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'Prisoner X' Draws Attention To Palestinians in Israeli Jails

The case of Israel’s Prisoner X is drawing attention to other cases of Palestinians in Israeli jails, Daoud Kuttab writes.
A Palestinian protester throws a stone towards Israeli security forces during clashes at a protest in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR39FGM

The issue of Palestinians held in Israeli jails, and especially those held without being charged or tried, received a publicity boost this week from an unexpected source.

The revelation by Australian television of the disappearance of Ben Zygier, a dual Australian-Israeli citizen, and the accompanying self-censorship practiced by Israeli media, has once again put the limelight on the secret world of Israel’s prison system. The silence regarding the case has angered human-rights activists and has continued even after an Australian television investigation revealed that Zygier, who had been referred to as "Prisoner X," reportedly committed suicide in a high-security cell that is supposedly watched around-the-clock by prison officials. The story was finally published in Israel after three left-wing members of the Knesset, Zahava Gal-On, Ahmad Tibi and Dov Khenin, raised the issue.

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