Members of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Union met on Wednesday with the Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Ashraf Al Ajrami, and Fadwa Ibrahim, of the Free Marwan Barghouthi Committee, and expressed concern over the lives of Palestinian detainees held by Israel and facing violations.Some members of the EU Parliament said that they should try to dispatch a fact-finding committee to Israel.
The EU MPs held a public hearing which was chaired by Hélène Flautre (Greens/EFA, FR), and heard from Al Ajrami and Fadwa Ibrahim, the wife of Barghouthi and also heard from Anat Barsella of B'Tselem (the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories).
The MP’s criticized Israel for not sending a representative to the hearing.
Israel is currently holding captive more than 10,000 Palestinians, including 300 children and 100 women, in addition to 40 legislators.
Over one-third of the Palestinian population has spent time in Israeli prisons since 1967.
Meanwhile, Al Ajrami discussed the issue of torture practiced by Israel against the detainees, and stated that while it is internationally considered illegal, it continues to be authorized by Israel.
Al Ajrami also stated that ailing Palestinian detainees are barred from proper medical attention and treatment.
He added that the EU should exert pressure on Israel to respect humanitarian law".
More than 192 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, with the main causes of death being torture and medical negligence.
On her side, Barghouthi said that Israel continues to imprison Palestinian children in violation of international law and human rights conventions.
She stated that all political detainees should be freed and that Israel must stop torturing the detainees in direct breach of the Geneva Convention.
Furthermore, Anat Barsella of B’Tselem said that 47% of the Palestinians detainees are imprisoned by Israel for “membership in illegal organizations”, which includes charities operating in Palestine.
She added that Israel is also using the “Administrative Detention” orders in order to detain hundreds of Palestinian without trial for up to six months with unlimited renewals.
Subcommittee chair, Hélène Flautre stated that the EU Parliament should "put pressure on the Commission and Council" to raise the issue of detainees with Israel.