17th April 2019, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day

The Palestinian people and supporters of freedom, human rights, and democracy round the globe mark April 17th every year as a day of solidarity with the Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli jails. Today, Palestinians all around the world remember their friends and family who are detained in Israeli prisons. Since 1967 there have been 950.000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails and detention centers for resisting the Israeli occupation of their homeland. The ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Hellenic Republic Marwan Toubassi stated that “there is nothing normal about occupation, apartheid and mass incarceration in any context. The indigenous Palestinian people have been paying the price for calling for freedom from colonial military occupation, land expropriation and the denial of their basic human and political rights” and continued by saying that “the most atrocious of the Israeli occupation violations is the targeting of Palestinian children with methods such as extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, interrogations without the presence of an attorney or family member, torture, night time house arrest, rough treatment, verbal and physical abuse.” Currently, there are 5,700 Political prisoners, among them 300 Palestinian children imprisoned in Israel. As of March 2019 there are 500 administrative detainees held without trial or charge (a “legal’ practice Israel inherited from the British Mandate in 1945). Since 1967 there have been 218 deaths of Palestinian Political prisoners due to torture and medical negligence.

Denying Palestinian prisoners of their inalienable rights and human dignity is in contravention of the 4th Geneva Convention (Palestinian detainees are transferred by force outside the Occupied Palestinian territory) and violates all forms of International and Humanitarian Law. The results of these systematic and widespread practices on behalf of Israel, the occupying power, are devastating both psychologically and physically for Palestinians and more specifically children, which hold the hope of the generations to come. The Ambassador called upon the International Community, the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene immediately and investigate and hold Israel accountable for its blunt violations and illegal policies.

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