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Lawyer: Palestinian female prisoners suffering in cold winter weather

Feb. 8, 2016 4:42 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2016 3:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Prison Service has failed to provide adequate care for at least 29 female Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel's Hasharon prison this winter, a lawyer for the PA's Committee of Prisoners' Affairs said Monday.

Hanan al-Khatib said the Israeli authorities have not provided the 29 prisoners, 11 of whom are teenagers, with proper heating and blankets, as temperatures hit freezing point.

While extra blankets are available for purchase at the prison, prisoners in past years have said the prices are not affordable.

The lawyer said the recent bout of freezing weather has "increased the suffering of the women, who don't have adequate bed covers or heating." The prison cells, she added, are also inadequately insulated and poorly equipped for such weather conditions.

The women and girls are "suffering from dire living and health conditions," al-Khatib said, adding that several of those in internment are also wounded.

The 11 minors were identified as Asil Hamdan, 13, Zahr Abu Saad, 13, Kariman Sweidan, 14, Istabraq Noor, 14, and healing from a gunshot wound, Nivin al-Jaafari, Manar Shweiki, 15, Maha Shatat, Jihan Taqatqa, Marah Bakir, also healing from a gunshot wound, and Lama Bakri and Norhan Awwad, who are also injured.

The 18 women were identified as Lina Jarbuni, Muna Qaadan, Khalida Jarrar, Yasmin Shaaban, Shireen Issawi, Dalal al-Qemari, Thurayya Taha, Hala Abu Sal, Dunya Wakid, Amal Taqatqa, Duha Saada, Diana Khuweilid, Falastin Najim, Hanieh Naser, Ihsan Dababsa, Alyaa Abbasi, and Abla al-Adam and Israa Jaabis, who are both healing from gunshot wounds.

Prisoners' rights group Addameer found that in 2015 Israeli force detained 106 women and girls, "representing an increase by 70 percent, compared with the number of women and girls arrested in 2013."

Palestinian women and girls are mainly held in Hasharon and Damon prisons, both of which are located outside of the 1967 occupied territory, in "direct contravention" of the Fourth Geneva Convention, "which states that an Occupying Power must detain residents of occupied territory in prisons inside the occupied territory," according to Addameer.
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