Brussels, 20 Rabiul Akhir 1434/2 March 2013 (MINA) -Palestinian representative to the European United, Leila Shahid Thursday sent a letter to the accredited diplomatic missions in Brussels and European Union bodies over the death of Arafat Jaradat, who died of severe torture in Israeli detention, acoording to WAFA news agency reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Saturday.

Hereby is the full text of the letter:

       “The death of Arafat Jaradat on Saturday February 23, while under Israeli detention follows a pattern that has been in place since the early days of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967.
        30-year-old Jaradat, a father of two from the West Bank village of Sae’er, was arrested on February 18th for having allegedly thrown a stone at an Israeli soldier during a protest against the Israeli bombardments of Gaza that took place last November. He died in Megiddo prison, near Haifa, where he had been taken for interrogation. Autopsy results reveal violent torture as the cause of Jaradat’s death.  He is found to have suffered severe injuries including two broken ribs, six broken bones in his neck, spine, arms and legs, and severe bruising in the right back area and right chest area.
       Since 1967, Jaradat is one of over 200 Palestinian political prisoners who have lost their lives in Israeli prisons as a result of torture, medical negligence or sheer homicide. Over ⅓ of these deaths occurred post-2000.
        Dozens of detainees have also perished after their release from prison as a result of the torture, harsh conditions or medical negligence they had to endure while under Israeli custody, the most recent being Ashraf Abu Dra’ who died in a coma shortly after his release from an Israeli prison on January 21st, 2013.
       News of Jaradat’s death came in the midst of the popular protests that have been spreading across the West Bank and Gaza since the start of February to decry Israel’s treatment of Palestinian political prisoners and demand the release of Samer Issawi, Ayman Al-Sharawneh, Tarek Qa’adan and Jafar Azzidine, four detainees who have been on prolonged hunger strike and are now in critical health conditions. It also sparked a solidarity one-day hunger strike on Sunday February 24 by some 4000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails and detention centers.
       Jaradat’s death has once again highlighted the deplorable conditions of Palestinian political prisoners, and Israel’s unconcern for international canons and conventions. The international community’s silence and inaction in this regard has given Israel a feeling of impunity and a perception of itself as being above the law.
       How many more Palestinians must die before the world community takes concrete action to put an end to Israel’s blatant violations of human rights and international legality?!
       Meeting in Ramallah yesterday, the Palestinian Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad held Israel responsible for the death of the detainee Arafat Jaradat during his detention and interrogation.
       It affirmed that the report submitted by the director of the Palestinian Forensic Institute Dr. Saber Al- Aloul who participated in the autopsy reveals signs of torture.
      The Cabinet considered that “this tragic incident must compel the international community and all human right organizations to assume their political, legal and moral responsibilities and oblige Israel to the rules of international law in this regard, including the need to subject Israeli prisons to the supervision of international human rights organizations so that they are able to monitor what is happening inside these prisons, especially in the interrogation cells, as well as the type of health care provided to ill prisoners.”        The Cabinet also asserted “the need to compel Israel to immediately resolve the issue of prisoners, especially those on hunger strike and patients, in addition to addressing the need to release all prisoners, especially the children, administrative detainees, veteran prisoners and members of the Legislative Council.”
       Additionally, the Cabinet reaffirmed “the need to implement the resolution adopted by the World Health Organization a year ago on forming a fact-finding committee to investigate the health conditions of prisoners, especially in the light of the policy of medical negligence prisoners suffer from.”
        In the same context, the Cabinet “commended the popular events organized in solidarity with the prisoners and their demands, particularly their right to freedom and the need for the release of the prisoners on hunger strike, prisoners suffering from illness, children, women prisoners, veteran prisoners and members of the Legislative Council.”
       The Cabinet also affirmed that “the growing international awareness of the issue of prisoners will lead to the success of on-going government efforts to take significant steps towards the internationalization of the issue and guaranteeing that Israel is made to comply with international law and relevant conventions as well as release all prisoners.” (T/P04/E1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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