Israeli Prisons Turn into Scorching Ovens Under Heatwaves

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The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies PCPS confirmed that Palestinian prisoners, especially those held in the southern prisons, are enduring extremely harsh conditions amid the intense heatwave sweeping the region. The majority of the prisons have turned into what can be described as “scorching ovens”.

In these stifling conditions, the prisoners’ cells are enclosed from all sides with inadequate ventilation, and the few existing fans merely circulate hot and suffocating air, adding to the prisoners’ suffering, especially with the rising humidity. Even the prison yards are inaccessible due to the extreme heat.

The southern prisons, including Negev, Rimon, Nafha, and Eshel, which accommodate almost half of the total number of prisoners, are located in the Negev Desert, where temperatures and humidity soar to alarming levels. The prisoners described these prisons as pieces of hell, where their bodies feel as though they are burning in blazing furnaces.

Riyad Al-Ashqar, the director of the Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies, warned of the negative repercussions on the prisoners’ health in such extreme weather conditions. He expressed concern over heatstrokes, fainting, and breathing difficulties due to the scorching temperatures and lack of proper ventilation.

These conditions pose a greater threat to the lives of sick prisoners, as the medical care provided is insufficient, and the prisoners experience medical neglect and a slow death.

In these extraordinary climatic conditions, prisoners have resorted to using water to wet their clothes continuously, sprinkling it on the floors of their cells and corridors, as the prison administration shows no regard for their well-being and occasionally confiscates their fans as punitive measures.

Al-Ashqar emphasized that temperatures in Negev prisons reached around 50 degrees Celsius, exacerbating their already harsh conditions due to the oppressive Israeli practices and punitive measures imposed on them.

The situation is particularly dangerous in the Negev prison, where the hot and dry desert weather leads dangerous and venomous reptiles and insects to emerge. The deadly desert snakes, rodents, scorpions, and other hazardous creatures can easily reach the prisoners’ sections and tents, posing a serious threat to their lives while the administration remains indifferent to their safety.

The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies called on international institutions to intervene and protect the prisoners from the adverse weather conditions, which add to the arbitrary practices of the Israeli occupation that increase their suffering.

Translated from: Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies

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