Statements and Positions
ICHR Calls Upon the International Community to Protect Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees

Press Statement

Date: 16th April, 2015 (No. 7\2015)

On the Palestinian Prisoners Day, the Independent Commission for Human Rights follows up with deep concern the situation of the Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli occupation jails. According to the reports of ICHR and human rights organizations working with Palestinian prisoners, more than (6500) Palestinians are languishing in Israeli occupation jails today, including (1500) suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, heart and lungs diseases. Ten of them also suffer from different disabilities. All of them suffer from deliberate medical negligence and lack of healthcare. Due to not transferring them to hospitals, (206) of Palestinian prisoners died inside the occupation jails. Furthermore, tens of them died after being released due to the diseases they obtained in jails. The last case was prisoner Jafar Awad from Beit Omar in Hebron.

Among the Palestinian prisoners and detainees, there are (200) children, (24) women and (13) elected Palestinian legislators who have impunity in accordance with the agreements signed with the Palestinian Authority. In April 2015, the Occupation's authorities issued an administrative detention order against Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar. Over (198) administrative detention orders were issued since January 2015. This increase in the use of administrative detention, an internationally condemned practice, can be seen as a direct cause to a 62-day mass hunger strike among administrative detainees in 2014, in which they demanded the end of the policy.

The Israeli occupation authorities still hold (380) Palestinian Prisoners from the Gaza Strip detained during the last aggression on Gaza. They were accused of joining fighters, except for one prisoner, considered as "illegal combatant". Others were detained due to approaching or infiltrating the eastern border of Gaza, or passing through Beit Hanun Crossing in company of their patient relatives.

It is important to note that the fighters of the resistance are seen as war prisoners according to the international law and international standards, and thus it is illegal to accuse or trial them.

In the same context, ICHR condemns the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian prisoners through large-scale repressive operations in violation of their human dignity and legal and moral standards, especially against children. They subject them to torture and degrading treatment in addition to storming and inspecting their rooms using police dogs. In short, torture continues to be used against Palestinian detainees. Every Palestinian arrested by the occupation authorities has been subjected to psychological or physical torture or ill-treatment, including severe beatings, solitary confinement, verbal abuse, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of family and lawyer visits.

Considering the summary of the major violations outlined above, ICHR warns of Israeli repressive measures against the Palestinian prisoners and calls for:

Committing Israel by the international community to respect international law and international humanitarian law especially Fourth Geneva Convention as well as other conventions related to prisoners' treatment and the Convention on the Right of the Child.
Stop arbitrary detention policy by the Israeli occupation authorities and end administrative detention.
Stop all violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities and IPS against the Palestinian prisoners.
Pursue perpetrators of violations of the rights of the Palestinian prisoners and detainees by the State of Palestine, and bring them before international courts as war criminals to ensure that they will not escape justice for the crimes they committed, especially the crime of torture which is one of the international crimes.