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Ministry: 2 sick prisoners attempt suicide

Aug. 6, 2013 2:04 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2013 11:09 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Two sick Palestinian prisoners have attempted to commit suicide, a lawyer from the Palestinian Authority's ministry of prisoners affairs said Tuesday.

Hanan al-Khatib said in a ministry statement that Mansour Muqada from Salfit in the central West Bank and Nahidh al-Aqra from the Gaza Strip swallowed more than 40 unspecified pills at Ramle prison clinic.

The patients were immediately transferred to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Tel Aviv where their stomachs were pumped, according to the lawyer.

Al-Khatib said the prisoners were disappointed after their cases were not included in the ongoing negotiations with the Israeli government seeking to free detainees ahead of resuming peace talks. She explained that Mansour Muqada suffered from hemiplegia and was serving a life term. The other prisoner, Nahidh al-Aqra, is serving three life sentences and has lost his feet.

Eighteen seriously ill Palestinian prisoners have been hospitalized at Ramle prison clinic, according to the lawyer. She said they expected the PA to include their cases in any possible future attempts to get Israel to release Palestinian prisoners.

They sent a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to prioritize their cases in any talks to release prisoners. The letter highlighted that sick prisoners were excluded from the prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

“We were ignored in the Shalit deal, and we don’t want current talks to ignore us too. Death has become easier than living with sickness aggravated in our bodies,” the letter read.

A spokesman for the Israel Prison Service did not immediately return calls.
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