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Palestinian official criticizes Israel''s stand on prisoners'' plight

GAZA, May 5 (KUNA) -- Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaragea said on Saturday that the Israeli authorities failed to reply clearly to demands of inmates on hunger strike.
Qaraqea, in remarks to Voice of Palestine radio station, said a panel representing the Israeli prisons directorate delivered written responses to the striking prisoners, but these replies were mainly shrouded with ambiguity, particularly with regard of visitation and halt of detention in solitary confinement.
Israel, in these replies, promised to start in two weeks examining procedures for starting families' visits to inmates who hail from Gaza. However, the Israelis did not clarify how these visits will be organized and who are the eligible inmates for such visits.
The Israeli team promised to study four cases of prisoners held in solo cells each month, he said noting that many Palestinian prisoners have suffered from the imprisonment alone.
These Israeli replies to demands of the striking inmates, who have been holding the protest since 20 days ago, were insufficient, he said, noting that the hunger strike was observed, mainly for sake of promoting plight of those suffering from solitary confinement.
Four of the inmates have been on hunger strike since more than 60 days ago, and their condition has been described as critical.
Meanwhile, Abdul Nasser Farawneh, in charge of the statistics department of the ministry, said 63 Palestinian prisoners have been held in Israeli prisons since more than 20 years ago. (end) mzt.rk KUNA 051214 May 12NNNN