GENEVA, May 2, 2012 (WAFA) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory, Richard Falk, said he was appalled by the “continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons,” amid a massive wave of hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners, according to a statement released on Monday.
Folk described the hunger strike as extraordinary act of collective nonviolent resistance to abusive conditions connected to Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory, including unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions.
“I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners,” Falk said.
“Israel must treat those prisoners on hunger strike in accordance with international standards, including by allowing the detainees visits from their family members,” said the statement.
Prison authorities have reportedly taken punitive measures against those on hunger strike, including denying them family and lawyer visits, confiscating their personal belongings and placing them in solitary confinement, added Folk.
He noted that since the 1967 war, estimated 750,000 Palestinians including 23,000 women and 25,000 children have gone through detention in Israeli jails, which constitutes approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory or 40% of the total male Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“Israel’s wide use of administrative detention flies in the face of international fair trial standards. Detainees must be able to effectively challenge administrative detention orders, including by ensuring that lawyers have full access to the evidence on which the order was issued,” added the statement.
Moreover, Falk called on the international community to ensure that Israel complies with international human rights laws and norms in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners.