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Ministry: 11 prisoners injured in Israeli jail raid

March 12, 2012 4:25 P.M. (Updated: March 18, 2012 7:01 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Eleven Palestinian prisoners were injured Monday when Israeli security officers raided Ashkelon prison in southern Israel, the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs said.

Heavily-armed guards raided the jail at 5 a.m. and strip-searched detainees, the ministry said in a statement.

Clashes erupted when prisoners protested the raid and the guards used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas against detainees seriously injuring 11, the ministry said.

Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe said the incident was an escalation in Israel's violations of prisoners' rights.

He urged all countries who were signatories to the Geneva Convention to intervene immediately and provide international protection for Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.

Around 5,000 Palestinians are illegally held in Israeli jails, according to human rights organizations.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is illegal for an occupying power to transfer residents to jails outside the occupied territory. Since 1967, Israel has detained around 700,000 Palestinians.
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