Minister calls on Red Cross to pronounce Israel’s measures as war crimes

[ 27/06/2011 – 12:32 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Meeting with the head of the Red Cross mission to Gaza on Sunday, prisoner affairs minister Atallah Abu al-Sabah called on the world community to shoulder responsibilities regarding Israel’s war crimes against Palestinian prisoners.

Minister Sabah expressed concern over the recent campaign launched against prisoners and briefed the Red Cross director on the current situation inside the prisons.

The Gaza minister called on the Red Cross to announce that Israel has committed war crimes against Palestinian prisoners.

The ministry announced earlier that eight of Hamas’s senior officials men being held in Israeli custody have been transferred to solitary confinement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last week that Israel plans on toughening conditions on Palestinian prisoners, saying the “celebration is over for terrorists”. The measures include restrictions on education and family visits.

The Israeli Knesset’s Interior Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a draft to tighten measures on prisoners. It provides the prison administrations the power to prohibit lawyer visits to prisoners for 96 hours after visits, as opposed to 24 hours as is currently stated in Israeli law. It also states that the commissioner has the right to prohibit legal visits for fourteen days instead of five days, as is also practiced currently. And the courts would be allowed to prohibit such visits for up to one year.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, the law aims at using pretexts to keep Palestinian prisoners from talking to their lawyers. It is based on claims the lawyers could transfer information on Palestinian organizations to prisoners.

Also, Aharon Franco, the head of the Israeli Prison Service, has announced that the prison intends to deny all “security” prisoners the rights not mandated by international law.
“We have stopped the process of registering prisoners to academic studies,” he told the Maariv daily newspaper.

The Center for Prisoners’ Studies in Gaza has announced a sit-in including organizations, prisoner families, and ex-prisoners to begin Sunday night at the Unknown soldier square in downtown Gaza. The move is aimed at showing support for the prisoners.

The turbulence comes during the fifth anniversary since Gaza resistance forces have captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.


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