[Pnews] Palestinian Prisoners Need Our Attention before They Die - Since 1967, 220 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons.

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 14 12:37:19 EDT 2019


  Palestinian Prisoners Need Our Attention before They Die

By Ramona Wadi - August 10, 2019
Since 1967, 220 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons. The 
latest victim is Nasser Taqatqa, detained in June from his home in Beit 
Fajjar, accused of purportedly having ties to Hamas. Taqatqa, age 31, 
was interrogated by Shin Bet, tortured and placed in solitary 
confinement. On Tuesday he was found dead, prompting another wave of 
anger among Palestinians and much needed focus on the plight of 
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

According to Haaretz, Taqaqta was discovered dead in the prison’s mental 
health center where he was taken for medical supervision. Palestinian 
media states that he was transferred to different interrogation 
facilities and constantly placed in solitary confinement. Taqatqa was 
last seen in Nitzan prison, where it has been said he died in solitary 

Israel has claimed Taqatqa died as a result of a stroke. Meanwhile, the 
Palestinian Prisoners’ Society declared that autopsy results revealed 
extreme torture and abuse, leading to Taqatqa’s death.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying:

“The martyrdom of Taqatqa in the interrogation cells demand immediate 
action by the International Criminal Court and the opening of an 
official investigation into the crimes of the occupying power in order 
to pursue and prosecute Israeli war criminals.”

Needless to say, this statement fell on deaf ears. No call for justice 
has emanated from the international community. If the UN fails to take 
up the call of Palestinian prisoners while they are still alive, a 
tortured and dead prisoner will present no significance to the organization.

Likewise, the Palestinian Authority’s continuous exploitation of 
Palestinian prisoners does not help to further its cause. On the 
contrary, it has facilitated the transfer of many Palestinians to 
Israeli jails, while the PA security services act like Israel’s 
extension in the occupied West Bank. The PA has no foundation whatsoever 
to speak about the rights of Palestinian prisoners. It is only a step 
ahead of the international community in terms of speaking out, due to 
perfunctory obligation which the UN can conveniently sidestep.

Meanwhile, the growing rift between the PA and the Palestinian people 
will continue to displace attention away from the Palestinian prisoners’ 
plight. Political authority is the determining factor which singles out 
the people as perpetual victims without protection from their leaders 
which is, of course, a favorable scenario for Israel.

Away from the cloistered arena of human rights jargon, there has yet to 
be a single instance where such rights can claim a single, irreversible 
victory. The media reports reactions – prisoners banging on doors and 
refusing meals at the news of a Palestinian prisoner’s death – but what 
do such reports tell us about the prisoners in Israeli jails? Nothing.

The collective efforts at stifling their voices, even to the point of 
murder through torture and medical negligence, is provoking an oblivion 
which is tantamount to a loss of identity, at least when it comes to 
perception from the outside. With the exception of Palestinians in close 
proximity with Israeli forces, who spares a thought for Palestinian 
prisoners before they are turned into temporary headlines by Israel’s 
colonial violence?

/– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this 
article was originally published. /

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