Ref: 57/2012

The Palestinian
Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes the agreement reached yesterday, 14 May
2012, between Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the Israeli prisons
administration. Based on this agreement, more than 1,600 Palestinians in
Israeli jails ended their open-ended hunger strike in exchange for meeting many
of their demands. PCHR expresses respect for the prisoners’ decision to end
their open-ended hunger strike.

 

Almost a third
of Palestinian prisoners in Israel started a hunger strike on 17 April 2012.
Other individual prisoners started to hunger strike on 29 February 2012.  The demands of the prisoners on hunger strike
included improving detention conditions in Israeli jails and detention centers,
allowing family visitations, especially for prisoners from the Gaza Strip,
putting an end to solitary confinement, putting an end to administrative
detention, allowing prisoners to pursue their education, and putting an end to
night searching campaigns.

 

For many years,
Palestinian prisoners could only get their rights recognized by the Israeli
prisons administration through struggle and hunger strikes. A number of
Palestinian prisoners collectively went on hunger strike for 28 days, while
others individually went on hunger strike for 76 days. This hunger strike is
one of the most serious hunger strikes in the Israeli jails. It is also the
most complex,as it was the longest. The agreementreached, which will hopefully
set a standard for Palestinian prisoners’ demands, would not have been reached
without the struggle and persistence of prisoners who put their lives at risk,
in one of the highest forms of resistance and peaceful protest.

 

PCHR hopes that
the articles of the agreement will be applied, and that the articles of this
agreement will meet the prisoners’ demands, especially the ending of solitary
confinement, allowing family visitations, especially for families from Gaza and
for families denied visitations on security grounds, improving the detention
conditions, and ending the use of administrative detention.

 

In this
context, PCHR reiterates that releasing all of the Palestinian prisoners in
Israeli jails is a principal demand. Till the release of all these prisoners in
Israeli jails, PCHR calls upon:

 

 

1. The
international community and human rights organizations to exert pressure on
Israel to improve detention conditions so that the prisoners do not go on a new
hunger strike.

 

2. The
Israeli authorities to respect the terms of the agreement, and to apply these
terms, as well as to review its policies implemented against Palestinian
prisoners, in a way that ensures respect for international standards relating
to the treatment of detainees.