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Protesters shut down ICRC’s al-Bireh office in solidarity with prisoners

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, September 4, 2019 (WAFA) – A group of Palestinian protestors today shut down the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in al-Bireh city near the West Bank city of Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The protesters, who included prisoners’ families, closed down the ICRC’s al-Bireh office in protest the dismal and cruel detention conditions endured by Palestinian prisoners, including ill-treatment, deliberate medical negligence and abuse.

They shouted slogans demanding immediate intervention to save hunger-striking prisoners, particularly Bassam al-Saeh and Sami Abu-Dayyak, who are on the verge of death.

Rola Abu Daho, a former prisoner, called on ICRC to assume its responsibilities and follow up on their health conditions given the deliberate medical negligence, which is commonly used by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) against Palestinian prisoners.

This came as over 200 Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Rimon Prison have been on a dangerous hunger strike protesting cancerous signal jamming devices placed in the facility.

Meanwhile, eight prisoners are on an open-ended hunger strike against their administrative detention without charge or trial. Among them is Huthayfa Halabiyeh, 28, who completed 66 days of hunger strike.

Administrative detention allows for internment without trial or charge for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely. The policy has been strongly criticized by the international community as well as both Israeli and Palestinian rights activists.

In Palestine, a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail is referred to as “aseer”, or captive, because he or she is not a criminal. What lands Palestinians in Israeli prisons are acts of resistance – from writing a poem about the struggle against the occupation to carrying out an attack against Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian land. For the Israeli occupation, however, every act of Palestinian resistance or defiance is either classified as a form of “terrorism” or “incitement” that cannot be tolerated.

K.T./ K.F.

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