COPENHAGEN, February 26, 2013 – The Foreign Minister’s reaction to the death of a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody and the continued hunger strike among other detainees and imprisoned Palestinians in Israel.
Saturday on February 23, Arafat Jaradat died in Israeli custody after being imprisoned from February 18 by Israeli security forces. The tragic incident, which still hasn’t been publicly clarified, is an extension of several Palestinian prisoners’ and detainees’ hunger strike in protest of being detained without charges, which has been carried out for a longer time period. The development has led to great demonstrations from Palestinian side and an escalation of the violence between Palestinians, settlers and Israeli security forces on the West Bank.
Foreign Minister, Villy Søvndal comments:
“It is with great concern that I follow the very tense situation in connection with the continuing hunger strike amongst Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli custody. At the same time it is with concern that we have received the message about the death of Arafat Jaradat on February 23, 2013, who was arrested five days earlier and held in Israeli custody.
I call for Israel to take steps to ensure the compliance with international human rights obligations in relation to all detainees and imprisoned Palestinians in Israeli custody. At the same time I urge to follow up on the preliminary results of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Arafat Jaradat’s death by further studies, which can clarify the cause of his death.
I will encourage both the Palestinian and the Israeli government to take steps to hinder that the current tense situation develops any further. At this stage there is an urgent need for both parties to take steps that are suitable to rebuild confidence in each other”.