Activists Block Ramallah’s UN to Protest Inaction over Hunger Strikers

RAMALLAH,- Palestinian activists Monday closed down the United Nations’ headquarter in Ramallah to protest its lack of reaction towards the hunger strikers in Israeli prisons.

Activists swooped down on the UN building in al-Masyoon neighborhood, lifting placards depicting hunger strikers and condemning the international body’s silence regarding the plight of Palestinian hunger strikers, especially Bilal Kayed.

The activists blocked the main gate, preventing personnel’s entrance to the building and obstructing their work.

They said they protested UN’s inaction to take any serious steps in support of Kayed, who has been on a hunger strike for 69 days now.

“We are here to remind you to take on your commitment to promote, defend and fully realize all human rights stated in the United Nations Charter and human rights laws and treaties,” protestors said in the press release.

They slammed the UN’s inaction over Kayed and scores of other Palestinian hunger strikers as “a violation of the UN Charter and the UN’s assumed commitment to the basic human principles of dignity and freedom.”

The press release decried UN’s “disregard” to the rallies in solidarity with hunger strikers and protested UN’s inaction over the “plight” of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.

This rally came two days after UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid in the occupied Palestinian Territories Robert Piper expressed his deep concerns about the deteriorating health of Kayed.

He said in a press release, “This is an egregious case, in which Kayed was placed on administrative detention on the day of his scheduled release after completing a 14.5 year prison sentence.”

While protestors appreciated Piper’s statement, albeit late, they urged the UN to translate statements into actions.

Recalling the death of Robert Sands, an Irish, following a 66-day hunger strike in 1981, they warned about the imminent death of Kayed, who was transferred to the intensive care unit as Barezilai hospital a day before Piper’s statement.

Activists urged the UN to take immediate action to secure the release of Kayed and other hunger striking detainees, terminate the Israeli policy of administrative detention and hold Israel accountable for crimes against the Palestinian people.

Kayed remains one of the most high-profile hunger strikers since Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq was on the verge of death during a 94-day hunger strike before his release in May.

Muhammad and Mahmoud Balbul also started hunger strikes in early July in protest of being held in administrative detention. Since the beginning of their hunger strike, their health conditions have been rapidly deteriorating.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency