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PA lawyer: Health of oldest Palestinian prisoner deteriorating

March 17, 2014 3:57 P.M. (Updated: March 19, 2014 10:16 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The health of the oldest Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody is seriously deteriorating, a lawyer said Monday.

Fadi Ubeidat, a lawyer for the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, said in a statement Monday that 76-year-old Fuad Shobaki is suffering from various illnesses amidst Israeli reluctance to offer him medical treatment.

After visiting Shobaki in his cell in Ofer Prison, Ubeidat said the prisoner has eye problems and needs surgery or he could lose his sight.

Shobaki underwent surgery for hemorrhoids in 2011, but still has health issues with his prostate, the lawyer said.

The prisoner was sentenced to 20 years for alleged involvement in an illegal weapons shipment to the West Bank in 2002.

Separately, 21-year-old Layth Ubayyat -- who has been sentenced to 26 months in Israeli prisons -- is suffering head pains after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers, Ubeidat said.

While Ubayyat was being arrested, Israeli soldiers fractured his forehead, the lawyer said.

During the incident, Ubayyat passed out and was sent to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Around 4,880 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails as of Jan. 2014. Another 1,415 were in Israeli prisons for being inside Israel without permits.

Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained, and the families of Palestinian prisoners' face many obstacles in obtaining permits to see their imprisoned relatives.
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