Petition of Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Israeli Jails
The Palestinian diaspora and free people of the world in solidarity, appeal to the international community to support the plight of Palestinian prisoners in jails of the Israeli occupation.
We the undersigned, dignitaries and representatives of associations and organizations of Palestinian communities in the Americas, along with free people of the world in solidarity with the ongoing hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners.
1. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in jails of the Israeli occupation have launched a massive and open hunger strike (for an indefinite period) on April 17, 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
2. This strike is a continuation of a series of individual and partial strikes against the policies and actions of the Israeli prison authorities who deprive Palestinian prisoners of their basic human rights; the right to a fair trial, legal counsel, proper medical care and family visits. The conditions of their detention do not respect basic human dignity; such as provisions of food, elements of hygiene and having access to clean, sufficiently lit and ventilated environments.
3. In violation of rules of international law and international humanitarian law, the Israeli prison authorities impose a series of punishments on Palestinian prisoners such as solitary confinement, administrative detention, humiliation, torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
4. Palestinian prisoners are heroes; their courage for justice represent the struggle for freedom of their people and their detention is the political resolve of a State that does not respect or consider international human rights law but uses detention and imprisonment as a collective punishment against the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.
Presently, approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, men, women and children, able bodied as well as sick and disabled are incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Among them are:
- 500 under administrative detention (without charge or trial, determined and renewed an indefinite number of times, by orders from military authorities based on "secret" information of the Israeli intelligence agency)
- 1,800 patients suffering from various diseases, 85 in serious condition, none receiving adequate medical care
- 30 who have been imprisoned for more than 25 years, since before The Oslo Accords in 1993
- 500 who were sentenced to one or more life sentences
- 300 children under 18, several of them sentenced for many years
- 61 women, several of them ill
- 13 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council
The grounds on which the Israeli military authorities typically order the arrest of Palestinians are invariably political: ideology, expression of opinion, membership or suspicion of belonging to any Palestinian political party and, especially in the case of children, for throwing stones at soldiers and/or settlers of the occupation, all of which do not constitute a crime under international law. In fact, international law recognizes the right to free expression, political association and the right of peoples to resist against foreign oppression by all available means.
The hunger strike is the utmost sacrifice a human being can offer of his own free will. The Battle for Freedom and Dignity is the last resort of struggle against the violation of rights established by international law.
- declare our absolute solidarity with the just demands of the Palestinian political prisoners whose main requests are the simple application of their basic human rights and the implementation of all conventions regulating prisoners’ rights
- appeal to the UN and its Human Rights Council, Amnesty International, The International Committee of the Red Cross and to all international human rights organizations and governments of the world, to show solidarity with the plight of the Palestinian prisoners and in essence saving their lives, by exerting and demanding that the Israeli government assume its obligations by treating the Palestinian prisoner as a prisoner of war and respecting all guarantees established under international law in relation to the rights of prisoners
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