Monday, August 8, 2011

Palestinian prisoners suffer food poisoning in Israeli jail

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Forty Palestinian prisoners being held in an Israeli prison contracted food poisoning on Sunday, the Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe quoted detainees as saying.

Prisoners being held in the Negev prison, southern Israel said they had suffered from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after eating dairy products which had passed their sell by date.

Three of the prisoners are reportedly in a severe condition, as they already suffer from chronic ailments such as heart disease. Detainees complained that prison authorities delayed transferring sick inmates to the prison clinic, thus aggravating their symptoms further.

Prisoner Amjad Abu Latifah blamed the Israeli prison administration for the food poisoning, pointing out that this is the second incident of its kind in two months.

Prisoners have filed an official complaint, Latifah added.

The out of date products were bought from a prison store and detainees have stated that Israeli authorities intentionally sell expired goods.

The Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that Israeli prison authorities are risking the well being of prisoners and neglecting their health.

He demanded an immediate investigation into the current situation.

Palestinian Muslim prisoners are currently fasting from dusk until dawn as part of the Holy Month of Ramadan, refraining from food and water and emphasizing charitable giving.

In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the prison service to toughen conditions for Palestinian detainees in an effort to pressure Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The measures were widely condemned by Palestinian officials.