In an interview with Iran’s Fars News Agency on Sunday, Palestinian Minister for Captives Affairs Ataollah Abu Sabah said of the 44,000 Palestinian inmates currently languishing in Israeli prisons, seven are women and 23 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Abu Sabah described the desert prison of Naqab (Negev), where the detainees are kept in tents, as the Israeli regime’s worst prison.
Last year, an Israeli TV station released video footage of Palestinian detainees being tortured by Israeli troops in the notorious Naqab prison in 2008, as a result of which one Palestinian died and several others sustained injuries.
The Palestinian official further confirmed reports that the relatives of the inmates and sometimes even their lawyers are forced to strip and are interrogated.
In late December 2010, a human rights group called Public Committee against Torture in Israel revealed that Palestinian detainees are systematically denied the right to meet a lawyer during interrogations.
Being shackled to chairs for long periods, sleep deprivation, intimidation, torture and excruciating detention conditions are some of the instances documented by the rights group in its report.
Abu Sabah went on to add that stripping captives in the subzero cold in the winter is one of the most common torture methods of the Israeli regime.
The ill captives, he said, are deprived of even the most basic medical treatment, adding that the inmates suffering from medical conditions are not few in number and face gradual death in the regime’s prison
Israel has some secret prisons where it keeps some of the first captives of the Resistance Movement, Abu Sabah said, adding that the regime has even abducted activists from other Arab countries, whose fate is unknown.
Israel Prison Service (IPS) Director Aharon Franco announced in October that there are several prisons in Israel, including Damon prison, Ramle’s Neve Tirza prison, and the Ma’asiyahu prison, that are no longer fit for inmates.
Franco also said the standard in the US is to allocate eight meters of space for each inmate and the standard is six meters in Europe. In Israel, however, just four meters are allocated for each inmate.