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KUWAIT APPEALS TO U.N. CHIEF TO EXERT PRESSURE ON ISRAEL

NEW YORK, – Kuwait urgently appealed to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to use his good offices to press Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately release the three Palestinian administrative detainees.

In a letter sent to the UN Chief, the Permanent Representative, Kuwait Ambassador, Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, the Chair of the OIC group, drew urgent attention to the plight of Palestinian political prisoners and administrative detainees in Israeli jails and detention centres, particularly the critical situation of three hunger striking prisoners, protesting their detention without trial or charge.

The three detainees are the two brothers, Muhammad Balboul, a 25-year-old dentist, and Mahmoud Balboul, a 22-year-old first lieutenant, and Malik Al-Qadi, a 20-year-old student at the Journalism School of Al-Quds University. These three young Palestinian men have been on continuous hunger strike for two months, in protest of their unjust administrative detention and serious abuses by the Israeli occupying force.

“As they undertake this form of peaceful, non-violent protest, their lives are at imminent risk due to deteriorating health conditions and ongoing abuse by the occupying Power,” said Al-Otaibi.

In the letter, the OIC highlighted that Mahmoud has been subjected to physical abuse by Israeli prison guards, during his hunger strike and has been transferred to a medical centre following decline of his health, as he is currently being held in an intensive care unit.

His brother, Muhammad has lost his sight due to his prolonged hunger strike. Similarly, Malik Al-Qadi, who has been on hunger strike since mid-July, 2016, has been beaten by prison guards and has been transferred to an intensive care unit, following deterioration of his health.

In this regard, the OIC said, it must be underscored that administrative detention as practised by Israel, the occupying Power, is illegal and constitutes the gravest form of arbitrary detention.

“Over 700 Palestinian prisoners, including minors, are currently being held by Israel under administrative detention,” the letter added. Further, the letter noted that, in concluding observations in a 2016 periodic report, on implementation of the Convention against Torture, the Committee against Torture called on Israel to “urgently take the measures necessary, to end the practice of administrative detention and ensure that all persons, who are currently held in administrative detention are afforded all basic legal safeguards.”

Due to the persistence of the critical situation, Al-Otaibi called for an urgent attention and intervention of the international community. “Further harm, or possible death of any of the hunger striking detainees, would have serious ramifications on the already-fragile and tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” he added.

The OIC urged the international community to act, to ensure a complete and definitive end of such a practice and to all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, noting that, this can only be done by holding Israel accountable for its violations. “Israel must be obliged to comply in this regard, with its obligations under international, including humanitarian and human rights law,” the letter added.

The Chair of the OIC group urged for “serious efforts” to be undertaken, in order for Israel to compel to act forthwith, to cease its arrest and detention of Palestinian civilians, which is happening on a daily basis, and to release the Palestinian prisoners and detainees, as an integral part of securing the freedom of the Palestinian people and enabling the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination.

Source: Nam News Network