Ban deeply concerned over deteriorating condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned over the rapidly deteriorating condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody who are on hunger strike, in particular the critical health condition of one Palestinian detainee, Samer Issawi.

A statement from the Spokesperson's Office says "the Secretary-General calls for a solution to be reached without delay in order to resolve the prisoners’ plight and preserve calm. According to the statement, the Secretary-General recalls the importance of full adherence by all sides to the 14 May 2012 agreement in this regard, including the implementation of prisoners' family visiting rights. International human rights obligations towards all Palestinian detainees and prisoners under Israeli custody must be fully respected.

The statement says "the Secretary-General received a letter from Palestinian President Abbas as well as from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States on this subject.

It adds that the Secretary-General has also expressed his concerns to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in their recent telephone conversation. Of particular concern, are the detainees held in administrative detention without charges. The statement says those detained should be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards, or be promptly released.

The United Nations is closely following the situation on the ground. Deputy Special Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley met last week in Ramallah with the Palestinian Minister of Prisoner and Detainee Affairs and with representatives of the families of the detainees on Tuesday.

The statement concludes that the United Nations will remain engaged with relevant authorities on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and hopes for an early resolution of this important issue.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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