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Rights group reports rise in complaints of detainee abuse recorded in Palestinian jails

A Palestinian rights group says it has documented nearly 500 complaints of detainee abuse in Palestinian jails in 2013, up by 200 from the previous year.

The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights said Thursday that the increase is due, in part, to better access for its investigators to lockups in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic militant group Hamas has ruled Gaza since seizing it from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, leaving him with only parts of the West Bank.

The rights group says it presented the findings to Abbas who last month signed onto 15 international conventions, including one prohibiting torture.

The head of the group, Randa Siniora, says the Palestinians now need "to take all the necessary measures to prevent torture in its facilities."