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Sick Palestinian inmates in Israel jails need urgent treatment, suffer from medical negligence: Prisoners' commission

An Israeli prison guard keeps watch from a tower at Ayalon prison. (Photo by Reuters)

A Palestinian commission for prisoners says five Palestinian inmates are suffering from medical negligence and harsh conditions at Naqab prison in the occupied territories, needing urgent medical treatment.

In a statement released on Monday, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs reviewed Israeli prison authorities’ deliberate medical negligence toward Palestinian detainees as well as violating the very basic rights of the inmates languishing behind bars in the Israeli jail, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported

It also noted that the medical malpractices perpetrated against Palestinian prisoners include refraining from providing the inmates with necessary treatment and much-needed surgeries.

The commission further pointed to the case of 81-year old Fuad al-Shobaki, the oldest Palestinian prisoner currently held in Naqab prison, who has been subjected to systematic medical negligence by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) throughout the years.

Shokabi suffers from many health problems due to old age and is in need of special care. He is in need of cataract surgery, but the prison administration keeps stalling his treatment.

The commission also cited the cases of four other sick prisoners who are suffering from deteriorating health conditions due to medical negligence.

The IPS keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards in Israeli jails.

Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Human rights organizations say Israel continues to violate all rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the fourth Geneva Convention and international laws.  


According to the Palestine Detainees Studies Center, around 60% of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails suffer from chronic diseases, a number of whom died in detention or after being released due to the severity of their cases.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention.

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

Administrative inmates in Israeli jails say going on hunger strike is one of their few options to make their voice heard and force Tel Aviv to end this illegal policy.

The Israeli parliament, Knesset, has already approved a law which made way for Israel’s prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.

Critics say Israel uses the policy of administrative detention to silence the voices of Palestinians but lacks any concrete evidence that could be presented in an open, military court. Palestinians say administrative detention is a whole other level of injustice.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

According to figures by the Defense for Children International, between 500 and 700 Palestinian children at the age of 12-17 are also arrested and tried in Israeli military courts every year.

Israeli forces have arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000.

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