The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Monday that the Israeli Prison Authority is demanding Palestinian political prisoners to pay for their own medical expenses, and refused to provide them with the needed medical equipment or medications.The Ministry denounced the Israeli decision and said that Israel, as the country that is holding thousands of Palestinian detainees, has the legal and moral responsibility to provide them with the needed care, as stated by the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions regarding civil and political rights.

It added that this Israeli policy is a policy of extortion and blackmail, and is depriving the detainees from the urgently needed medical attention and treatment.

In its report, the Ministry said that, by asking the detainees to pay for their medical expenses, Israel is burdening the detainees and their families, and is violating all ethical medical standards.

It stated that some of the ailing detainees who have been asked to pay for their medical care have been identified as:

Hussein Ali Khalil, 24, from Al-Khader town near Bethlehem and sentenced to seven years, was asked to pay 7000 New Israeli Shekels, he is suffering from hearing problems, and complications in his ears.

Ahmad Jamil Ash-Shibry, 27, from Nablus and sentenced to 15 years, he was asked for pay money for new lenses for his glasses; he needs to change the lenses every six months due to various complications in his eyes, especially his right eye.

Ahmad Nidal An-Nees, 30 from Bethlehem and sentenced to 7 years; he was asked to pay 5000 NIS for new lenses for his glasses; he also suffers from low vision in both eyes.

More than 204 Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons since Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem following the June 4 1967 war. Most of the detainees died due to torture, medical neglect, while several detainees died after being shot by the arresting officers.