The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has held Israel responsible for the desperate plight of one of its leaders currently on hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
On Monday, Hamas expressed concerns over the health condition of Abbas al-Sayyed, who is still continuing his hunger strike after twenty days. The Palestinian movement announced that Sayyed has recently been shifted to hospital and his health has seriously deteriorated, Palestinian Information Center reported.
Hamas also called on Palestinian and international human rights groups to intervene and secure the release of Sayyed, who has been held in solitary confinement since 2002.
The report comes as more than 11,500 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons under harsh conditions, according to Palestinian sources. A total of 270 of the detainees are under the age of 18 years and 33 of them are women.
Palestinian groups have long insisted that the prisoners are subjected to various kinds of mistreatment and torture in Israeli detention facilities and are often deprived of visits by their family.
The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners states that almost half of the 315 prisoners arrested before the 1993 Oslo Agreement have been in Israeli jails for more than 20 years.
There are more than 1,500 illness cases among prisoners in Israeli jails, including heart problems, kidney failures, and cancer. Israeli authorities deprive these ailing prisoners of adequate medical care and often medication is limited to painkillers alone.
There are also some prisoners that are kept in solitary confinement, which often leads to psychological problems. Palestinian sources also indicate that about 14 prisoners have been subjected to solitary confinement for more than five years.