RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli prison services cut off the power supply to sick prisoners’ wards in Al-Ramla Prison on Saturday, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Committee said.
Hanan al-Khatib, a committee lawyer, said that the power was cut for more than 12 hours as a punitive measure, adding that Israeli authorities were claiming the power cut was carried out for maintenance purposes.
She said that the cut was “immoral and inhumane” and was aimed at breaking down the determination of sick detainees.
Sick prisoners in the al-Ramla jail suffer from illnesses including paralysis, cancer and liver diseases.
Al-Khatib added that a heated verbal exchange between prisoners and prison administrators took place before the power was re-connected.
An Israeli prison spokeswoman told Ma’an she was unaware of the incident and would look into it.
The power cut came a day after Israeli prison guards stormed a sector of Rimon Prison, severely beating dozens of prisoners and placing a number in solitary confinement, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.
An Israeli prison spokeswoman confirmed to Ma’an there had been searches earlier in the day, but denied that prisoners had been placed in solitary confinement. She suggested instead that the prisoners may have been “separated from other prisoners.”
She added: “We do this all the time — it’s prison.”
Palestinians often experience torture, routine isolation, medical negligence, and restricted access to family visits and education, according to prisoner support and human rights association Addameer.
Addameer has also documented common instances in which authorities of Israeli prisons carry out punitive measures in response to prisoner resistance, especially in cases of hunger strikes.
Approximately 6,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society told Ma’an on Apr. 1. This number is constantly in flux due to frequent detainment and release.