Center for Palestine: Prisoners in the prisons of the south froze as a result of the cold wave

The Palestine Center for Prisoner Studies said today, Tuesday, that the conditions of prisoners in the southern prisons, which are located in the Negev desert, are very harsh, in light of the deteriorating weather conditions as a result of depressions, as they complain of freezing of their limbs due to the severe cold, due to the lack of means of heating. Or sufficient winter clothing and blankets.

The center indicated in a statement that the prisons of the south (Negev, Nafha, Raymond and Beersheba) contain about half of the prisoners in the occupation prisons, noting that they have been suffering for days from harsh and difficult conditions as a result of the air depressions and the accompanying severe cold and continuous rain, and temperatures have reached At times, it went below zero, which led to the prisoners feeling freezing in their limbs in the absence of adequate heating.

The director of the center, Riad Al-Ashkar, said that the most suffering prison is the Negev prison, where the prisoners were forced to stay in their rooms and tents throughout the depression period, and they were not able to go out to the outside yards in the open sections or in the open areas or in the closed sections, and they were not able to use water in the morning due to the extreme cold. The water in the taps froze due to the temperature dropping below zero.

Al-Ashqar indicated that the conditions of prisoners in the occupation’s prisons are becoming increasingly difficult in light of the prison administration’s continuing to prevent the entry of blankets and heavy winter clothes that protect them from the cold and the lack of heating means in the prison and the reduction of the amount of hot water that reaches the prisoners, as the occupation has denied the prisoners to visit since March 2020. On the pretext of the Corona pandemic, the visit is a lifeline for them in providing clothes and blankets that are not available even in the prison canteens.

Al-Ashqar pointed out that these harsh conditions led to the deterioration of the health conditions of the prisoners and the injury of a large number of them with various diseases, most notably influenza, coughing and high temperatures, and they treat themselves with some of the herbs available in prison, such as sage, chamomile and others, while depriving them of health follow-up and treatment by the prison administration.

Al-Ashqar accused the occupation of manipulating the psyche of the prisoners in light of the similarity of the symptoms of the Corona virus and influenza, which confused the prisoners and became unable to distinguish between the symptoms of winter and the symptoms of the virus, adding that the occupation was procrastinating in conducting quick swabs of the prisoners to ensure that they were infected with Corona or not, and this makes the infection spread widely in their ranks.

He pointed out that 25 prisoners in section (25) of the Negev Desert Prison contracted the virus last week, which created a state of tension and anxiety among the prisoners.

Al-Ashqar indicated that the most affected and suffering sections are those that are still in tents in the Negev prison, where rain seeps into them and damages their clothes, covers and sleeping places, and does not protect the prisoners from the cold and frost, and sometimes the wind speed increases and leads to the uprooting or tearing of the tents. replaced.

The Palestine Center renewed its call for all humanitarian and human rights organizations and the Red Cross to visit the occupation prisons located in the Negev desert, especially the “Ketziot Negev” prison, to see the conditions of the prisoners, to provide their urgent needs for blankets and clothes, and to improve the conditions of their detention before they escalate further, which exposes them to real danger.

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