In an effort to highlight the suffering of their families, the children of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails yesterday delivered a 100 metre long letter to the Red Cross officer in Gaza City outlining the occupations violations against detainees.
There are currently six Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, protesting against the condition of their detention, while more than 4,700 Palestinian are being held in the occupation’s jails. Many are not allowed family visits or are being held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods.
Of those detained, over 500 are held under administrative detention – without charge or trial – for renewable periods of six months. Amnesty International, has described Israel’s administrative detention policy as a “cruel, unjust practice which helps maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.
Receiving the letter, Deputy Head of the ICRC office in Gaza Nicholas Gerard said: “I cant start to feel the suffering and the pain that children must feel when they are separated from their loved ones.”
The letter was delivered to the ICRC because International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) because it has been facilitating family visits to Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention since 1968.
“This activity is central” to the ICRC, Gerard said, “and we put all efforts to be able to carry out this mission.”
Visits were suspended “for two years owing to COVID-19”, Gerard explained, but they have been “resumed since March”.
ICRC delegates visit Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including those on hunger strike. They ensure critical family contacts through Red Cross messages, oral greetings, and the ICRC family visit programme, coordinated with Israeli authorities, the organisation explains on its website.