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Palestinians call for investigation into high incidence of illness in Israeli jails

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

A Palestinian rights centre has called for an investigation into the high incidence of illness and disease among Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails. A significant number die very soon after leaving prison, it is claimed.

The Palestinian Centre for Defending Detainees stated that hundreds of detainees develop serious and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, pleurisy, kidney failure, back pain, persistent headaches and ulcers while in Israeli prisons. These are all exacerbated by the apparently deliberate Israeli policy of medical neglect and lack of adequate treatment. The PCDD added that Israeli prisons lack specialist doctors and Palestinian detainees are given nothing but pain killers.

Thamir Sabaana, a researcher specialising in Palestinian prisoners’ affairs, pointed to “the growing phenomenon of cancer among released prisoners”, which requires humanitarian and international organisations to research into the reasons behind such cases. Sabaana also spoke of the complaints made by prisoners over medical neglect, as they aren’t transferred to hospitals even though they require surgery, tests and treatment. “The Israeli Prison Service postpones the provision of medical services over several years deliberately,” added Sabaana, “until diseases have taken hold and are too advanced to treat effectively.”