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33 Palestinian female prisoners suffer behind Israeli bars, says watchdog

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Palestinian Commission for detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs said on Sunday that 33 Palestinian female prisoners held in Israel’s Damon prison have been suffering from harsh imprisonment conditions.

The Commission said in a statement that 33 Palestinian female prisoners held in Israel’s Damon prison have been suffering from harsh conditions since the moment of their imprisonment, including medical negligence, denial of education, denial of family visits, including for mothers with young children, solitary confinement, overcrowded cells which are often filled with insects and dirt, and lack natural light.

The female prisoners have been also subjected to some form of psychological torture and ill-treatment throughout the process of their arrest and detention, including various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment, according to the Commission.

These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to intimidate Palestinian women detainees but also as tools to humiliate Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions.

The Damon prison is located in Northern Palestine in the forests of Carmel in Haifa. It was established during the British mandate, thus it lacks modern day infrastructure. These facilities, designed for and by men, consequently rarely meet the gender-specific needs of women prisoners, the Commission noted.

The Commission said some of the 33 Palestinian female prisoners have been suffering from serious health problems; a study conducted by Addameer in September 2008 revealed that approximately 38% of Palestinian female prisoners suffer from treatable diseases that go untreated.

Among those female prisoners who have been suffering from serious health problems and conditions is 37-year-old Israa Jaabis, who was arrested on October 11, 2015 by Israeli occupation authorities.

Israa, who has a 14-year-old son, was severely injured in a blaze, with 65 percent of her body burned, including major wounds on her face and hands. She needs at least eight surgeries, including a skin graft around her right eye and facial reconstruction.

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