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Israeli special forces raid Ramla prison infirmary

Several Palestinian human rights sources have reported that the Israel Prison Service has been organising military training for its Masada unit, the elite unit that is specialised in suppressing Palestinian prisoners inside the patients section of the Ramla prison infirmary.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Sunday that: "the military training took place during the late hours of the night, and included storming the patients section of the prison, tampering with the afflicted prisoners' personal belongings and harassing them for at least four hours."

A Palestinian patient in the prison, Riyad Almour, is quoted as saying: "the situation for the Palestinian prisoners in the Ramla prison is deteriorating. We have heard many promises from the outside to improve our prison conditions and we all hope that our illness will allow us some time to ascertain the validity of these promises. The ill prisoners are discussing the possibility of initiating serious steps to improve their conditions and provide them with the necessary medical treatment."

The Palestinian Prisoners Club announced in a statement that: "three of the sick prisoners in Eshel prison suffer from serious health conditions. The first prisoner is Thaer Hlahalh, who is diagnosed with viral hepatitis. His health condition has been deteriorating since his arrest in April/May, during which time he did not receive any real treatment. The prisoner has been moved from the prison's infirmary to a civilian hospital and his health condition only improved when he stopped visiting the prison's infirmary. The second prisoner is Egyptian Yusri Al-Masri, who is diagnosed with cancer. Al-Masri has undergone an operation to remove his thyroid gland, yet his health condition is very critical. The third prisoner is Mohammed Mardawi, who suffers from respiratory problems as only one of his lungs is operative. Mardawi has been suffering from intense pain for seven months and his prescribed medication has increased his illness."

The statement quoted the Palestinian prisoners' representative in section 11 at Eshel prison, Mohammed Naji Abu Hamid, as saying that: "a state of tension prevails inside the prison. The prison administration has punished some sections by depriving them of their family visits for a month and prohibiting them from the prison's canteen. The administration has also confiscated all electrical appliances from their rooms."

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