Israeli authorities transferred Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the West Bank’s most prominent leaders and a Member of the Legislative Council, from Askalan prison to the Negev Prison camp, where prisoners are kept in tents in the desert, exposed to the elements and subject to abuse by Israeli guards.
Sheikh Yousef, 53, was carried from the isolation wards in Askalan to the Negev after having been held for five months in the Askalan facility.

His incarceration conditions in Askalan were similar to hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners who experience harsh health and humanitarian conditions that lacked the simplest level of human not comply with even the most basic tenets of human rights regulations.

Yousef, who won the highest number of votes in the Ramallah district in Palestinian legislative elections last month, pointed out that the conditions of Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails were worsening amidst international silence towards their ordeal.

He appealed to the international legal and human rights institutions to swiftly intervene to save the lives of hundreds of sick prisoners and to end the suffering of more than 9,000 prisoners, many of whom are held in isolation.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef was arrested on the 25th of September 2005 in an Israeli campaign of arrests that targeted hundreds of Hamas leaders, cadres and supporters to prevent them from participation in the fourth round of local elections and the legislative elections. Yousef is pending trial on the 28 April.