PA seeks Egyptian support to improve Israeli prison conditions
Published Sunday 02/03/2014 (updated) 04/03/2014 13:26
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has called on Egypt to support efforts to improve conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, an official said Sunday.
After meeting in Hebron with the families of hunger striking prisoners, PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said he informed Egyptian officials of "the tragic conditions of prisoners, especially prisoners who are sick or on a hunger strike."
Qaraqe said he briefed the officials on Israel's violations of an Egyptian-sponsored agreement signed in May 2012 to improve living conditions in Israeli jails.
Akram Fseisi, Wahid Abu Maria, Muammar Banat, Aref Harbiyat, Ahmad Abu Ras, Ayman Tbeish and Kifah Hattab are currently on hunger strike in protest against being held in administrative detention without a trial. Hattab is also demanding to be recognized as prisoner of war as a part of his strike.
Some 5,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails as of October 2013, according to the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.
Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel, representing 20 percent of the total population and 40 percent of all males in the occupied territories.