Palestinian Prisoner's Day
17 April 2021
On the occasion of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates salutes all defenders of the Palestinian people’s rights to freedom and dignity, who are arbitrarily and illegally detained and imprisoned by the Israeli colonial occupation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates also calls on to the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and the relevant international bodies to uphold their responsibilities towards the protection of our people. Israel, the occupying power, must be held accountable for its persecution of the Palestinian people, including its system of mass and arbitrary detention.
In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and the relevant international bodies that Israeli colonial courts have proven to be a tool of political, ethnic and politically motivated persecution of the Palestinian people, in grave breach of international humanitarian law. This military “court system” that has imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, including children, is an illegitimate tool of oppression that fails to meet the minimum standards of due legal process and fair trial by design. It is an integral part of the widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population, intended to destroy the Palestinian national and social fabric, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and human rights laws.
Today, more than 4500 Palestinians, including 140 children, 37 women, and 700 detainees suffering from critical health conditions languish in Israeli prisons and are held captive in violation of international law. International inaction and reluctance to ensure respect for Israel’s international law obligation thus far have allowed for their suffering to continue needlessly. This must end without delay.
The State of Palestine will continue to work at the legal, political and diplomatic levels to defend the just cause of Palestinian prisoners and detainees and their legitimate rights to freedom. The cause of prisoners’ freedom is an integral component of the Palestinian people’s plight to end the occupation and realize their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and return.