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Israel 'withholding information' about Gaza detainees

Aug. 6, 2014 3:48 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 9, 2014 10:00 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said Wednesday that it has not received information about Palestinians detained in Gaza during Israel's offensive.

"The occupation army, during its current aggression on the Gaza Strip, has detained dozens of Palestinians and taken them to unknown locations," Minister of Prisoner's Affairs Shawqi al-Ayasa said in a statement.

Al-Ayasa said the ministry was yet to receive crucial information about the prisoners, including their ID numbers, locations, and conditions.

The fact that Israel has withheld the information is worrying, al-Ayasa said, adding that there were "growing fears that some of the prisoners have been executed."

He called on international organizations, specifically the International Committee of the Red Cross, to intercede to obtain the information on the ministry's behalf.

Al-Ayasa also requested that families in Gaza who suspect their relatives have been detained contact the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs.

The ministry said in a statement Sunday that more than 200 Palestinians had been detained in Gaza while Israeli forces were on the ground, but that some of them had been released.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that Israeli forces had arrested 159 Palestinians in Gaza who were "actively doing terrorist attacks." The prisoners were transferred to the Shin Bet intelligence agency for questioning, she said.

The spokeswoman did not have information regarding how many of those Palestinians were still being held, and did not comment on allegations that Israel was withholding information about the prisoners from the prisoner's ministry.
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