The Palestinian News Network reported today that Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated through his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, that the Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike and who are held under administrative detention without trial should ‘be charged with legal guarantees or released’.He noted ‘the importance of avoiding deterioration of their health’ and ‘urgently requests all concerned to find a solution without delay.’

Nesirky concluded that Ban Ki-moon supports Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, who is ‘strongly engaged in this case’.

One third of the 4,700 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike, including 310 prisoners who are in administrative detention and 7 who have been on hunger strike for more than a month and a half, according to the Israeli prison administration, official Palestinian sources and humanitarian organizations.

In related news, on Wednesday dozens of Palestinians prevented UN staff from entering their offices in Ramallah, demanding that Ban intervene in the cases of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike. The protesters carried placards denouncing the UN and calling for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails.