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Ministry: Palestinian prisoner's memory loss due to mistreatment at Israel jail crime against humanity

Mohammad Obeid, before his detention (left) and after his release (right). (Photo by Wafa news agency)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned Israeli prison authorities' inhumane treatment of a Palestinian prisoner, which has led to the inmate's loss of memory, saying the abuse amounts to a crime against humanity.

In a statement released on Monday, the ministry said the Israel Prison Service (IPS) released Palestinian prisoner Mohammad Obeid after 18 months of detention, adding that it left him on the side of a road close to a military checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil despite knowing that he is suffering from amnesia, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

The ministry went on to say that Israeli authorities not only mistreated the Palestinian man while in detention until he lost his memory, but they also threw him at a military checkpoint very far from his hometown Anza, south of Jenin, after his release despite their knowledge of his critical health condition and without coordinating with his family to pick him up.

The Palestinian inmate's family, who said he didn't recognize them after they reunited with him, insisted that he didn't suffer any health problems before his arrest and that he developed this problem due to torture and mistreatment during detention, the ministry noted.  

“This criminal, inhumane and racist behavior reflects what the heroic prisoners in the occupation prisons have to go through, including field executions, killings, and wrecking their health, and it also summarizes the essence of the occupation policy against our entire Palestinian people," it said.

The ministry further held the Israeli regime fully responsible for this crime against the Palestinian prisoner, calling on all international and human rights organizations to hold Israel accountable for it.

"This crime should be brought before specialized international and national courts to hold the Israeli war crimes accountable for their acts," it said.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of the so-called administrative detention. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Prison authorities keep Palestinian inmates under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. The prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression, according to Palestinian officials.

Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners under the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

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