Palestinian researcher and specialist in the detainees affairs, Fuad Al Khuffash, prepared and published a comprehensive report on the Palestinian detainees and the conditions they are facing in Israeli prisons, as the world marks April 7; the World Health day.Al Khuffash said that the detainees are living in overcrowded cells and rooms, lacking covers, ventilation, showers, and fundamental needs that must be provided to the detainees in accordance to the international law.
Food provided to the detainees is always insufficient and of a bad quality, the detainees are continuously losing weight while a significant number of them developed anemia.
Also, the detainees are not provided with cleaning materials in order to clean their rooms, which is increasing the presence of bugs and insects, especially during summer time.
Al Khuffash, head of the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies, stated that skin diseases are spreading among the detainees as the infected detainees are not provided with the needed treatment and are not hospitalized, which is spreading diseases among them and infecting more detainees.
Most of the detainees are suffering from fungus; others are suffering from scabies but are not provided with the needed medical treatment.
He also said that most of the detainees are suffering from bad health conditions as they have to go through a series of violations which starts since the day of their arrest. After the residents are arrested they are placed in small room that lack the basic components especially since the rooms are small, dark, cold and dirty.
During interrogation, the detainees are tortured, beaten on their private body parts and are deprived from sleeping for 48 hours or even more.
The detainees are subjected to physical and psychological torture during interrogation. They are beaten, forced to stand for extended periods, the interrogators use different sorts of torture and also threat to rape the detainees or their mothers, sisters or wives.
The detainees who need medical treatment, if they receive it, they have to pay for it. There are dozens of detainees who need surgeries but are denied any medical attention and if the Prison Administration approved the transfer of the detainees to hospitals for treatment, the detainees are obliged to pay the expenses.
Moreover, most of the detainees who spent extended period in prison developed reproductive problems due to physical and psychological torture.
Several detainees who were tortured during interrogation said that their interrogators deliberately hit them on their sensitive body parts and were told by their interrogators that “from now on, you can never have children”.
Al Khuffash also said that the doctors in Israeli prisons “are heartless and carry immoral acts that violate their oath”. He said that the doctors aide the interrogators in torturing the detainees.
Dozens of cases were reported when sick detainees were examined by the doctor while tied to chairs and handcuffed, while the doctors who examined them did not cease insulting and cursing them.
Al Khuffash also said that the doctors in Israeli prisons examine the detainees to determine their weaknesses and fill forms which are used by the interrogators later on in order to find the “most effective means of torture which will force the detainees to confess”.
Listed below are some of the violations practiced against the sick detainees in occupation prisons:
1. Medical negligence which includes delayed medical treatment, delayed or rejected surgeries, and denying the detainees from receiving the needed medications.
2. Denying specialized medications and medical treatment; the most common medication that all detainees, regarding of their sickness are receiving, is painkilling pills.
3. Israeli prisons do not have specialized physicians such as ophthalmologists, dentists and other specialties.
4. Prison clinics do not open at night, therefore urgent cases aren’t seen until the next day.
5. Detainees who suffer from psychological issues are not examined or seen by specialized psychiatrics.
6. Prison clinics do not have special equipment such as respiratory machines, equipment for ophthalmology and specialized glasses, cardiology machines, chronic diseases, and synthetic parts.
7. Prison clinics lack special foods for patients who suffer from certain illnesses such as diabetics, blood pressure, heart, kidney and other diseases.
8. Clinics do not have special rooms to isolate the detainees who have infectious diseases.
9. Clinics do not have special rooms for detainees who suffer from severe mental illness which constitutes a threat to the lives of their colleagues.
10. Detainees who need to be transferred to hospitals are handcuffed and tied and are transferred in inadequate vehicles for their conditions instead of being transferred via ambulances.
11. Some of the detainees who suffer from chronic diseases are barred from receiving their medications as a sort of punishment.
12. Detainees who need to be examined by physicians are often examined without even being touched by the physician.
13. The rooms in prison lack proper ventilation, are overcrowded, filled with humidity and bugs.
14. Sick detainees are repeatedly beaten and violated which causes further deterioration to their health conditions.
15. Repeated attacks against the detainees and their rooms, especially at night, is causing more psychological problems among them. The attacks include naked body search, solitary confinement and forcing them to stand for extended periods.
16. Female detainees are not provided with specialized physicians. Some of the detainees are pregnant or gave birth in prison but are not receiving the needed food and medical attention that the mother and the child need.
17. Several detainees who gave birth in prison were tied to their beds during delivery. Some of the detainees who gave birth in prison were identified as; Manal Ghanim , Khawla Zeitawi, and Samar Sbeih.
18. Some of the sick detainees were given expired medications.
19. During interrogation, the interrogators took advantage of the medical conditions of the detainees, especially if they were shot and injured during the course of his arrest, in order to force them confess to any charges the face or else they will not receive any treatment. An example to this case is detainee Rabee’ Harb who was interrogated at a hospital while suffering from a serious injury.
20. Al Ramlah Prison Hospital is the only hospital that the detainees are transferred to, yet it lacks the basic equipment and the detainees are often subjected to different sorts of violations.
Al Khuffash concluded his report by stating that the silence of international human rights groups and international health organization makes them accomplices to the ongoing Israeli violations practiced against the detainees.
Israel is holding nearly 11000 Palestinian captive in its prisons and detention camps. At least 330 of the detainees are children under the age of 18, in addition to nearly 114 women. At 1100 detainees are sick