The Palestinian Center for Prisoners Studies reported that the prisoners held in tents section of Al-Naqab desert prison suffered from hard conditions due to the extremely freezing weather and heavy rain.
The Center’s spokesman Riyad Al-Ashkar said that the Israeli prison administration has opened new tent sections in Al-Naqab prison months ago due to the increasing number of Palestinian prisoners in addition to the tens of prisoners from different prisons who were transferred to Al-Naqab prison. Al-Ashkar said that these sections lack the minimum requirements of life as well as the winter blankets and clothes needed to provide warmth to the prisoners.
Al Ashkar added that the detainees greatly suffer from the low temperatures in the tents which have thin fabrics that allow the rain water and cold wind in. The prisoners held in the tents said that they can not leave their tents due to the freezing weather, and that their body parts know no warmth in this cruel winter. The prisoners have no means of heating systems, and the prison’s administration does not allow the blankets and warm clothes brought by the prisoners families in.
The wind has also torn some of the tents and blown them away in January, leaving the prisoners unprotected from the biting cold that left many of them sick due to the direct exposure to cold and rain.
In Ofer prison, the prisoners situation isn’t better. The Palestinian Center for Prisoners Studies added that the snow storm that hit the country made things worse for the prisoners who were already suffering from the cold weather.
In a press conference, the center reported that Ofer prisoners called the Palestinian center saying that they’re freezing from the cold, and that the snow and rain fell inside the poorly constructed prison cells. They also confirmed that they don’t have any warm blankets or clothes to protect them from the cold.
The center also reported that the prisoners do not have enough beds to sleep in, and that most of them sleep on the ground. The center added that the prison crisis came as a result to the increasing numbers of Palestinian prisoners that followed the killing of the three settlers in Hebron last summer.
The Palestinian center added that the old prisoners shared the few warm clothes and blankets with the new prisoners which left them with little protection from the cold.
The center called on the Red Cross and human rights organizations to protect the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prisons from the poor conditions due to the cold, and to pressure the prisons administrations to provide blankets, warm clothes, and heating systems for the prisoners before it’s too late.