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Palestinian minister updates ambassadors on prisoners' hunger strike

May 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners is to hold a meeting on Monday with the EU representatives and ambassadors from other countries, in Ramallah to give update about the latest situation of the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

“We will lay the responsibility for the hunger strikers on the ambassadors and consuls and we will call upon them to urgently take measures before the situation reaches an explosive level both inside and outside the prisons,” Minister Issa Qaraqe said on Sunday.

Speaking to the Palestinian local news agency Quds Net, Qaraqe said that about 150 Palestinian prisoners are in an open-ended hunger strike; most of them are administrative detainees. He expected more prisoners to join the strike.

“A number of the prisoners are in grave conditions,” Qaraqe said, “some of them were admitted to prison hospitals and some fell into a coma state.”

Qaraqe warned the Israelis of committing a crime against the prisoners, since the Israeli military intelligence said it would leave the prisoners without fulfilling their needs even if they died.

The minister noted that he met the Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Arabi and other Egyptian officials last Thursday, updating them about the latest regarding the strike. He noted that the Egyptians, who sponsored a prisoners’ deal in 2012, showed concern with the issue.

Al-Arabi asked the Arab agents in the UN to take measures to save the Palestinian prisoners by urging Israel to fulfil their demands.

More than 200 administrative prisoners inside Israeli jails have been on hunger strike for 26 days. They are protesting against their grave detention condition. Tens of other prisoners joined the strike in solidarity with them.

The Israeli government approved on Sunday a draft law to go to the Knesset that gives the Israeli prison service the power to coercively feed the prisoners.

In a letter smuggled from the prisons, the prisoners said that the Israeli prison services told them they would leave the prisoners to die. The prisoners said they decided to continue their battle and to stop having vitamins, medicines and other supportive materials.

They called for the PA and the human rights organisations to increase their solidarity with them and address the international community regarding their issue.

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross mission in Jerusalem expressed concerns about the situation of the prisoners and called for respecting the prisoners’ right to go on hunger strike as a protest to regain their rights in the Israeli jails.