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Jordanian women hold sit-in at UN HQ in solidarity with hunger strikers

May 10, 2017 2:34 P.M. (Updated: May 11, 2017 5:49 P.M.)
AMMAN (Ma'an) -- The Jordanian women’s union and other women’s organizations and committees organized a sit-in on Wednesday in front of the United Nations headquarters in the Jordanian capital of Amman in support of the some 1,600 Palestinians who have entered their 24th day of a mass hunger strike inside Israeli prisons.

The action was organized as part of a week of solidarity actions called for by leaders of the hunger strikers who announced a “Week of Rage” on Saturday in response to Israeli authorities exploring the idea of bringing foreign doctors into Israel to force feed the hunger strikers in violation of international medical ethics, which Israeli doctors have aligned themselves with.

An all-women delegation delivered a letter to the UN demanding that the international organization uphold its responsibilities to the hunger strikers by enforcing international laws that guarantee basic rights to the prisoners.

Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners launched the open-ended hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, April 17, under the aegis of imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, demanding basic rights, such as an end to the policies of administrative detention, solitary confinement, and deliberate medical negligence.

In April, the UN said it was following the developments of the mass hunger strike “closely.”

However, as the health conditions of the hunger strikers have deteriorated and Israeli authorities have escalated their crackdown on the strike in Israeli prisons, the UN has still not taken a solid stance on the issues publicized by the hunger strikers.

Palestinians reportedly sent a letter Tuesday night to the UN Security Council outlining the conditions in Israeli prisons and the need for the international community to support the demands of the hunger strike.

The European Union heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah said Saturday that it was “following with concern the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, held in protest against the conditions of their detention.”

The EU heads of mission called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and human rights obligations towards all prisoners, noting that the detention of Palestinians contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of prisoners outside of occupied territory, which can result in family members being denied access to their detained relatives.
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