Askool: Ki-moon’s intent to visit Shalit father political hypocrisy

Askool: Ki-moon’s intent to visit Shalit father political hypocrisy

GAZA, — Dr. Mohamed Askool, the Palestinian minister of education, said Friday that UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s declared intention to visit the father of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit while ignoring the families of more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners is a kind of “political hypocrisy.”

During a ceremony held in Rafah city in solidarity with prisoners, Dr. Askool added that Ki-moon’s position confirmed that the UN is still persistent in its policy of double standards towards the Palestinian people and their just cause.

“We cannot blame Ki-moon for such positions as long as our Arab and Muslim brothers do not pay attention to the suffering of thousands of our prisoners who are dying inside Israeli jails,” the minister stressed.

He called on the UN and the international community to respect the international conventions and treaties they signed and stop treating Israel as a state above the law.

For his part, minister of prisoners’ affairs Mohamed Al-Ghoul stated during his participation in the ceremony that Ki-moon’s decision to visit the father of Shalit while the suffering of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and their families is absent from his agenda bore out that the issue of detainees in Israeli jails is a matter of indifference to the international community.

Ghoul added that the negotiators of the Palestinian Authority (PA) also deliberately ignored the issue of prisoners and engaged in Oslo negotiations without demanding an end to this issue.

In a related context, the international campaign for the release of lawmakers on Friday sent letters to international, Arab and Islamic parliaments and organizations demanding them to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails and pressure Israel to end its violations against the Palestinian prisoners.

The campaign said in its letters that Israel’s persistence in violating the rights of prisoners and lawmakers in its jails prompted them to go on open hunger strike in protest at the inhuman conditions they are living in.

It added that the prisoners are exposed to constant maltreatment and suppression at the hands of Israeli jailers, which constitutes a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms.

For its part, the Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners said that the Israeli prisons authority formed action committees to abort the hunger strike declared by Palestinian detainees in its jails, affirming that all attempts failed to break the strike which started to yield results.

In a press release on Friday, the center hailed the leaders of prisoners in Israeli jails for the great efforts they are making and their adherence to their just demands, stressing that the steadfastness and the unity of prisoners would lead to the fulfillment of their demands

It also called on Arab leaders and human rights organizations to play an active role in ending the suffering of 8,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 340 children, 37 women and 1,600 patients.