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Israeli prison authorities 'prevent family visits'

April 19, 2012 3:15 P.M. (Updated: April 25, 2012 9:25 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli prison authorities on Thursday prevented relatives from visiting detainees in Gilboa prison in northern Israel, the Prisoners Society said.

Family members of detainees from Nablus told the Prisoners Society that they were not allowed to see their relatives. Several detainees were also transferred to nearby Shatta jail as a punishment for undertaking hunger strike action.

Director of the society in Nablus Raed Omar condemned the incident and said Israeli prison authorities were escalating the situation.

The Palestinian Authority ministry says 1,600 prisoners joined a hunger-strike on Tuesday to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day.

On Wednesday, the PA Ministry of Detainee Affairs said that Israel had tightened procedures against prisoners on a mass hunger-strike.

The ministry said in a statement that Israel's prison administration put detainees in solitary confinement without electricity. Prisoners in Ashkelon jail said detainees were threatened with transfer to a new section, and banned family visits.

Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told Ma'an on Wednesday that all privileges have been removed from 1,200 detainees on continuous hunger strike. They were moved to a special section of the prison but are not in isolation, she said.
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