Commission on Justice and Peace of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land
Statement on the Prisoners' Hunger Strike
"He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives" (Lk 4: 18)
"I was in prison and you came to see me" (Mt 25: 36)
More than 1500 (out of 6500) Palestinian political prisoners have begun an open hunger strike, initiated on April 17,2017. The aim of this desperate act is to shed light, both locally and internationally, on the inhuman conditions in which they are detained by the Israeli Authorities. They plead for the respect of their human rights and dignity as recognized by international law and the Geneva Convention, and the end of administrative detention.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land affirms the necessity of the application of international law with regard to political prisoners. It condemns the use of detention without trial, all forms of collective punishment, as well as the use of duress and torture for whatever reason. Furthermore, we can never forget that every prisoner is a human being and his God given dignity must be respected.
We urge the Israeli Authorities to hear the cry of the prisoners, to respect their human dignity, and to open a new door towards the making of peace.
The liberation of prisoners will be a sign of a new vision, and the beginning of a new history, for both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians.
As Christians, we are sent to work for the liberation of every human being, and for the establishment of a human society in which there is equality for all, Israelis and Palestinians.