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Detainees Affairs Commission: 280+ Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for over two decades

The file photo shows an Israeli jail.

There are more than 280 Palestinian prisoners who have been held in Israeli jails for over two decades now, says the Palestinian Detainees Affairs Commission.

Out of that figure, at least 38 prisoners have been held for 25 years. And 25 inmates have been in Israeli prisons since before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The commission said 17 of the Palestinian prisoners have spent more than 30 years behind Israeli bars.

Karim Younis and Maher Younis are the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners. They have been held by the occupying regime for virtually 40 years.

Nael Barghouti, another prominent Palestinian inmate, has spent up to 42 years behind bars.

Dozens of the Palestinian detainees were released in a prisoner swap deal between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in October 2011. Most of the released prisoners were re-arrested in 2014 and their sentences were reinstated.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted, which is in sheer violation of human rights. Advocacy groups describe Israel’s use of the detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. The prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

According to the Palestine Detainees Studies Center, about 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.

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