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Source: Israel shuts down prison, transfers detainees

Sept. 14, 2010 12:02 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2010 10:14 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israel's Prison Service will shut down the Shitah prison in northern Israel and transfer 60 Palestinian detainees to the Megido-Salem prison in the same region, a source said Tuesday.

The source told Ma'an that the prison agency did not provide a reason for the jail's closure but the Detainees' Society will follow up with those detainees who have been transferred.

According to a prison service report in 2008, 40 percent of Israel's detainees are "security prisoners," a term used to denote Palestinian political detainees. At the time, Israel said it was holding up to 10,000 "security prisoners."

A report issued by the PLO's negotiations affairs department said detainees currently in Israeli custody have been charged with an array of "security offenses," adding that 47 Palestinian parliamentarians are also being held. Approximately 1,150 are being held without charge.

Under the Geneva Convention, to which it is a signatory, Israel is prohibited from transferring Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to prisons inside Israel, where many relatives have been barred from visiting inmates.

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