on Illegal Israeli Practices Against Palestinian Prisoners
April 11, 2019
One Justice observes with deep concern the practices committed recently against Palestinian prisoners by Israel; the Occupying Power. At the end of February 2019, there were 5,248 Palestinian security detainees and prisoners being held in Israel Prison Service (IPS) facilities, including 294 from the Gaza Strip. Another 645 Palestinians, 13 of them from the Gaza Strip, were in IPS prisons for being in Israel illegally. The IPS classifies these Palestinians – both detainees and prisoners – criminal offenders, not as prisoners of war. The figures from the military are received with a significant time delay and offer few details regarding inmates’ legal standing.
According to the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees, 150 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails embarked this afternoon on an open-ended hunger strike following failure of talks with the Israel Prison Services (IPS) over issues of concern for the prisoners.
The prisoners were demanding that the IPS remove all jamming devices recently installed in some prisons due to their impact on the health of the prisoners, allowing visitation by families of Gaza prisoners, installing public phones in the prisons, ending the solitary conferment of prisoners who were punished following the recent troubles in the prisons, ending raids of cells and assaults and improving medical service, among others.
The Detainees Commission said the strike, which started with 150 prisoners in Ramon and the Naqab (Ketziot) prisons, will expand in the coming days to include more prisoners in other jails. The Israeli Home Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, who has personally led a campaign to make life very difficult for the prisoners in recent months that included reducing the amount of water they get in addition to ordering installing the jamming devices, has recently called for preparing hospitals in Israel to receive incoming prisoners who are going on hunger and water strike, in a sign that the prisoners’ demands will not be met.
A report by the United Nations lists around 200 methods of torture. The Israeli rights group B’Tselem listed around 105 torture methods. Regardless of the number, all these reports indicate a grave level of violations perpetrated against Palestinians following their arrest.
Moreover, One Justice reiterates that simply holding prisoners and detainees from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) inside Israel constitutes a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibiting the transfer of prisoners and detainees outside the occupied territory, and also violates basic human rights enshrined, inter alia, in Israeli law.
In the view that these worrying practices and violations of International Humanitarian Law, One Justice:
- Demands that the Government of Israel abides by and respect international law, international humanitarian law and human rights law, especially the Geneva Conventions that undoubtedly apply in the OPT, and meeting the legitimate demands of the prisoners.
- Calls upon all member states of the UN condemn and take all necessary measures to hold Israel responsible, including imposing sanctions if necessary.
- Calls upon the UNGA to pass a resolution condemning these actions, and taking all possible measures to stop them.
- Calls upon Human Rights Activists and NGO’s around the world to continue pushing for upholding international law and peace and putting an end to these violations.