On Eve of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Calls to Support Them (VIDEO)

Administrative Detention allows Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners without charge. (Photo: ActiveStills.org, file)

On the eve of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member, Hanan Ashrawi reiterated on Monday strong support for the over 6500 prisoners held in Israel for resisting the Israeli occupation started.

“As we continue to pay tribute to and affirm our support of all former and current Palestinian prisoners within Israeli jails, we are reminded of their steadfastness and unbreakable commitment to independence and justice in the face of the belligerent military occupier’s willful breach and devaluation of their rights and lives,” said Ashrawi in a statement.

According to the Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoner Affairs, roughly 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 350 children, 62 women (8 of whom are female child prisoners), 500 administrative detainees, 1,800 prisoners who require medical care (700 of whom suffer from serious and chronic conditions), 6 parliamentarians, and 18 journalists.

Since Israel began its military occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by Israel.

This figure represents 20% of the total Palestinian population and 40% of the Palestinian male population. It also includes 10,000 women imprisoned since 1967 and more than 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons as a result of torture and lack of medical care.

Furthermore, 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested since 2000.

Under international law and conventions, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (the Third Geneva Convention), the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, Israel is legally bound to exercise its powers for the benefit of the occupied area and its people.

However, said Ashrawi,

“Israel continues to violate the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, including the arbitrary arrests of Palestinians, its continued use of administration detention and solidarity confinement, the ill-treatment, abuse and torture of Palestinian men, women, children, and the elderly, the transfer of detainees from occupied Palestine to Israel, the deliberate medical neglect and lack of health care for Palestinians, and the constant prevention of visitations by family members, among other flagrant violations.”

The PLO official called on the international community, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene immediately and bring Israel to fulfill its obligations regarding Palestinian prisoners and to investigate “Israel’s gross violations and illegal behavior.”

“There is no justification or legal basis for persisting with such crimes,” said Ashrawi. “Denying Palestinian prisoners of their fundamental rights and dignity of humanity goes against all forms of international law and international humanitarian law.”

She also demanded the immediate release of all imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians, in particular Marwan Barghouti, Khalida Jarrar and Ahmad Sa’adat.

“Israel must be brought to adhere to international law and conventions regarding the immunity of elected officials,” concluded Ashrawi, herself member of the Palestinian parliament.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

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