Israel Deprives Palestinian Prisoners Of Education
Editor’s Note: While Gilad Shalit has been held in Gaza for over 5 years without communication or a visit from the International Red Cross, the Arabs are complaining that Israel is terminating higher education privileges for Arab prisoners.
July 25, 2011 20:21 PM
GAZA STRIP, July 25 (Bernama) — The Israeli Prisons Administration has decided to stop the higher education programme being conducted for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Protesting the move, the prisoners have gone on hunger strikes.
The decision comes in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring a month ago that Israel had the right to reduce the "advantages granted" to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
It is seen as an attempt to pressure the Palestinians to free Israeli soldier Jilad Shalit, who was captured by Palestinian militants in a raid on an Israeli army border position in 2006.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Centre, following the move, over 300 prisoners will not be allowed to continue their studies to attain academic degrees. The centre also reported that the Israeli jailers had seized books and academic papers delivered to the prisoners through the International Red Cross.
It further indicated that the Israeli administration was preventing them from applying for studies at Arab and Palestinian universities.
Disapproving the decision, families of Palestinian prisoners called it inhumane.
They took part in a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the International Red Cross to express their anger over the move.
Aum Rami, whose son Rami Suliman has been jailed since 2002, is very disappointed with the Israeli resolution.
Her son is due to get a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
She believes that education gave her son some hope despite being behind iron bars for nine years.
"Education was the only thing that he could console himself with. He and his jailed friends are being treated like animals. But Allah will never forget them," she told Bernama.
In a press release, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned the Israel decision and called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to abide by international law and end the "continued inhumane and degrading treatment of more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails".
Minister of Prisoner Affairs in the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, Essa Karake, said Israel totally disregarded human rights and international law.