lamented what he called the “worst thing about Israeli prison,” suffering “beyond imagination” by riding in a prison vehicle and that did not have padding on the seat.

“The worst thing about Israeli prison is the torturous ride inside ‘the Posta’ (i.e., transport vehicle) … when a man is driven to court or to the hospital or on any ride outside the prison … We prisoners call this ‘ride of torment,’ not ‘the Posta’ and not ‘the ride.’ This is beyond imagination,” he claimed.

“No matter how much I talk about it it’s hard to convey the suffering. The prisoners sit on a metal chair, made entirely of metal, there’s nothing but metal inside it,” he added.

Israel Prison ‘Was Like an Institute of Education’

Tamimi’s interview confirms a statement by the recently deposed Director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, which was broadcast on official PA TV.

At an event honoring the children of Palestinian prisoners who excelled in the high school matriculation exams, Karake said that “this year, 900 prisoners have also begun to take the matriculation exams, and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are registered in the Palestinian universities for a bachelor’s degree. In other words, the prisons – despite the difficult conditions – have become universities and schools.”

Palestinian terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons are studying for BA degrees in the Al-Quds Open University program in cooperation with the PA Ministry of Education, studying in three main departments: Arabic Language, Islamic Education, and Social Work.

Jordanian journalist Yousef Alawnah recently compared his incarceration in Israel for terrorism offenses to prisons in the Arab world and said that he was ashamed by the sharp contrast.

Alawnah recounted that he had served 30 months in an Israeli prison for smuggling explosives, saying that that “prison was like an institute of education,” where prisoners had “an opportunity to acquire culture, to read, and to study many things.”

He said that in the library of an Israeli prison there are 30,000-40,000 books, remarking, “Do the Sunni prisoners in Iraq have books to read? The prisoners held in the dungeons of the Syrian regime…do you think that they have books?”

The discussion about Israeli prison conditions becomes at times absurd. For example, Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan recently ruled that Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails would not be permitted to watch the FIFA World Cup in June along with other Palestinian convicts from Islamic Jihad and Fatah sharing their detention facilities.

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