The following statement was issued by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association on 10 December, Human Rights Day, and on the occasion of the killing of Ziad Abu Ein:
Statement on International Human Rights Day: Addameer sends its condolences to Ziad Abu Ein’s family and demands the formation of an international investigative committee to hold the Occupation accountable for its continuous violations.
10 December 2014 – Ramallah
With sadness, Addameer sends condolences to the family of martyr Ziad Abu Ein, the head of the Palestinian Authority committee regarding the settlements, who was killed by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) after being beaten and tear gassed in Turmosayya today during a demonstration.
The cold-blooded murder of Ziad Abu Ein on International Human Rights Day is representative of the occupation’s continuous and rampant destruction of Palestinian life and land since the establishment of Israel in 1948, which ironically coincides with the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this International Human Rights Day, the international community must realize that it is complicit with Israeli’s continued suppression, murder and displacement of the Palestinian people until Israel is held accountable for its crimes.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights serves as an inspiration for Palestinian resistance against the Zionist, racist project to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous inhabitants. Simultaneously, Palestinians continue to suffer due to the United Nation’s failure to uphold and respect the rights and principles enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, allowing the Occupying power to continue its crimes with impunity.
The Israeli state was established as a result of war crimes implemented by Zionist gangs in 1948 by murdering and displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and pilfering of the land. Sixty-six years later, they continue to commit these war crimes to slowly ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian people and deny them the right to self determination.
During 2014, Palestinians saw this impunity reinforced in a 51-day assault on Gaza, large scale military operations throughout the West Bank, mass hunger strikes amongst Palestinian administrative detainees met with brutal force, and targeted assassinations of at least 20 Palestinians. In the war on Gaza, the occupation killed more than 2,000 civilians, including 450 children, injured over 10,000 Palestinians and displaced 300,000 Gazans. At least 10,000 homes were demolished and 190 civilians arbitrarily arrested and tortured.
According to Addameer’s statistics, the number of arrests has increased dramatically this year, pointing to an increased use of arrest and detention in an attempt to control and suppress Palestinian resistance. At least 1,500 children were arrested since the beginning of 2014, the majority of them in Jerusalem, as well as 35 women. In June alone, over 3,000 Palestinians were arrested from the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the 1948 territories. Now, there are over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the occupation’s prisons, the highest number in over five years. Over 530 of them are administrative detainees, held without charge or trial based on secret evidence that the detainee and their lawyer are denied access to. One of the administrative detainees is Addameer’s Legal Unit Coordinator, Ayman Nasser, who has been repeatedly targeted by the IOF. Palestinian Legislative Council members also continue to be targeted, with 25 currently in prison, of which 16 are under administrative detention.
The treatment of Palestinian detainees has degraded considerably in 2014. The detainees continue to be denied their right to a fair trial in the Israeli military court system, in direct violation of the 4thGeneva Convention. This year, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) imposed greater punishments on Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including denial of family visits, exorbitant fines, solitary confinement and denial of educational, cultural, religious and athletic activities. The detainees also suffer from beatings, attacks and arbitrary transfers at the hand of the Special Units of the IPS. Their demands for basic medical treatment and care are systematically ignored, exacerbating the number of ill detainees due to medical negligence and inhumane conditions.
Today, on International Human Rights Day, seventy Palestinian prisoners and detainees have declared an open hunger strike to demand an end to the severe punitive measures imposed on them, especially the policies of solitary confinement and denial of proper medical treatment. Having been abandoned by the international community, Palestinian detainees must go on hunger strike at great cost to their lives and health in order to realize basic human rights. This year, the administrative detainees engaged in a 63-day hunger strike, the longest in Palestinian history, to demand an end to the arbitrary detention policy. They were met with severe punitive measures, beatings, isolation and threats of force-feeding, all punishments that continue to this day.
On this 66th commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Addameer calls on the United Nations to exercise its mandate by holding the occupation’s leaders and ministers accountable in the international courts as war criminals. The continued impunity of the occupying power is a threat to security and peace across the world.
Addameer also demands that the Palestinian Authority join the International Criminal Court immediately to hold Israel accountable for its crimes. Addameer also demands that the Palestinian Authority respect its responsibilities as according to signed international conventions, especially regarding public freedom and the end of political detention.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
- O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
Tel:+972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447