Two thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons suspended a month-long hunger strike after Israel agreed several measures to improve prison conditions – a move seen by Amnesty International as a step toward compliance with Israel's human rights obligations.
Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, Israel has agreed to end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners – held in isolation for up to 10 years – and lift a ban on family visits for prisoners from the Gaza Strip, among other things.
"We hope that these commitments signal a new approach by the Israeli authorities founded on respect for prisoners’ human rights,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“However, 2,000 prisoners and detainees should not have had to put their health on the line in order to ensure respect for their human rights which the Israeli authorities have been violating for years.”
Amnesty International has repeatedly called for a resumption of family visits for prisoners from Gaza, which were completely suspended in June 2007.
”These repeated violations by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) against hunger-striking prisoners require a full, independent and impartial investigation, and those responsible must be held accountable,” said Ann Harrison. more