Palestinians turn to UN over hunger-striking prisoners

The Palestinians have petitioned the UN Security Council and appealed to the international community to support the hunger-striking Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.

The Palestinians sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday appealing to the international community to support the hunger-striking Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.

The letter from Palestinian Charge d’Affaires Feda Abdelhady-Nasser claimed Israel has not responded to the prisoners’ grievances, calling for an end “to solitary confinement, torture, medical negligence, and administrative detention, as well as for proper access to education, medical care and family visitation.”

The letter further claimed that Israel has “intensified its abuse and collective punishment of the prisoners.”

While the Palestinians have repeatedly claimed they are mistreated, Israel has refuted the allegations time and again, stressing that it complies with the guidelines set down by the Red Cross on these issues, and in many cases, goes beyond the basic demands to facilitate the incarcerated terrorists’ demands.

The strike is led by Marwan Barghouti, 58, who is serving five life terms since 2002 after he was convicted of ordering and directing several terror attacks that murdered five Israelis. He was acquitted of 33 other counts because of the lack of sufficient evidence.

Israeli officials explained that Barghouti, widely seen as a potential successor to the 82-year-old Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas, launched the strike to further his political ambitions.

On Sunday, Israel released a video that showed Barghouti secretly eating a candy bar and cookies in the latrine in his cell.

Barghouti ‘urged fellow prisoners to suffer while he ate’

“As I said from the very beginning, this hunger strike was never about the conditions of the convicted terrorists, which meet international standards. It is about advancing Marwan Barghouti’s political ambitions to replace Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas],” stated Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan..

Erdan accused Barghouti of being a “murderer and hypocrite who urged his fellow prisoners to strike and suffer while he ate behind their back. Just like he lied to the world when he wrote in The New York Times that he decided to strike in order to protest ill-treatment, he lied to the Palestinian public when he claimed to be striking. Israel will not give in to extortion and pressure from terrorists.”

The Palestinians say that the video is a fabrication intended to break the prisoners’ morale, but have brought no proof to back that claim.

Israel Prisons Service (IPS) spokeswoman Nicole Englander said 882 prisoners were still on a hunger strike on the 23rd day, about half the number that began the strike.

She said one has been hospitalized and another underwent medical checks.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff