Friday, April 13, 2007



1 in 5 Palestinians has been imprisoned since 1967, Palestinian Prisoners' Society reveals

Qalqilya - Ma'an - Palestinians will commemorate Palestinian Prisoners' Day on April 17th, which has been considered the prisoners' day since the release of prisoners in the first prisoners' swap on April 17th, 1974. The issue of the prisoners is considered one of the most important issues as one fifth of the Palestinian people have been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces since the 1967 war.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS), the number of Palestinians arrested during the years of occupation has reached about 800,000 Palestinians. This means that more than 20 percent of the Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territories have been arrested at one time or another since 1967.

During the Al-Aqsa intifada, which started in September 2000 and is still ongoing, more than 40,000 Palestinians were arrested, PPS says; 11,000 of them are still in Israeli jails. 3,000 children were arrested during this time period, of whom 350 are still in Israeli jails. 500 women were also arrested, of whom 112 are still in the Israeli jails.

The Palestinian statistics point out that at least 80 percent of prisoners were tortured.

3,000 Palestinians were arrested as administrative detainees, of whom 800 are still in jail. This kind of detention, by which the detainees are not charged or tried, is prohibited according to international law.

Statistics also show that 200 houses were demolished as a punishment against prisoners. 35 prisoners were also deported to the Gaza Strip. 150 prisoners were killed after being arrested.

The Israeli authorities torture the Palestinian prisoners, in addition to sexual harassment and threats of rape if the detainee does not confess. In addition, wives or daughters are often arrested in order to force the prisoners to confess. In other cases, the Israelis use dogs to force prisoners to confess.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society also says that the Israeli authorities ignore the health care of prisoners and that there are 1,000 Palestinian inmates currently suffering serious diseases and sickness. Since 1967, 175 Palestinians prisoners have died in Israeli jails, PPS says. The PPS also said that 2,000 Palestinian families are banned from visiting their loved ones in the Israeli jails.

PPS has also reported on the isolation policy in the Israeli jails where many Palestinian prisoners are forced to be held in isolated cells for long periods of time. There are 19 prisoners being held in isolation, PPS says, and some of these prisoners have been in these cells for four years.

Furthermore, 370 prisoners have been in jail since before the Oslo accords in the early 1990s, PPS says. In addition, some prisoners have been in the Israeli jails for more than 20 years

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