At least 7,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails and detention centers at the end of 2009, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday. The detainees include 34 women, 310 children and 304 people being held under administrative detention without trial, according to a report published by the prisoners affairs ministry.
The detainees also include 17 MPs, most of them from Hamas movement, two former ministers, and a number of political leaders. The vast majority of the prisoners, 6,330, are from the occupied West Bank. Another 750 detainees are from the Gaza Strip, and some 420 are from Arab east Jerusalem and Israel, the ministry said, according to AFP.
The longest serving prisoners are two brothers, Fakhri and Nail Barghuti, and Akram Mansur, all of whom have been in prison for 32 years. The Palestinian ministry conveyed 197 prisoners have died in Israeli custody since 1967. More than 5,000 people were detained at some point in 2009, an average of 14 per day, but most were later released.