RAMALLAH, September 5, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities arrested hundreds of Palestinians across the West Bank during August, Monday said Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqi.
He said that Israel arrested 443 Palestinians, most of them minors.
Qaraqi said the Israeli authorities prohibited family visits to prisoners in almost 1500 cases, most of them prisoners from the Gaza Strip who have not seen their families for five years.
The prisoners’ minister believes the steep rise in number of arrests in August is related to Palestinian plans to get United Nation recognition and membership of a Palestinian state.
“The Israeli authorities’ escalation of its arrest policy against Palestinians comes in a deliberate and provocative way to harass the Palestinian people as we got close to heading to the UN in September,” he said.
He warned of new Israeli measures the Israeli prison administration has decided to take against Palestinian prisoners, stressing that prisoners will not take this matter lightly but that they may take steps to respond to these measures.