STATEMENT: Pax Christi International calls on the international community to urgently pressure Israel over the situation of Palestinian prisoners


Pax Christi International, together with its member organisations (1) and partners (2), is deeply concerned about the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons—especially those who have been on a hunger strike for one month and whose situation is deteriorating. Their health is in danger and they are being subjected to violent and coercive measures and policies by the Israeli Prison Service and special units, attempting to push the prisoners to end their hunger strike. (3)

The prisoners who are on a hunger strike are engaged in a legitimate, nonviolent action to demand their basic rights, including an end to torture and ill-treatment, the use of administrative detention, unfair trials, the detention of children, demeaning detention conditions including sleep and food deprivation, insufficient medical care, solitary confinement and the denial of the right to education. (4)  Their requests are just and in line with international law as humanitarian and human rights standards protecting prisoners.

Pax Christi International welcomes the recent statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories (5), in which he calls on Israel to comply with international law on detention. We urge the rest of the international community also to speak up to support the demands of Palestinian prisoners and to insist that Israel immediately enters into serious dialogue with the prisoners about their demands before it is too late.

This year, marks 100 years since the Balfour declaration, 70 years since UN resolution 181, and 50 years since Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the annexation of East Jerusalem. The hunger strike of the prisoners once again draws attention to basic human rights violations against the background of 50 years of harsh occupation. (6)

Brussels, 17 May 2017


1. Our member organization in Bethlehem, the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem, has issued a statement ( on prisoners hunger strike.pdf) as well as Pax Christi France (

2. World Council of Churches, ‘WCC concerned over conditions for Palestinian prisoners’, 5May 2017, and Kairos Palestine, ‘Kairos Palestine Statement on prisoners' Hunger Strike, online available at:

3. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, ‘One 30th day of hunger strike: Addameer calls for continued solidarity’, 16 May 2017, online available at:

4. EuroMed Rights, ‘EU to support detained Palestinian hunger strikers’, 11 May 2017, online available at:

5. United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘UN Special Rapporteur on OPT calls on Israel to comply with international law on detention’, 16 May 2017, online available at:

6. See our statement of last year December:




This statement reflects Pax Christi International’s advocacy priority, Renewed Israel–Palestine Peace Process. Find out more.




Palestine, Israel, hunger strike, prisoners, statement