Ashrawi: The international community must help prisoners

Ashrawi: The international community must help prisoners.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi stated that the silence of the international media and some official circles about the hunger strike is deafening/Photo:

PLO Executive Committee member and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Hanan Ashrawi, stressed Sunday that the health conditions of the hunger striking prisoners, held in Israeli jails, have significantly deteriorated.

“The hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have bravely gone on hunger strike to protest the unlawful practice of administrative detention represent the most selfless struggle for justice and freedom in Palestine, and expose the cruelty and illegality of the ongoing illegal occupation, particularly in relation to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Their courageous actions should be viewed as an essential tool of nonviolence,” Ashrawi said.

As reported by the Palestinian media, prisoners were transferred to Hadarim prison with exacerbated health conditions. At the same time, a mass transfer of hunger striking prisoners was carried out at dawn Sunday by the IPS in an attempt to thwart the strike.

The situation is made worse by solitary confinement and the provocative search campaigns carried out by the IPS so as to crack down on the prisoners.

“It is evident that Israel continues to breach international consensus and employs criminal acts at the expense of Palestinian prisoners,” Ashrawi said.

“More than 100 of the prisoners who began their hunger strike on April 24 have been hospitalized, and their health conditions are deteriorating rapidly,” she pointed out.

Hanan Ashrawi also called out the silence of the international community, claiming silence makes it an accomplice of Israeli policies.

“The deafening silence from the international media and some official circles regarding the hundreds of Palestinian prisoner hunger strikers is inexcusable,” she stressed.

“With 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we call on all states, members of the press, and people of conscience to pressure Israel to drop its cruel and illegal use of the colonial practice of administrative detention and other administrative punitive measures and form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the severe and illegal violations committed by the IPS,” Ashrawi concluded.

In the city of Nablus and surrounding villages, and in refugee camps in the northern West Bank, shop owners went on strike Sunday in support of the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.

All shops and stores were closed since the early morning hours in compliance with an appeal by the Higher Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs in Nablus to stage a general strike for one day in support of hunger-striking prisoners.

Imad Ishteiwi, a spokesman for the committee, told Ma’an that the strike was a warning message to the Israeli occupation authorities, and that it would be followed by more and more solidarity activities.

The strike comes a day after the Palestinian minister for prisoners’ affairs, Issa Qaraqe, warned of the deteriorating conditions of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been on hunger strike for more than 38 days.


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