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West ignoring Israeli crimes against Palestinian prisoners: Activist

Palestinian journalists run for cover from tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces outside the compound of the Israeli-run Ofer prison near Betunia in the occupied West Bank, May 3, 2016. (AFP)


Press TV has interviewed Kamel Hawwash, vice chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign from Alicante, Spain, about the continuation of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Talk to us about the hunger strike campaign going on in Israeli prisons in solidarity with Bilal Kayed.

Hawwash: Israel has this policy with what they call administrative detention, in which they can abduct any Palestinian from any city whether it is one that is under security control of the Israelis or under the security control of the PA. And they can hold them for six months without charge or trial and all they need to do at the end of it is to apply to a military court to extend it.

They do not have to produce any evidence and this could go on for period after period. So he could be in prison for years, and this is what has happened to Bilal. He is one of these people who have been in that situation. And of course, no democracy in the world would accept that someone could be held without charge or trial.

If they have evidence, bring it to court and if he is free, he goes home, if he is not even under the laws that Israel has, which the Palestinians do not recognize in the occupied territories, then he can go to prison.

Press TV: According to facts and figures, thousands of Palestinians are now in Israeli jails. Hundreds are reported to be under the draconian policy of administrative detention and a number of minors and children are also in the detention of the Israeli regime. Are you surprised that the international community is not properly addressing the issue of Palestinian rights violations in Israeli prisons?

Hawwash: I think it is just part of the double standards that we hear about, that what they refer to in Israel, they talk about it as a democracy, as a start-up sort of nation, completely ignoring the fact that it has been in occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since 1967, and that since the Nakba in 1948 it has not made peace with the Palestinians using any political solution and that there are over five or six million Palestinians who are refugees.

So it is all part of the double standards. If the children that were being abducted in the middle of the night in East Jerusalem were Jewish children, there would be an outrage and an outcry and the prime minister of the UK would be first on the phone … and they would be imposing sanctions.

They will not do that with Israel because simply it is an extension of the colonialist projects that many of these nations themselves had. Israel is a colonial project and they will not bring it to account because in a way there may be some sympathies with what it does, which is abominable.

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