Palestinian Detainees issue must not be buried with Hamdiyeh
by Julie Webb-Pullman
As Palestinian detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh was being buried in Hebron, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Ismail Al Radwan was denouncing his murder at the mourning tent set up in his honour in Gaza City by the Ministry for Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs.
Radwan demanded that the international community form a committee to supervise Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, to ensure they are given their basic rights.
Several hundred people gathered to add their support to the Minister’s call, amongst them Sabrin Al Baz.
“I have come here today with about 100 others from the Adawa Islamic College to show our support for Maysara Hamdiyeh,” she told me.
“All Muslims must support this issue, it is not just an issue for Palestinians, but for human rights everywhere. They belong to everyone. What do you do when someone takes something that is yours away from you?” she asked.
“You must fight to get it back. We must protect and defend our claim, as Palestinians and as Muslims. But people everywhere must also help to protect them,” she said, reiterating Minister Radwan’s call for international action.
The third death of a Palestinian detainee in almost as many months demands international attention, and very close scrutiny of the conditions under which they are being held in Israeli prisons.
That even the International Committee of the Red Cross and local Israeli human rights groups cannot gain access to these prisons to monitor conditions, signals that there are likely gross abuses being hidden from public view. These deaths are compelling proof.
The international community has a moral obligation to expose these atrocities to the cold light of objective assessment, and ensure that the ongoing issue of the torture, abuse and medical negligence of this most vulnerable population is not buried along with Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh.