Jeffrey Feltman, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council that the rocket fire on 26 February was “a most troubling development” and called for an “independent and transparent” investigation into the death of Arafat Jaradat on 24 February. The Palestinians allege he was tortured to death – a claim the Israelis deny.
Four other prisoners are on a hunger strike, the longest has lasted more than 210 days, protesting against the conditions of their detention, including limited visitation rights and so-called “administrative detention” without charge, which the UN deems a violation of international human rights law.
The UN has called for the full implementation of an agreement signed in May 2012 to ease detention conditions in exchange for security guarantees.
“Until now, nothing really happened – nothing we could feel on the ground. There is no change,” said Osama Mustafa, whose father, Wasfe Mustafa, a senior Hamas official, was imprisoned in 2006, released in 2009, and put under “administrative detention” several times since then.
“My father is still in prison without any official charge or trial,” Mustafa told IRIN.
“The conditions of visits got even worse for my family. I am still not allowed to visit my father. Only my mother and the younger sisters can. Before the agreement, they could go and talk with my father inside the prison. Today, they are often forced to meet in a facility outside, under the heat of the sun.”
More than 4,500 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons: dozens have been held since before 1993; hundreds are being held without charge; and many have died in custody since 1967.