Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Paperless Palestinian refugee left to rot in Israeli Negev prison

Date: 10 / 06 / 2009 Time: 20:10

Hebron – Ma’an – After nine days of hunger strike the stateless Palestinian born refugee Subhi Abdullah Abu Loz appealed to Human Rights institutions from captivity in Israel’s Negev Prison.

Abu Loz was detained in Gaza on 23 March 2006 because he had no official identity papers. He was set to be released on 11 August 2008, but has remained in Israeli custody and has received no answers to his repeated pleas for help and questions over his continued detention.

The prisoner spoke to Ma’an Radio in Palestine via mobile phone snuck into the facility. He was born in Gaza and fled with his family in 1967 when Israel took control of the Strip from the Egyptians in 1967.

Unlike Palestinians living in the West Bank before 1967 (when it was under Jordanian control) Gazans were not given passports or citizenship documents. Most were only issued simple “travel documents” or if they remained in Gaza they were given refugee cards.

Abu Loz was issued a travel card by Egypt in 1967, and in 1998 he re-entered the Gaza Strip as a “visitor.” He stayed on past the legal limit for visitors, however, and his travel card expired during his stay in Gaza.

When his travel document expired, Abu Loz was left with no documents or identity papers. He was picked up by the Israeli army in 2006 and has been left in the notorious Negev prison since.