Rally in support of strikers
Photo: Hassan Shaalan

WHO urges Israel to treat Palestinian hunger-strikers

UN's public health arm calls on Israel to provide detainees with 'immediate, adequate healthcare'

The World Health Organization on Friday urged Israel to give quick and suitable health care to Palestinian hunger-strikers, including their transfer to civilian hospitals.


Some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food in protest against solitary confinement, detention without charge and restrictions on family visits, education and various privileges.


Related articles:


The WHO said it was "extremely concerned" about their health, noting one was suffering from thalassemia, a blood condition, and has "refused his regular life-saving blood transfusions in addition to food."


"WHO calls on the Israeli authorities to ensure immediate and adequate access to appropriate ongoing health care for the hunger-strikers," it said in a statement from its Jerusalem office.


"WHO also requests Israel to ensure that... release to hospital be facilitated for prisoners requiring medical treatment."


The hunger strikes have drawn international attention, with the European Union and United Nations expressing concern.


Two of those protesting, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla, marked their 73rd day without food on Friday.


The Red Cross and Israeli and Palestinian rights groups say several prisoners who have been refusing food are close to death.


'Progress in deal with Israel'

Kadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Authority's committee that tracks the well-being of Palestinians in Israeli jails, reported progress on some of the demands in talks with the Israel Prison Service but noted that major gaps remained.


"The prison administration agrees on matters of daily life and visits from prisoners' families from Gaza," he told AFP.


But he added that the IPS' proposal to review solitary confinement on a case-by-case basis was unacceptable to prisoners.


"They want to approach it collectively," he said.


The hunger strikes have widespread support among Palestinians who have staged regular demonstrations in solidarity with the prisoners.




פרסום ראשון: 05.11.12, 19:49
 new comment
This will delete your current comment