Palestinian prisoners begin protests over worsening conditions in Israeli jails
Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centres are facing worsening conditions due to the Israeli Prisons Service's "suffocating" restrictions on prisoners, Qadri Abu Bakr, a leading Palestinian Authority official has said.
Abu Bakr, head of the prisoners and ex-prisoners commission, on Monday deplored the Israel for carrying out "demeaning policies" against prisoners, which he said have been scaled up this year.
Israeli authorities have forbidden prisoners from receiving money to pay for additional food and banned their families from sending in consignments of clothes and cigarettes, he claimed.
Prisoners from the besieged Gaza Strip have been subject to the tightest restrictions with hundreds of family visitations denied by Israeli authorities, even in cases of emergencies, according to Abu Bakr.
Abu Bakr said that in response to the restrictions, some prisoners have started protest measures such as returning meals.
Israel's prisoner population currently includes around 5,700 Palestinians, including 200 children, 44 women, five members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and 27 journalists.
Around 470 Palestinian prisoners are held in "administrative detention" without charge or trial, according to reports.
Under the administrative detention order, Israel detains Palestinians for six months at a time, which can be extended indefinitely.
Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967 and is accused of various abuses against Palestinian civilians.
In April, the UN Human Rights Council and the Red Cross urged Israel to release vulnerable prisoners, saying that they were in danger of contracting coronavirus, although there was no Israeli response.