Ismail Haniyeh has called on the Arab League to raise the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails during its forthcoming assembly scheduled to be held in Tripoli, Libya later this month.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the national campaign in defense of prisoners’ rights, the democratically elected Palestinian prime minister urged Arab leaders to address the issue of Palestinian prisoners at all Arab, regional, and international conferences.
Haniyeh also proposed the establishment of a fund to be called The Palestinian Prisoners Fund to assist Palestinian prisoners and their families. He said that Arab and Muslim countries should contribute to the fund.
He stated that the fund would enable the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees to file lawsuits at international courts against Israel for its flagrant violations of prisoner rights.
Haniyeh also asked Arab media outlets to shine the spotlight on Palestinian detainees, saying that 2010 should be the year of Palestinian prisoners.
According to the head of the Census Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, Israel is currently incarcerating 7300 Palestinians in its prisons.
Among those detained are 33 women, 300 children, 17 legislators, and two former ministers. The detainees are reportedly experiencing harsh and life-threatening conditions in Israeli detention facilities.