Hunger strikes are a desperate act by desperate people. They are an ancient, non-violent protest. Ghandi held several. The World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikes states, “(Hunger strikes) are often a form of protest by people who lack other ways of making their demands known. . . . Genuine and prolonged fasting risks death or permanent damage for hunger strikers.(iv)
The prisoner’s demands are simple. They are merely asking for rights guaranteed under international treaties; family visits, proper medical care, an end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge in so-called administrative detention and stopping the use of isolation.
Several NGO’s have documented Israel’s violations of the 4th Geneva Convention in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Amnesty International states, ”Israel’s decades-long policy of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza in prisons inside Israel and depriving them of regular family visits is not only cruel but also a blatant violation of international law.”(v)
It is time to pressure our governments as Signatories to the 4th Geneva Convention to stop turning a blind eye to the Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including children. Governments need to demand that Israel live up to its obligations under international law and that Israel acquiesce to the demands of the Palestinian prisoners. Supporters of human rights and the rule of international law need to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners – their lives depend on us.
Read the full blog in itseemscomplicated