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Health conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Introduction

  • Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 the number of Palestinians detained is in excess of 700,000 men, women and children, representing 20% of the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.
  • The current number of prisoners and detainees is estimated at between 8,000 – 10,000 spread around 30 prisons and detention centres. This includes prisons in the desert, where prisoners are held in tents in the searing heat of the summer and bitter cold of winter.
  • Around 400 women have been jailed since the first Intifada started in 1987; a few dozen are still held in detention, some having given birth in prison and since separated from their children. The Israeli Prison authorities do not allow children to stay with their mothers past the age of two.

 


 

  • The number of children imprisoned stands at around 4,000 and about 300 are still in detention. Most have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including head covering, beating and being suspended by their arms and legs.
  • Since 1967, a total of 197 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons. It is believed that some were killed deliberately while others died due to medical negligence.
  • Israeli prison policies have changed noticeably since the capture by Hamas of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Many prisoners have been denied family visits and collective punishments have been imposed along with the imposition of fines and strip searches. Moreover, many inmates are denied access to the prison canteens where they can normally watch TV. In addition, rations of water and bread have been reduced.
  • Human rights organisations have blamed Israel for the recent death of a prisoner who died after his release and have called for urgent health checks for sick Palestinians in Israeli jails, especially patients with chronic ailments. The concern has arisen following the death of Mohamed Abdel Alafu Aumla, 26, from the village of Beit Ula, south of Hebron, who died on 3 February as a direct result, the organisations claim, of being denied essential treatment while in Ramla prison hospital.

Also more about

  • Health status of prisoners in 2009
  • Diabetic prisoners
  • Ailments kill prisoners
  • Doctors’ complicity in the suffering of prisoners
  • Cases of medical neglect in Israeli prisons
  • Lack of equipment and drugs, and dependence on painkillers
  • The health condition of female prisoners
  • and – Conclusion

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