Arab League calls for UN chief to stand up for Palestinian prisoners

The head of the Arab League has called for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to stand up for the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike inside Israeli jails, Quds Net reported on Tuesday. In a letter sent to Guterres, Ahmed Abul-Gheit expressed his “deep concerns” about the “harsh humanitarian situation” of the prisoners.

About 1,500 Palestinian prisoners started an open-ended hunger strike on 17 April in protest at the conditions imposed on them by the Israeli authorities.

Read: 1,500 Palestinian prisoners continue hunger strike

According to spokesman Mahmoud Afifi, the letter to the UN was consistent with the Arab League’s interest in the Palestinian cause, which is the “central issue” of the Arab nations. He said that Abul-Gheit pointed out to Guterres that the Palestinian prisoners “suffer undignified treatment inside Israeli jails and have gone on hunger strike as the most peaceful means to call for their rights and protest at the inhumane conditions.” The letter also criticised the Israeli threat to punish the hunger strikers and other prisoners who are ready to join the protest if the prison authorities do not respond to their demands.

Abul-Gheit called for Guterres not to only condemn the Israeli measures and human rights violations, but also to take practical measures that guarantee Israeli respect for international law as the occupying power, based on the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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