Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has sent his solidarity to the over 1,000 Palestinians prisoners on hunger strike and called on the Israeli authorities to urgently abide by their just demands.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are currently on hunger strike. They are protesting against the inhumane and degrading treatment that they experience daily. They are also protesting against the torture and medical negligence that they face and which threatens their lives every day.

“The prisoners’ demands include the installation of a public telephone in all prisons to allow them communication with relatives, the resumption of bi-monthly family visits, increasing the duration of the visits, and allowing prisoners to take photographs with their families.

“Other demands include installing air conditions in prisons, restoring kitchens, allowing detainees to keep books, newspapers and clothes, as well as ending the policies of administrative detention and solitary confinement. Administrative detention is basically internment on remand and 500 Palestinians are currently imprisoned without trial under this inhumane system.

“I want to send my solidarity to all the Palestinian prisoners’ currently on hunger strike and I am calling on the Israeli authorities to urgently address and agree to the reasonable and humane reforms that they are demanding.”

Crowe continued:

“According to Addameer, the human rights and prisoners group NGO, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel in the last 50 years. There is hardly a single family in Palestine that has not endured the suffering caused by the imprisonment of one or several of its members.

“Today Israel continues to detain about 6,500 Palestinians. These include children, women, parliamentarians, activists, journalists, human rights defenders, academics, political figures, militants, bystanders, and family members of prisoners.

“Israel needs to stop its mass detention of Palestinians, and abide by international and human rights law. Its inhumane treatment of prisoners and its vindictive prisons policy will not, and clearly has not, break the Palestinian demand for freedom and self-determination.”