Joint Palestinian-Israeli declaration in support of Palestinian political prisoner struggle

Alternative Information Center (AIC), 8 May 2012

Mobilize all possible efforts in solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners in their struggle for justice!

Joint Palestinian-Israeli solidarity visit on 5 May to the family home of Palestinian political prisoner Thaer Halahleh, who is on day 71 of hunger strike (Photo: Alternative Information Center)

Joint Palestinian-Israeli solidarity visit on 5 May to the family home of Palestinian political prisoner Thaer Halahleh, who is on day 71 of hunger strike (Photo: Alternative Information Center)

Since 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners have commenced a general hunger strike. Some of them started some 70 days ago and thus the strike has now entered a critical stage, threatening the lives and the safety of a growing number of detainees. Many prisoners have been moved to hospitals due to their deteriorating health conditions.

At the same time occupation forces and their implementation body, the Israeli prison administration, continue to ignore the just demands of the prisoners for an end to the policy of isolation, for the right of prisoners from the Gaza Strip to receive family visits of which they have been deprived for years, for an improvement in medical treatment and for an end to invasive body searches which violate the human dignity of the prisoners, as well as an end to the policy of administrative detention.

The protracted disregard of the humane demands of hunger striking Palestinian detainees reveals yet again the true face of the state of Israel as an occupying power which aims to destroy and break the spirit and humanity of the detainees.

Despite this, the prisoners on hunger strike express the demand that their rights be respected. They further demonstrate that their cause is a national one, a cornerstone in the struggle for Palestinian liberation from the occupation authorities.

Beyond its national meaning, the prisoners’ issue in general and their hunger strike in particular is also a humanitarian cause par excellence. We call upon everyone, institutions and individuals at the local, regional and international levels, to take action in order to save the lives of the prisoners and to force Israel as the occupying power to respect detainee rights.

We also call for an end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention, a form of arbitrary detention in which people are held based on secret evidence, without trial and without providing reasons and justifications for the detention to the prisoners or their attorneys. This practice does not meet minimum standards of justice and is an example of Israel’s blatant disregard of international conventions and norms, first and foremost those detailed in international humanitarian law and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The decline of the striking prisoners’ situation, especially the detailed information we receive about the transfer of numerous detainees to hospitals, and about the repression carried out by Israeli security forces via incursions into the cells, as well as the physical and psychological pressure exerted on detainees, their isolation and the threat to force them to stop the hunger strike, is increasing fear that the situation will further deteriorate and that their very lives will be threatened. All this requires intensified political and diplomatic efforts to inform the world about the prisoners’ cause and suffering, and in order to respond appropriately to such a strong movement and sacrifice. Such a response should further be in harmony with the position that the issue of prisoners occupies in the heart and consciousness of the Palestinian people and with the broad-based popular actions undertaken in support of the prisoners and their struggle. We hope this will create stronger international pressure on the occupying power to achieve the prisoners’ demands.

We –Tarabut-Hithabrut, the leftist political forces in Hebron, the Alternative Information Center and the Hebron Defense Committee – express our full solidarity with the demands of the detainees on hunger strike in their just struggle. We also express our deep concern for the lives of the detainees, especially in light of the continuing disregard of their demands by occupation authorities, illustrating once again Israel’s disdain for international conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through its continued violations of Palestinian human rights and especially those of Palestinian political prisoners.

Tarabut-Hithabrut

Leftist political forces in Hebron

Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Hebron Defence Committee

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