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The Palestinian Authority on Saturday called on Israel to investigate the death of a Palestinian prisoner in a jail in southern Israel.

Issa Qaraqi, minister of prisoner affairs in the Western-backed government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said 27 year-old Raed Abu Hammad died on Friday in solitary confinement.

An Israel Prison Service spokesman said Hammad, who was about half-way through a ten year sentence for attempted murder, was found dead on the floor of his cell. Hammad was suffering from medical conditions and the Prison Service was checking the cause of his death, the spokesman said.

"We are demanding an investigation and to perform an autopsy to find out why he died," Qaraqi said. "Israel is fully responsible for the death of the prisoner because he was sick and Israel and the doctors in the prison authority knew that."

About 7,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails. Qaraqi said 19 Palestinians have died in jail in the last decade.