Tuesday, 03 June 2014

Senior PLO official: Israeli measures against prisoners violate international law

Senior member of the PLO executive committee Dr Hanan Ashrawi said yesterday that the Palestinian hunger strikers are practicing their legitimate right to gain their freedom.

Ashrawi said that the hunger strike is a peaceful tool to face "racist Israeli laws which contradict humanitarian principles."

Commenting on 40th day of the hunger striker, she hailed the perseverance of the hunger strikers who are protesting against Israel's "systematic administrative detention".

"The Israeli occupation systematically uses this detention as punishment without legal bases, accusations or prosecutions," she said, "the occupation uses it based on emergency law constituted in 1945, which is an extension of the British Mandate laws."

She said that British Mandate laws were abolished, as these laws contradict the international rules on the treatment of prisoners.

They also contradict the standards of the international humanitarian law and principles of human rights, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention and Hague Convention and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984.

Ashrawi reiterated that this detention violates the agreement signed between the prisoners and the Israeli Prison Services in May 14, 2012, which stipulated that administrative detention has to undergo legal process and it will not be renewed without legal procedures.

Meanwhile, she condemned Israeli measures regarding the forceful feeding for the hunger strikers and called for the formation of an international fact-finding mission to probe these "unlawful and inhumane measures".

She also called for the international community, including all the parties which signed the Geneva Conventions, the UN and the ICRC to bear their legal, political and ethical responsibilities regarding the issue of the hunger strikers and to work for achieving their demands guaranteed by international law.

The UN has announced that 2014 is the year of solidarity with the Palestinian issue. Ashrawi said that silence on the Israeli measures and violations do not keep up with what the world has decided regarding solidarity with the Palestinians and supporting their cause.