For the second time in less than a month, the Israeli Prison Authority transferred a prominent Hamas leader to solitary confinement in Asqalan detention facility.

Lawyer Shadi Younis, who managed to visit Sheikh Jamal Abu Al Haija for the first time since last year, said that soldiers transferred him from solitary confinement in Al Ramleh detention facility to Asqalan, where he was also confined to solitary.

Sheikh Abu Al Haija was arrested two years ago in Jenin refugee camp and was sentenced to nine live terms.

A senior official at the Israeli Prison Authorities told Abu Al Haija that he will spend his life in solitary “as punishment for his activities and his support for the Al Qassam brigades, the military wing of the Hamas.”    

Lawyer Younis stated that the prison administration is treating Abu Al Haija in a provocative way and always tries to humiliate him in addition to maintaining him in solitary confinement in a small dark cell that the authorities do not allow him to leave.  Nor is he allowed to contact his family.

Younis added that Sheikh Abu Al Haija has contracted a skin disease as a result of the dirty cells which are filled with humidity.  In addition, he is in urgent need of surgery because he uses an artificial arm, which was destroyed during his arrest, causing further injuries.

Also, Abdul-Salam, the son of Abu Al-Haija, who is detained in the same facility for 78 months, is being barred from helping his father.

Abu Al Haija was wanted by the Israeli security since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada.  He was sentenced to nine life terms after the Israeli prosecution charged him with planning a suicide bombing that left nine Israelis dead. 

Younis appealed to international humanitarian organizations to interfere in order to cancel the solitary confinement of Sheikh Abu Al Haija, and to enable him to receive the needed medical care and attention.