|Date: 12/05/2012 Time: 09:04:00 PM
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on
the US administration on Saturday to intervene and end the suffering of
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been on hunger strike for the
past several weeks.
The remark by the president was made during a telephone made to Abbas by US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which also highlighted developments on the
peace process and the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails.
Earlier, Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe said progress could
come in the next few hours regarding negotiations over the Palestinian
"The next 24 hours are crucial," said Qaraqe on Palestinian radio Saturday
morning. He said Egyptian mediators were assisting with negotiations.
More than 1,600 prisoners launched a hunger strike beginning April 17 to
demand an end to solitary confinement, an increase in family visits and the
restoration of privileges that were stripped in 2006 following the capture of
Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, such as the right to study.
Earlier, the office of Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a
statement calling on Israel to respect human rights to all prisoners, and
provide all types of medical and legal services.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyadh said that time was
running out and many prisoners were entering a critical live threatening
condition, calling for an immediate intervention to end their suffering.
Fayyadh made his comment during a visit to Palestinian solidarity
prisoners' camp in Bethlehem, adding that such issue has reached a critical
phase and needs concrete steps to be taken by the international community.
The Palestinian premier stressed importance on a strong and swift response
by the international community, particularly the UN and Human Rights
organizations to act and save the prisoners, including forcing Israel to
respond to such calls.
Fayyad said that the Israeli government bears responsibility completely and
directly for the safety of the prisoners, calling for immediate release to all
prisoners without any discrimination, especially the seniors, women, children,
and members of the legislative council.