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Final Declaration Meeting of the OIC Permanent Representatives Committee to Debate
the Issue of Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike in the Israeli Occupation Prisons
OIC General Secretariat
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
18 May 2017 / 22 Shaaban 1438H,
at a request from the State of Palestine
The Permanent Representatives Committee of the OIC Member States, convened at the General Secretariat headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 18 May 2017 (20 Shaaban 1438H) to debate the issue of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli occupation jails, at a request from the State of Palestine,
Reaffirming all the resolutions issued by the Islamic Summits and Foreign Ministers Councils relevant to the cause of Palestine, Al-Quds and the Arab-Israeli conflict,
Recalling the declaration of solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners as issued by the OIC Member States’ Foreign Ministers Council at its thirty ninth session held in Djibouti on 15-17 November 2012,
Reiterating that the practices and policies pursued by Israel, the occupant power, against the Palestinian prisoners represent a flagrant violation of International Humanitarian law, the Human Rights Charter, the standard elementary regulations of prisoner treatment and other relevant international conventions,
The OIC expresses its profound concern over the plight of more than one thousand Palestinian detainees and prisoners, led by imprisoned Palestinian leader and parliamentarian Marwan Barghouthi, who have begun an open-ended hunger strike on 17 April 2017.
The OIC expresses solidarity with this peaceful, non-violent action, called the “Freedom and Dignity Strike”, by the detainees and prisoners in protest of their inhumane treatment by Israel, the occupying power, and calls for respect of their rights in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.
The OIC condemns Israeli attempts to break the hunger strike by force, including through incitement, punitive measures, and threats of force-feeding which amounts to torture.
The OIC reiterates its grave concern that there are more than 6,500 Palestinian civilians, including 300 children and 65 women, currently imprisoned by Israel, among them nearly 500 held in administrative detention without charge. These prisoners are being held under harsh, inhumane conditions and being subjected to physical and mental ill-treatment, including torture, severe interrogations, intimidation and solitary confinement, and denied access to proper medical care and family visits.
The OIC notes the shocking statistics that these Palestinians are among the more than 800,000 Palestinians, including children, imprisoned by Israel, the occupant power, since 1967 and that the conviction rate of Palestinians in front of Israeli military courts has ranged between 90 and over 99 percent in recent years. These numbers clearly indicate that Israel is resorting to mass arbitrary arrest as a means to subjugate the Palestinian people and suppress their freedoms and rights, including to self-determination, and that the Israeli courts are in breach of international law.
The OIC reiterates its call for proper international access to Palestinian detainees and prisoners and the inspection of their conditions, stressing that Israel, the occupying power, must be held fully accountable for their well-being, including those on hunger strike.
In this regard the OIC reaffirms its continued support for the cause of Palestinian detainees and prisoners “International Campaign for the Freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all the Palestinian Prisoners”
The meeting lays stress on the centrality of the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al Sharif for the OIC as the pivotal issue in whose defense the Member States are unanimously agreed and around which their stand is united in all international fora.
In this respect the meeting expresses its deep concern over the recurrent negative voting of certain Member States on resolutions pertaining to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People or to the defense of the cause of Al-Quds fully in harmony with the resolutions of the OIC summit and ministerial conferences, the latest such instance being the one involving a Member State recently voting against the resolution presented to the 201st session of the UNESCO under the heading of “Occupied Palestine” in defense of the City of Al-Quds against the Israeli violations, as well as the abstention of certain Member States and the absence of others, thus denying the resolution their support, in addition to the failure of one member of state to lend its support to the resolutions relevant to the Palestinian people’s human rights, including their right to self-determination, at the 34th session of the Human Rights Commission, which could thus encourage Israel, the occupant force, to persist in its violation of the Palestinian people’s rights.
The meeting reaffirms the need for all Member States to abide by the resolutions issued by the OIC summit and ministerial conferences which, among other things, call for voting in favour of the resolutions of the Palestine State in international fora, particularly against the background of Israel, the occupation force, persisting in its illegitimate practices and violations against international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy, including through the construction of colonialist settlements, the robbing of Palestinian land and the judeization of Al-Quds.
The Meeting requests the General Secretariat to take the necessary steps, to ensure support for the OIC-backed resolutions regarding the cause of Palestine.