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Israeli forces ransack Palestinian ward of Negev prison

Aug. 10, 2014 11:05 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2014 2:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli prison forces carried out raids in the Palestinian ward of an Israeli prison in the Negev Desert on Sunday, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said in a statement.

Some 200 Israeli special force officers on Sunday morning ransacked section 24 of Israel's Ktziot prison -- widely known simply as the Negev prison for its location in the southern desert region -- for sudden inspections, the society said.

Israeli officers evacuated all 120 Palestinian prisoners to other sections before they started to inspect the wards "in a provocative manner," the rights watchdog said in the statement.

The group added that the raid could be part of a wide-ranging campaign against Palestinian prisoners for "unclear reasons."

More than 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, including around 1,500 detained in just the last two months amid a wide-ranging crackdown on Palestinian dissent across the West Bank and inside Israel.

Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel, representing 20 percent of the total population and 40 percent of all males in the occupied territories.

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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