Adams condemns Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian hunger strikers
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has condemned the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli government which he described as “a violation of their human rights and a breach of international law”.
Gerry Adams urged the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan TD to “urgently relay to the Israeli government the concern of the Irish people at the hunger strike of over 1000 Palestinian prisoners”.
In a letter to Minister Flanagan the Sinn Féin leader said that “the difficult search for peace and an end to the long conflict involving Israel and the Palestinian people will not be helped by the punitive ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners, the violation of their human rights and a breach of international law”.
Teachta Adams said:
“There are approximately 6,500 political prisoners in Israeli jails, 300 are under the age of 18. 536 are held under administrative detention, which is essentially internment without trial.
“The conditions under which the prisoners are held are appalling. Torture has been documented. The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has reported the case of Arafat Jaradat who died six days after he was arrested by the Israelis in 2013. The post-mortem showed he had six broken bones in his spine, neck, arms, and leg. He died of cardiac arrest.
“The ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners reflects a brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and of the siege of Gaza, which denies the Palestinian people their right to self-determination, is unjust and inflicts widespread poverty and deprivation on Palestinian citizens.
“Currently, over 1000 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike. They are protesting the mass incarceration of the Palestinian people by the Israeli authorities and the serious deterioration of prison conditions. The prisoners are seeking basic demands, including access to books, newspapers and clothes, and the resumption of bi-monthly family visits. They are also seeking the installation of air conditioning in prisons where summer temperatures can regularly be over 40 degrees centigrade.,
“According to Addameer, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel in the last 50 years.
“On Friday, many Irish people, at home and internationally, will commemorate the death on hunger strike of Bobby Sands in 1981. Irish history is replete with examples of hunger strikes and of their potential political impact.
“The ill-treatment of political prisoners never advances the cause of peace building. As part of our peace process, the Irish and British governments understood the process would not work without agreement on the release of prisoners.
“With some Palestinian leaders, exasperated and outraged by the Israeli stance, speaking about a possible intifada, I would urge the Minister for Foreign Affairs to stress to the Israeli authorities that the ill-treatment of political prisoners is counter-productive, breaches their human rights and international law.”