5,000 Palestinians in Israeli detention suffer inhuman and degrading treatmentListen /
Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, says Palestinians held in Israeli jails were subjected to inhuman and humiliating treatment including torture, solitary confinement, lack of access to adequate health care, lack of access to legal representation and denial of family visits.
In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Mr Falk said the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention was widespread, systematic and institutionalized from the moment of the child's arrest, prosecution and eventual conviction.
"The treatment of thousands of Palestinians detained or imprisoned by Israel continues to be extremely worrisome. These issues have persisted without significant correction throughout 46 years of occupation. My report calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the situation of Palestinians detained or imprisoned by Israel. I recommend that such an inquiry have a broad mandate, to examine Israel's track record of impunity for prison officials and others who interrogate Palestinians. Some will say that calling attention to these realities does not advance peace in the Middle East. Forty-six years of denying Palestinians their most basic rights has not achieved peace, and indeed has consistently diminished Palestinian prospects for a just outcome to the conflict."
Mr Falk said it was regrettable that 46 years on, today Palestinians continue to live without the protection of laws, without respect for their human rights and with stifling restrictions on all aspects of their lives.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.