Human RightsPalestine

Zionist forces detained over 5,500 Palestinians, including women, children, in 2019: Rights groups

A number of Palestinian rights groups say Israeli military forces have arrested more than 5,500 Palestinians, including 889 children and 128 girls and women, across the occupied West Bank throughout the current year.

The Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), announced in a statement that the number of Palestinian detainees currently being kept behind bars in Israeli detention centers stands at around 5,000, including 50 women and 200 children.

Approximately 450 inmates are under the so-called administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, extendable an infinite number of times.

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The statement added that around 700 of the prisoners suffer from various illnesses, and that there are 10 cancer patients and 200 others with chronic diseases among them.

“In 2019, Israeli authorities intensified arbitrary arrest campaigns against women and children, who suffered various forms of torture both during and after arrest,” it read.

The statement further noted that five Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons due to lack of proper medical treatment and deliberate medical negligence in 2019.

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The rights groups said more than 50 prisoners went on hunger strike in protest against the policies of the Israeli prison services, as well as against the policy of administrative detention.

“Israeli occupation authorities violate all the rules of international and humanitarian laws, and reinforce their flagrant violations through the judicial system,” they said.

The rights groups called for local, regional and international bodies to put pressure on the Israeli regime in order to stop its violations of Palestinian prisoners.

Last month, the PPS said in a report that arrested Palestinian children have experienced numerous rights violations at the hands of Israeli forces.

They are often taken away from their homes late at night and are kept under harsh conditions, the report said.

It noted that arrested children are deprived of their right to education, which constitutes a clear violation of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

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Earlier this year, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association and the Prisoners of Conscience and Human Rights Protection Organization announced in a joint statement that 216 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli prisons since 1967.

Among these, seven were shot, whilst 72 others were tortured to death and 59 died due to lack of medical care.

The statement noted that Palestinians in Israeli prisoners were being subjected to “inhumane” treatment, including physical and psychological torture.

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Some 60% of the prisoners have suffered “brutal physical assaults.”

The statement finally urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch a special committee to investigate Palestinian deaths in Israeli prisons.

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