Press Release
February 19, 2013 - 1:00am


Feb.19, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today expressed concern about the conditions facing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention, particularly those on hunger strike. A number of prisoners have been on prolonged fasts which reportedly may be threatening their survival. ATFP has a long-standing opposition to Israel's policy of "administrative detention" for Palestinians being held without charge or due process. By the end of 2012, Israel was holding an estimated 4,500 Palestinians in various forms of detention. Of these, 178 are being held in "administrative detention" without charges or due process. An additional 170 are minors under the age of 18.


ATFP notes expressions of concern from the Middle East Quartet, the United Nations, the European Union, and many other countries and multilateral agencies. At this sensitive moment of political and diplomatic impasse and economic distress, Palestinian demonstrations and protests are focusing on the issue of the prisoners. This issue must be addressed seriously and immediately. The death of any of the hunger striking prisoners could lead to uncontrollable consequences.


The Task Force calls on Israel to charge detainees with criminal offenses or release them. ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, "We urge the Obama administration to use its good offices with Israel to address the question of administrative detention without due process for Palestinians under Israeli occupation, and to promptly resolve the issue of the hunger striking prisoners."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017