Question of Palestine home
8 August 1980
LETTER DATED 7 AUGUST 1980 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF QATAR
TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Upon instruction from my Government, I have the honour to draw your attention to the savage treatment by the Israeli authorities of the Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli jails, and particularly in Nafha prison in the Negev desert.
For more than two weeks, the Palestinian prisoners in this gaol are on hunger strike. Two prisoners have already died under suspicious circumstances during the hunger strike. The first victim is Shehdeh Mohammed Al-Ja'afari, 30, of Gaza. The second is Rassam Mohammed Halawa, 28, of Al-Dheshah Refugee Camp. Other prisoners are suffering from the same conditions which caused the death of these two prisoners. Many other Palestinian prisoners in other gaols are on hunger strike in solidarity with their brothers in Nafha.
The information reported in the world press on the conditions of Nafha prison are alarming. It gives every indication that all these prisoners will face slow death if these conditions should continue. The prisoners themselves have declared that the Nafha prison is designed to kill its inhabitants. In a letter leaked out from the prison walls and published in the Israeli newspaper
, 5 July 1980, these prisoners stated,
, the following:
"We appeal to our people and to all peoples of the world, and declare that the mind which designed this prison in terms of its structure and life conditions, did so with a clear intention to simply liquidate us physically. We are facing a conspiracy of murder in cold blood. We declare our readiness to accept the opinion of any neutral party which will investigate life conditions in this prison. We appeal to you not to let us die in the desert. All what we demand is air to breathe and conditions that are given to Jewish prisoners.
The Desert Nafha Prison
4 July 1980"
It is becoming more and more obvious that the Israeli authorities are perpetuating the crime of murder in cold blood against the Palestinian prisoners as part of their criminal assault on the very existence of the Palestinian people.
In drawing your attention to this alarming situation I am requested to urge you to take every possible action in pursuance of article 76 of the fourth Geneva Convention of August 1949 and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council to ensure that this inhuman treatment of the Palestinian prisoners be stopped.
I have the honour to request that this letter be distributed as a Security Council document.
) Jasim JAMAL