Israel increasing abuse of detained Palestinians, rights group says

Israeli forces stand at one of the entrances to Israel's Offer prison on December 28, 2016

Originally posted to The Middle East Monitor website, 6 August 2021

Israel has escalated its abusive practices against Palestinian prisoners, including the use of medical negligence, amid fears of the spread of coronavirus, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club warned yesterday.

“A state of extreme tension prevails in Section 3 of Ashkelon Prison, which is designated for security prisoners, due to the escalation of [Israeli] abuse and the tragic conditions the prisoners face around the clock,” the body said in a statement, pointing out that the rising number of sick prisoners, and the prison administration’s continued policy of medical negligence “exacerbates the state of tension”.

According to the statement, the prisoners’ suffering in Ashkelon prison has recently worsened, after the prison administration brought in more detainees and the cells became overcrowded.

Prisoners, the rights group said, fear the coronavirus might spread among them, following reports that a number of prisoners and wardens have been infected with the virus.

According to rights groups, as of 30 June, Israel was holding about 4,850 prisoners, including 41 female prisoners, 225 children, and 540 administrative detainees.

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