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Official statistics record 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons

Data issued by the Statistics Department of the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners show that 4,500 Palestinians, including six women, are being held in Israeli jails at the beginning of 2012.

The figure takes into account the release of 1,027 men and women as part of the exchange deal agreed between Hamas and Israel in October 2011. In addition to the 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and detention camps, there are dozens of Arabs of various nationalities, especially from Jordan, Syria and Egypt.


The ministry explained that these figures are not static due to the daily arrests of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces; more than 3,300 people were arrested in the past twelve months, with an average of nine arrests a day.

According to the official figures, there are more than 130 children (defined as young people under the age of 18) amongst the prisoners in addition to hundreds of others who were arrested as children and have reached adulthood while in prison. There are also 240 prisoners who are being held under "administrative detention" without charge or trial; 24 elected legislators, former ministers and political leaders; and hundreds of sick and disabled prisoners who suffer from various illnesses, including cancer.

Israel is holding 532 prisoners serving one or more life sentences as well as 122 who were detained before the Oslo agreements and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in May 1994.

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