I regret to have to draw your attention to the critical and tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem – the territory that constitutes the State of Palestine – as a result of Israel’s relentless provocations and illegal actions against the Palestinian people. Israel continues to carry out grave violations of international law, ranging from the killing and injury of Palestinian civilians by means of excessive force; military raids and mass arrests and detentions, including of children; illegal settlement construction and expansion; demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties, including those belonging to Palestinian Bedouin communities; extrajudicial executions; and incessant provocations and incitement by occupying forces against the Palestinian people and their holy places. These actions have continued and escalated in the recent period, further inflicting loss of life, loss of property and suffering on the Palestinian civilian population as well as threatening to destabilize the already-fragile situation on the ground.
Firstly, I regret to call to your attention the critical and alarming situation of Palestinian political prisoners illegally imprisoned and detained by Israel, the occupying Power, which continues to be grave and warrants immediate attention. As was mentioned in our letter of 5 June, more than one hundred detainees and prisoners are participating in a hunger strike in peaceful protest of their captivity and the widespread abuses employed against them by the occupying Power and many of them, who have now been on a hunger strike for 55 days, are in serious and critical condition. This includes many Palestinians who have been held in solitary confinement, another unlawful form of punishment flagrantly used by Israel against Palestinian civilians in its prisons. [Read more...]