The UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.
The committee’s next meeting, which will be held on March 7 and 8 at the UN office in Vienna, seeks to raise awareness of the dilemma and to strengthen support of the international community for a solution to the issue.
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.