EU Calls for Better Conditions for Palestinians Jailed in Israel

Foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says she is 'following with concern' the deteriorating health of four Palestinian inmates who are staging long-term hunger strikes in protest of their detention.

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Reuters
Reuters

The European Union on Saturday called on Israel to improve conditions for Palestinians in its jails, and a Palestinian minister said there would be rallies next week to support hunger striking prisoners.

Nearly 5,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, many charged with involvement in attacks on Israelis.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement that she is "following with concern" the deteriorating health of four Palestinian inmates who are staging long-term hunger strikes in protest of their detention.

"The EU calls on the government of Israel to allow for the immediate restoration of their family visiting rights and calls for the full respect of international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian detainees and prisoners," she said.

A spokeswoman for Israel's Prisons Service said the four prisoners were in "good condition" and receiving medical treatment as needed, but they had lost the right to family visits when they began their protests.

Issa Qaraqea, minister for prisoner affairs in the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, said public demonstrations to show solidarity with the group would be held all next week.

On Friday, Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers at a rally outside an Israeli prison in the West Bank.

Of the prisoners listed by Ashton, Samer al-Issawi has been on hunger strike the longest, for 208 days, and has been treated a number of times in hospital.

Israel had released Issawi from jail in 2011 along with more than a thousand other prisoners as part of a swap to free a captured soldier. Israel arrested him again in January 2012, saying he had violated conditions for his release by engaging in militant activity.

Palestinian prisoners at the Megiddo Prison.Credit: Itzik Ben-Malki
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign minister.Credit: Bloomberg

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer