Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ghoul: Linking visits of Palestinian detainees to Shalit's issue unfair

[ 17/07/2009 - 08:19 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker MP Dr. Mohammed Faraj Al-Ghoul, who is also the minister of prisoners and ex-prisoners' affairs, has described linking family visits of Palestinian captives in Israeli jails to developments in the issue of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as "unfair".

Ghoul uttered his remarks as he received a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and urged them to take brave stand against the repressive Israeli measures against Palestinian captives in Israeli jails.

He explained that it wasn’t the Palestinian government that detains Shalit in its jails but those who capture Shalit were Palestinian resistance fighters calling to swap him with Palestinian captives in the Israeli jails, and therefore, he added, it is unfair to link family visits of Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails to Shalit's issue.

"It is unfair to equal the victim to the butcher as the ICRC strongly demands to visit Shalit, but at the same time it shyly and weakly calls on the Israeli authorities to allow family visits to Palestinian captives hailing from Gaza Strip", Ghoul pointed out.

However, he underlined that his ministry and the ICRC discussed ways and means to enhance their relationship to serve the prisoners and their families in the best way, underscoring that the ministry would spare no efforts to consolidate those ties.

He also called on the ICRC to resume its services to the Palestinian detainees, including the canteen allocations and clothes, describing conditions of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as "miserable".

Furthermore, Ghoul called on the ICRC to check health conditions of sick Palestinian captives in Israeli jails, and to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to extend them proper medical attention as stipulated in international laws and conventions.

Hundreds of Palestinian captives in Israeli jails suffer from different kinds of chronic diseases that reaped the lives of nearly 200 of them so far.

Moreover, Ghoul highlighted the issue of Palestinian captives detained in solitary confinement in the Israeli jails, describing the policy of solitary detention as "grave violation" of international laws, and urged the ICRC to work to end such oppressive Israeli policy.

Finally, Ghoul invited the ICRC to come out of the secrecy condition that engulfs the nature of its work, and to frankly tell relatives of the Palestinian captives of the efforts they were doing to alleviate the suffering of the captives in order to build bridges of trust between the international organizations and the foundations that cater for the prisoners.