The Palestinian Prisoners' Centre for Studies has revealed that the Israeli prison authorities have transferred Marwan Al-Barghouti to Ramla Prison hospital. The Palestinian parliamentarian is being treated for a mild illness.
In a statement from the Negev prison, the director of the centre, Osama Shahin, said that although the authorities have moved Al-Barghouti to Ramla they have not allowed him to be with the other prisoners in the hospital. He has, he said, been kept in an isolated section where he will be subject to medical tests.
Shahin noted that the parliamentarian has been detained several times by the Israelis; the latest period of detention began on 15 May, 2005. After two years on remand, Al-Barghouti was given five life sentences plus 40 years for his role as head of Fatah's armed wing, Al-Aqsa Brigades, which carried out resistance operations against Israel's brutal military occupation. He is regarded as one of Fatah's most senior leaders and has called for Palestinian unity while he has been in prison.
Several popular and international campaigns have called for Al-Barghouti's release but the Israeli occupation authorities insist on keeping him behind bars. They refused to consider him for the last prisoner swap deal.