Palestinian UN envoy asks Red Cross to intervene in hunger strike

UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinian UN ambassador is asking the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene in a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners pressing for “legitimate rights” which he says are being denied by Israel.

Riyad Mansour tells the UN Security Council Thursday that the Palestinian Authority government believes “the ICRC can play a positive, facilitating role” to avert “the dangerous consequences of deterioration of this situation.”

Over 1,100 Palestinian prisoners, many convicted of terror attacks, are on a hunger strike to protest what Mansour calls their “inhumane treatment and torture by Israel” and to call attention to over 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli lockups.

Specifically, the prisoners are demanding increased visitation rights, public telephones in the security wards of Israeli prisons and the restoration of their right to earn academic degrees while imprisoned.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday the government would not negotiate with the prisoners, calling the strike politically motivated and declaring that the prisoners have no legitimate complaints.

— AP and Times of Israel staff

Most Popular