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Gaza hosts wheelchair race in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners

Wheelchair users race to show solidarity with Palestinians in prison on 16th April 2018 [palestineultra/Twitter]

Dozens of wheelchair users participated in a race in Gaza City yesterday to show solidarity with sick or wounded Palestinians in prison, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.

Organised by the Wa’ed Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees and Al-Salam Sports Club for People with Disability, the race was dubbed “Marathon 1,500”, in recognition of the number of imprisoned Palestinians suffering from an illness or disability.

The race course started from Al-Saraya junction up to the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza and is one of many activities hosted in the run up to Palestinian Prisoners’ Day tomorrow.

At the end of the race, the representatives of some of the Palestinian factions and the Prisoners’ Committee awarded the winners trophies and medals.

Read: Thousands take part in 6th annual Palestine Marathon

Of the 6,500 Palestinians held inside 22 Israeli jails, about 400 have medical conditions which need treatment.

Yesterday the Committee of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs released a report stating that health condition of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails is “deteriorating”.

The majority of sick Palestinians are being held in the Al-Ramla Prison, which is overcrowded, and according to the group, most do not receive the necessary healthcare and treatment to deal with their condition. Similarly, disabled prisoners are not given due assistance and so are unable to use toilets and facilities without the help of other inmates.

There have been numerous accusations of torture and negligence by Israeli officials, including news last month that the prison administration of the Etzion detention centre was providing Palestinian detainees held there with expired food supplies.

A recent report by Amnesty International also found that Israeli authorities and armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured Palestinian prisoners and targeted human rights defenders.

The report covered Israel’s on-going rights violations, included the lack of accountability “more than three years” later for “unlawful attacks including war crimes” committed by the Israeli military in its 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip.

Read: 53% of Gaza residents live in poverty

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