PA minister visits families of hunger striking prisoners
Published Saturday 15/02/2014 (updated) 16/02/2014 10:22
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority's minister of prisoners' affairs said Saturday that Israel would be held responsible for the well-being of nine prisoners on hunger strikes, many protesting their detentions without trial.
Issa Qaraqe on Friday visited the family of Wahid Abu Maria and Abed al-Majid Khdeirat, two Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli custody.
Qarage visited Abu Maria's family in Beit Ummar and Khdeirat's family in Tubas.
Abu Maria has been on hunger strike since Jan. 9, protesting the fact that he is being held in detention without a trial. He is currently located Ramla prison clinic, and is suffering from joint pain.
Khdeirat has been on hunger strike since Jan. 14 in protest of his renewed detention, which he says is an Israeli attempt to reactivate a previous sentence after he was released early from Israeli jails. He also is being held at Ramla prison clinic, where he is suffering from kidney pain and severe weight loss.
Seven additional Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs: Akram al-Fseisi, Muammar Banat, Mousa Sofan, Husam Omar, Iyad Steiti, Amir Shammas, and Nassar Abu Nseir.
Over 5,200 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails according to the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.
Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel, representing 20 percent of the total population and 40 percent of all males in the occupied territories.
Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained, and the families of Palestinian prisoners' face many obstacles in obtaining permits to see their imprisoned relatives.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.