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21 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel's Ramla prison suffer illnesses and injuries

Oct. 13, 2016 7:19 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 8:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – At least 21 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel’s Ramla prison are suffering from various illnesses and injuries, as one has suffered from a stroke, according to a statement released Thursday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Fadi Ebidat, a lawyer from the committee, said that Palestinian prisoner Yousif Nawajaa, 50, from the village of Yatta in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron suffered a stroke while being held in the Ramla prison hospital.

Nawajaa was transferred to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center following the stroke, and stayed for two days before being transferred back to Ramla hospital. He was reportedly removed from the medical center after refusing to remain handcuffed to the bed.

Another lawyer for the committee Ali al-Saadi has reportedly appealed to an Israeli court in order to lessen Nawajaa’s sentence, while urging the court to allow his early release due to his deteriorating health condition. However, the Israeli court has postponed the case to an unknown date.

The statement added that Nawajaa was shot in the spin by Israeli forces in 2000, causing him to suffer from hemiplegia (partial paralysis), epileptic seizures, lung and liver disorders, shortness of breath, and weak eyesight.

His health has severely worsened since he was detained by Israeli forces on December 26, 2012

Meanwhile, Ebidat said that the health conditions of the Balboul brothers, who are also being held in the prison, are improving after Muhammad and Mahmoud went on hunger strike for 77 and 79 days respectively.

The two declared a hunger strike after being placed under administrative detention, a widely-condemned Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

Last month, the brothers ended their strikes after receiving assurance from Israeli prison administration that their administrative detentions would not be renewed. They are set to be released on December 8.

Muhammad told Ebidat that he is beginning to regain his sight after going temporarily blind during his hunger strike, while Ebidat demanded that Ramla’s hospital administration administer tests by a “special doctor” to check Muhammad’s health condition.

Palestinian prisoner Bahaa al-Din Odeh, 20, from the West Bank city of Bethlehem is suffering from a head injury and a fracture in his left arm after being shot and injured by Israeli forces during his detention on September 18, Ebidat added in the statement.

Bahaa said that he was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center for four days and was interrogated in the hospital following his detention.

According to Ebidat there were 21 Palestinian prisoners held in Ramla prison suffering from various illnesses and injuries, identified as Ratib Hreibat, Ahmad Abu Mtawee, Khaled Shaweesh, Kateba Shaweesh, Moumen Shmasna, Mansour Mwqda, Khalil Shawamra, Ameer Farid Asaad, Ashraf Abu al-Huda, Yousif Nawajaa, Jalal Shrawna, Moutasem Radad, Bassam al-Sayeh, Amjad al-Sayeh, Hassan al-Qadi, Mamdouh Omar, Mutwkil Radwan, Aymn al-Kord, Bahaa Odeh, and the temporarily detained Balboul brothers.

Rights groups have accused the Israel Prison Service (IPS) of practicing a policy of medical neglect on Palestinian prisoners, leading to at least 17 Palestinian prisoners dying in Israeli custody as a direct result of medical negligence from the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 until 2008, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

In addition to deliberate medical negligence, Addameer has cited the environment in Israeli prisons, which is reportedly far below international standards, the tendency for the Israeli prison administration to ignore their responsibility for the well being of Palestinian prisoners, and the overcrowding in Israeli prisons as all factors that adversely impact the health of Palestinians in Israeli custody.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison as of August.
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