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1,700 ill Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons, health group says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows Palestinian prisoners in an undisclosed Israeli detention facility.

A Palestinian health group says at least 1,700 ill Palestinian prisoners are currently languishing in Israeli jails and detention facilities, noting that 25 of those inmates are suffering from cancer.

The Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) announced on Friday that Israeli officials are currently holding more than 7,000 Palestinians in 22 prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories, Arabic-language Palestine Alaan news agency reported.

The report added that seven of those prisoners have served more than three decades in jail, and that there are 67 women, 400 minors as well as six members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) among the Palestinian detainees.

The UHWC said 700 Palestinians are being held under administrative detention.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eight, ten and eleven years without any charges brought against them.

The Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs announced in a report released on April 3 that at least 241 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are currently held in Israeli prisons.

The report stated that 94 Palestinian minors, sentenced on various charges, are incarcerated at the Israeli-run Ofer Prison near the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia, while the rest are being kept in other jails.

Additionally, 22 Palestinian inmates are under the age of 16 and two are in critical condition after being shot and arrested.

Hundreds of Palestinian inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

The Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.

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