Tuesday, February 13, 2007

FEATURE: 10,400 Palestinian prisoners face inhumane treatment in Israeli jails, By Mohammed Mar'i

10400 Palestinian Prisoners live inhumanly in Israeli Jails

By Mohammed Mar'i*

(Ramallah, Occupied Palestine)--The family of Palestinian prisoner Ismail Al Jamal of West Bank reugee camp of Balata appealed in a letter directed to international human rights organizations, especially the International Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affaires to pressure Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) for the release of their son.

The family said that Jamal, who has been sentenced to10 and half years, suffers from thrombosis and sclerosis of the arteries, after being shot by Israeli forces, during his arrest on 30th of January 2004.

Yahya Al Jamal, brother of Ismail, said that his brother's health is severely deteriorating since the Israeli prisoners' authority refused his treatment, despite his increasing suffering and his need of an urgent medical operation

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affaires (MPA) revealed in its report, published Tuesday, February 13, 2007, that around 10400 Palestinian Prisoners live inhuman circumstances in 30 Israeli Jails, including Women and Children. The MPA said that most of prisoners suffer various physical and psychological diseases as a result of the inhuman circumstances of living. It added that 118 female prisoners and 330 children are still detained in Israeli jails facing daily Israeli torture and provocation. MPA mentioned that hundreds of children became more than 18 year-old inside prisons. It affirmed that at least 1000 prisoners suffer chronic diseases like pain of cartilage, cardiac diseases, diabetes and rheumatism, including 150 prisoners in critical case as a result of cancer, paralysis and kidney failure.

The report stated that the IOF have arrested 600 women and 6000 children during al-Aqsa Intifada which erupted in September 2000 . It mentioned that 553 prisoners have been detained before al-Aqsa Intifada, including 367 who have been detained before the Oslo Accord in 1993 .

In a recent development concerning the prisoners exchange deal, spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Mujahid, announced that the new Egyptian offer to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, will be conducted in three stages.

He said that "the man (Shalit) will be transported to Egypt before being handed over to Israel when the three stages are completed." Abu Mujahid said that the factions that captured Shalit had formed a joint intelligence body to deal with the case. He added that the factions adopted an antiquated system for contact between the faction leaders which cannot be traced by the Israeli intelligence. He refused to reveal this technique of communication but confirmed that "Shalit is now in good health and treated in a humanitarian way, he was not tortured." He also confirmed that the factions "will keep him until Israel complies with our demands."

Abu Mujahid denied that Shalit was being held at the Islamic University in Gaza, stating that the resistance cannot "hold him in such an open space, where anybody can enter and survey the area."

He clarified that the Egyptian offer comprises of "three stages, through which he (Shalit) is going to be sent to Egypt and they will hand him over to Israel, but only after the three stages are completed."

Abu Mujahid said that the factions have not yet confirmed their response to the offer but that the reply "will be made, after we hear the Israeli response." He blamed the Israeli government for the failure of all the four previous offers and he said "we prefer not to disclose the details of the offer and not to speak about it, as this may jeopardize the deal."

He said the Egyptians are playing an important role in the issue and have put in a lot of effort to arrange the exchange.

*Mohammed Mar'i is a freelance Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah, Occupied Palestine. He can be reached at mmaree63@gmail.com