Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gaza stands in solidarity with prisoners in Israel

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PressTV - Gazans show solidarity with prisoners in Israel:

Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:1PM
Yousef al-Helou, Press TV, Gaza

"Hundreds of Gazans including families of those political prisoners held in Israeli jails staged a demonstration in the Gaza city.

The protesters carried banners to show solidarity with the prisoners. They also condemned what they called the harsh prison conditions and inhumane treatment of Israeli guards.

A number of officials addressed the crowds and stressed that the only way to free Palestinian prisoners is a prisoner swap deal, after negotiations failed to secure their release

Earlier this month, four Palestinians who had been released from Israeli jails talked about the tough prison conditions and how the Israelis denied the inmates' basic rights such as medical care and family visits.

The families of Gazan prisoners held in Israeli jails have not been able to visit their loved ones since September of 2007 after Israel decaled Gaza a hostile entity, following Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in June of the same year.

The demonstration came a day after tens of angry protestors tried to stop French FM car while entering Gaza through the Erez crossing. The protests were provoked after media reports said Michele Alliot-Marie had called the captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit a war crime during a meeting with the Israeli soldier's father.

Hamas said that French FM comments reflect a 'total bias towards Israel' and ignored thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Hamas has repeatedly said that it will release Shalit only after Israel frees hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. In late December 2010 a human rights group called Public Committee Against Torture in Israel revealed in a report that Palestinian detainees are systematically denied the right to meet a lawyer during interrogations.

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