A human rights group called for the formation of a U.N. commission of inquiry into Israel's perpetual violations of Palestinian prisoners' basic rights in its jails, including torture, repression and assaults.
"It is with great concern that we follow the escalation in Israeli prisons, in particular Ketziot (Negev Desert) Prison, against the backdrop of Palestinian detainees protesting the installation of mobile jamming devices, threatening them with serious illnesses," said the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) in a press release, as reported by Palestinian news agency, Wafa. The Israeli army frequently conducts wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank on the pretext of searching for "wanted" Palestinians. Around 6,500 Palestinians are currently in Israeli prisons, including 350 child prisoners, according to Palestinian figures released in 2018. Of those, around 430 were detained under the so-called administrative detention laws. Israeli treatment of Palestinian children in military detention has become a major area of concern for the international community.
International human rights groups have criticized Israel's handling of Ahed Tamimi, placing under scrutiny the Israeli military court system that Palestinian youth face in the West Bank. Tamimi became an international icon for Palestinian resistance after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier during a raid on her home to arrest her brother. Israeli forces arrested the Palestinian girl in December 2017 after a viral video showed her slapping an Israeli soldier; later, an Israeli court handed down a sentence of eight months in March for her attack on an Israeli soldier.
A report released by Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) in April 2018 also claimed that 700 of the detainees suffer from chronic diseases, which need urgent medical treatment and intensive follow up, while 26 of them have cancer.
Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails are imprisoned without trial, under so-called "administrative detention," and a great many of them go through customary weeks of torture. Administrative detention allows Israel to detain people without charge or trial for renewable six-month periods. Israel says administrative detention is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects, while continuing to gather evidence, with the aim of preventing attacks in the meantime. But the system has long been criticized by Palestinians, human rights groups and members of the international community that say Israel abuses the measure.
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