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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

More fun with prisoner statistics

The Palestine Center for Human Rights issued a press release a couple of days ago:
Twenty one year old Fadi Abd El-Latif Abu El-Rob died in the Israeli Jalbou' prison on the evening of 28 December, 2007. A Palestinian from the town of Qabatia, near Jenin, and a member of Islamic Jihad, Fadi Abu El-Rob had been detained in Jalbou' prison since 29 June, 2007.

According to PCHR information, Fadi Abu El-Rob was suffering from an unspecified illness on the morning of December 28. He was transferred to the prison clinic, where his condition deteriorated.

The Israeli Prisons Authority (IPA) announced his death on the evening of December 28, without specifying the cause of death.

Fadi Abu El-Rob is the fifth Palestinian prisoner to die in an Israeli jail during 2007. Four Palestinians died as a result of medical negligence, and the fifth was shot in the head by an anti-riot unit who broke into Ketsa’ot Detention Center in the Negev on October 22, 2007.

PCHR notes with the utmost concern that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are being subjected to harsh and inhumane conditions as a direct result of deteriorating prison conditions, including deteriorating standards of healthcare. These conditions violate Articles 22 and 26 of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
And here comes the fun part.

As I noted recently, the mortality rate for Palestinian Arabs between the West Bank and Gaza is roughly 3.8 per thousand. During 2007 there has been an average of about 10,000 PalArab prisoners in Israeli prisons. So if the 10,000 prisoners were home, if they mirror general PalArab demographics, one would expect about 38 of them to have died. So only 5 of them dying in Israeli prisons, and only 4 for medical reasons, sounds quite humane. I am certain that the Palestinian Arab prison mortality rate is a couple of orders of magnitude worse.

Even if we say that these mostly young men are healthy and are unlikely to have died from natural causes at those rates, if we generously assume some 100,000 terrorists altogether in the territories, about 350 were killed in Israeli operations this year and about 600 were killed by each other, the mortality rate for healthy male terrorists being violently killed is probably about 1%. Adding in traffic accidents, other medical emergencies and such, and we could probably assume 1.5% total annual mortality for young PalArab men. Which means we would expect some 15 of them to have died this year (and many more to have been injured.)

It sounds like, if PalArab youths are worried about their health, the best thing they can do is get arrested by Israel.