Ref: 53/2012

 

The Palestinian
Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) Director Raji Sourani met with Charlotte
Lindsey Curtet, the Director of Communications and Information Management at the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Patrick Gueissaz, the
new Head of the ICRC Sub-Delegation in Gaza, and Jamila Hammami, the Deputy
Head of the ICRC Sub-Delegation in Gaza.

 

The meeting
addressed developments relevant to the conditions of Palestinian prisoners in
Israeli jails, and focused on the conclusions of the agreement which was
reached recently by the Israeli jails administration and the Palestinian
prisoners after the open-ended hunger strike of hundreds of Palestinian
prisoners, who sought to improve their conditions in Israeli jails and
detention centers.

 

The meeting
also addressed the punishment policies adopted by Israel against Palestinian
prisoners, in particular policies of isolation, administrative detention, the denial
of family visitation and all the other policies that are condemned at the
humanitarian and legal levels, in total violation of the Third Geneva
Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war.

 

The meeting
also discussed the situation of human rights in view of Israel’s ongoing closure
of the Gaza Strip, and the impact of the closure on the civilian population and
their living conditions, which continue to deteriorate due to the negative
consequences of the closure, which prevents civilians from enjoying their
economic and social rights.  In this
regard, it was stressed that Israel’s ongoing closure is a form of collective
punishment imposed on the civilian population.  Collective punishment is illegal and inhumane,
and it necessarily requires active work at the international level to put an
end to the closure, stop its institutionalization and to remind the High
Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions of their obligations in this
regard.

 

Sourani also stressed
that it is important to hold continuous and fruitful meetings between the ICRC
and PCHR.  He noted that there is a
strong relationship, which has been established for years between PCHR and
ICRC.  He pointed out that the ICRC
monitors humanitarian law, especially instruments dealing with the provision of
protection to civilians in times of war, and that the ICRC plays a humanitarian
role in view of the unprecedented deterioration of human rights in the occupied
Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip.