JERICHO, June 11, 2012 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat Monday held the Israeli government responsible for the lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are still on hunger strike, according to a statement released by his office.
Erekat urged the international community to intervene and save the lives of Mahmoud Sarsak, member of the Palestinian national football team, who has been on hunger strike for 88 days, as well as Akram Rikhawi and Samer al-Baraq, who entered their 60th and 52nd day of hunger strike respectively.
Palestinian Prisoner Club attorney Jawad Boulus Monday denied reports that Sarsak went into coma and stressed that his condition is critical yet stable, adding that Sarsak told him be believes that may be a near solution for his case.
Sarsak, from the Gaza Strip, went on hunger strike in March demanding to be treated as a prisoner of war, something the Israelis have refused to do. He ended his strike on May 14, when thousands of striking prisoners reached a deal with the Israeli authorities meeting most of their demands.
However, Sarsak resumed hunger strike a day later when he realized that his situation was not included in the deal.
Erekat also slammed Israeli government approval to build 3000 housing units in the illegal settlement of Gilo, south of occupied East Jerusalem, and Beit El settlement near Ramallah.
He described the approval as “a continuation of the Israeli policy to intensify settlements and strengthen occupation,” which ultimately leads to the destruction of the two-state solution.
Erekat’s statements were issued following his meeting with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, the Italian envoy to the peace process, Maurizio Massari, and US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein.