Statement by the PLO Executive Committee Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day:
“On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, we pay tribute to all present and former Palestinian prisoners who have been arrested by Israel. We fully support their selfless and courageous struggle against Israel’s military occupation and their commitment to justice, dignity and an independent Palestine free of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
Since Israel began its illegal occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli jails, and currently, over 7,000 Palestinians, including women, children, elected officials, and journalists, are being held by Israel.
The entire international community should be alarmed by Israel’s deliberate breach of the rights and lives of Palestinian political prisoners, including the arbitrary arrests of Palestinians, Israel’s continued use of administration detention and solidarity confinement, the ill-treatment, abuse and torture of Palestinian men, women, children, and the elderly, the transfer of detainees from occupied Palestine to Israel, the deliberate medical neglect and lack of health care for Palestinians, and the constant prevention of visitations by family members, among other flagrant violations.
The Palestinian leadership remains committed to ensuring the safe and unconditional release of all Palestinian political prisoners; we will continue to pursue a nonviolent, diplomatic and multilateral legal approach to seek freedom and justice on behalf of all Palestinian prisoners, their families and loved ones.
We call on all members of the global community to hold Israel accountable in accordance with international law and to work to end the dehumanization and captivity of the Palestinian people once and for all.
We also demand the immediate release of all imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians, in particular Marwan Barghouthi, Khalida Jarrar and Ahmad Sa’dat; Israel must be brought to adhere to international law and conventions regarding the immunity of elected officials.”