World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian Minister for Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe on Wednesday accused Israeli authorities of infecting Palestinian prisoners with diseases.
"[Israeli prisons] have become a tool to intentionally infect Palestinian prisoners with diseases to kill them slowly," Qaraqe told a conference on prisoners in Ramallah.
"It's no secret that in recent years we have witnessed an increase in the number of infected prisoners, especially those with malignant disease," he added.
"In the past six months alone, at least 10 Palestinian prisoners have been diagnosed with throat cancer," said the minister.
He accused the Israeli authorities of intentionally denying medication to sick Palestinian prisoners further engraving their already-fragile health conditions.
Many Palestinian detainees had gone on hunger strikes in recent months to demand better medical services, but to no avail.
There are some 4,600 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, including 12 women and 180 children, according the prisoners' affairs ministry.
Among them are 1,400 prisoners with health problems, including 80 with serious health problems.
At least 44 Palestinian prisoners currently languishing in Israeli jails suffer from cancer, Ahmed al-Faleet, head of the non-governmental Free Prisoners' Society, had said recently.
Remains of 2 Palestinians returned by Israel finally laid to rest
Hundreds of Palestinians on Wednesday participated in a symbolic funeral procession for two Palestinians whose remains were handed over by Israel on Tuesday.
The remains of Fathi Omeera and Atta Samahna were recently returned by Israel to their respective relatives.
Omeera was killed in a 2002 attack inside Israel. Samahna was killed when Israel shelled his farm in 2004.
Israeli authorities returned the remains of Majdi Khanfar, a Palestinian man killed in a 2002 attack on an Israeli checkpoint, to his family late Sunday.
Salem Khaleh, coordinator of the National Campaign to Retrieve the Bodies of Palestinians Held by Israel, had told Anadolu Agency earlier that the Israeli decision to hand over the remains of 36 Palestinians had been the result of a lawsuit filed by his campaign with the Israeli Supreme Court.
The remains of another Palestinian, Shadi Ibrahim Shaker, will be transferred for burial on Sunday.
According to campaign organizers, Israeli still holds the bodies of some 200 deceased Palestinians.
Scores of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops during the Second Intifada – from 2000 to 2003 – were buried by Israel in a mass grave in the Jordan Valley known as "the Numbers Graveyard."
In October, Israel's Supreme Court allowed Palestinian families to take DNA tests with the aim of identifying the bodies of deceased relatives interred at the gravesite.Last Mod: 23 Ocak 2014, 17:33