Tuesday, March 8, 2011

133 Palestinians held in Israel's jails for over 20 years

GAZA (Ma'an) -- Gaza's Ministry of Detainees reported Monday that the number of prisoners held in Israeli jails for over two decades has increased to 133.

Ministry spokesman Riyad Al-Ashkar said 39-year-old Imad Al-Masri entered his 21st year in Israeli detention on Monday.

Al-Masri, from Tubas, was detained in March 1991 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Al-Ashkar said Al-Masri had been in solitary confinement at Ramon jail for over seven months.

He has suffered from severe back pain and headaches for several years but Israeli prison authorities have denied him treatment, his lawyer said.

After many appeals, Al-Masri was taken to a prison hospital for x-rays, but he was never given the results or offered treatment, his lawyer added.

Israeli authorities will not allow the detainee visitors, and his mother recently died without seeing him, Al-Ashkar said.

Al-Masri's father is now seriously ill but Israeli authorities refuse to grant him a visitor's permit to see his son, the ministry official said.