Mahmoud Abbas warns of ´national disaster´ if hunger striking prisoners were to die (TELEGRAPH UK) 05/14/12)
DAILY TELEGRAPH Articles-Index-Top
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, has warned of a "national
disaster" if any of the 1,550 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike
in Israeli jails were to die.
Mr Abbas spoke as two of the hunger strikers, Bilal Diab and Thaer
Halahla, entered their 75th day without eating, and after
international rights groups and governments said they were concerned
that prisoners could die if they continued to refuse food.
"The situation of the prisoners is extremely dangerous," Mr Abbas
told a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation´s executive
"Some of them face real harm, and that would be a national disaster
that no one can tolerate. I hope and pray to God that no one gets
hurt because it would be a major disaster."
The committee called on all Palestinians to observe a one-day fast on
Monday in solidarity with the prisoners.
In a letter, Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister and current envoy
for the Middle East Quartet, urged Israel to "take all necessary
measures to prevent a tragic outcome that could have serious
implications for stability and security conditions on the ground."
Diab and Halahla are specifically protesting their jailing by Israeli
authorities without charge under a procedure known as administrative
The broader hunger strike by around 1,550 Palestinian prisoners is
intended to pressure Israeli prison authorities to end the use of
solitary confinement and ease a wide range of restrictions, including
on family visits and prisoner education.
Hamas Deputy Chief Mussa Abu Marzuk said that following Egyptian
intervention on the issue it had been close to resolution but talks
stalled "two days ago."
Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators gathered on Sunday outside the
West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim in a show of solidarity with he
prisoners. Israeli police said two of the Palestinians were arrested
for blocking a public road.
The hunger strike has attracted widespread support throughout the
Palestinian territories, and Mr Abbas said he had raised the issue in
discussions with Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho and US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton. Source: AFP (© Copyright of Telegraph Media
Group Limited 2012. 05/14/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY