Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Physicians Document Withholding of Medical Treatment

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Physicians Document Withholding of Medical Treatment

Article excerpt

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are being poorly treated by Israeli medical staff, according to a report released by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

The Massachusetts-based group conducted trips to Israeli prisons in March 1989 and concluded that health services for incarcerated Palestinians were inadequate due to "distrust" between Palestinians and Israelis. PHR also reported that sanitation condition sat some of the military detention camps, particularly at Ketziot, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention; that lack of proper medical screening upon arrival resulted in lack of evidence for Palestinian claims of torture; and that health professionals in the Palestinian community were often the targets of administrative detention.

The PHR report, Health Care in Detention: A Study of Israel's Treatment of Palestinians, is based on visits to Israeli civil prisons and police station jails, as well as interviews with former prisoners, Israeli and Palestinian human rights advocates, and Israeli Defense Forces senior medical personnel. The delegation was refused permission to enter any of the military detention sites.

PHR cited numerous violations by Israeli prison authorities of customary procedures when their prisoners were Palestinian. Specifically, the Israeli civil prison system provides thorough medical questionnaires and screenings upon arrival, with a complete medical exam following within two to three days. …

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