UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 27 August 2004
Thirteen United Nations institutions operating in the occupied Palestinian territory expressed concern today about the hunger strike that reportedly more than 2,900 Palestinian prisoners and detainees have joined.
The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Terje Roed-Larsen calls on the Israeli authorities to comply with its international obligations and to make every effort to find, with the prisoners, an appropriate resolution to the hunger strike.
The UN agencies and offices remind Israel of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant international human rights instruments which provide for the protection of detainees and prisoners.
According to the Israeli Prison Service, more than 2,900 prisoners have joined the hunger strike that began on 15 August; the Palestinian Authority quotes a slightly higher figure. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross more than 8,000 prisoners are currently detained by Israel on security grounds. Of these, more than 90 are women and 360 are children according to UNICEF.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator (UNSCO), World Food Program (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), Food & Agriculture organization of the UN (FAO) and International Labor Organization (ILO).