Abbas asks Blair to intervene for prisoners

JERICHO (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas has asked Quartet envoy Tony Blair to urgently intervene in Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday.

In a statement, Erekat said he conveyed the president’s message to Blair, who heads the Quartet of international peace mediators.

The president demanded Israel release all prisoners, particularly those jailed before 1994 and those held without charge. Abbas also called on Israel to end all restrictions on detainees’ access to education and family visits, Erekat said.

Thousands of Palestinians are on hunger strike in Israeli jails, and several are at risk of death. They are protesting detention without trial, restrictive visiting rights and limited access to educational materials.

Erekat said he had met with US consul-general Daniel Rubenstein and requested his urgent intervention. The PLO official also continued to call on UN, Israeli and European officials to intervene, he said.

Israeli authorities are responsible for the health of all Palestinian prisoners, he added.

Source: Maan News