Palestinians take part in a rally marking the Prisoners Day, east of Gaza city, on April 17, 2018. The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called for considering Palestinians jailed in Israel as "prisoners of war," as Palestinians marked the Prisoners Day. (Xinhua)
GAZA/RAMALLAH, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called for considering Palestinians jailed in Israel as "prisoners of war," as Palestinians marked the Prisoners Day.
At the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said it is the time to consider and treat Palestinians, who have been imprisoned in Israeli jails, as "prisoners of war."
Palestinians have been marking the Prisoners Day on April 17 each year since 1974. More than 6,000 Palestinian male and female prisoners rallied and marched in Israeli jails, prisons and detention camps on the day.
In Gaza City, hundreds of Palestinians, organized by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party, demonstrated outside the doors of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices.
Speakers at the rally urged ICRC and other international organizations to exert pressure on Israeli authorities to improve the living condition of Palestinian prisoners and set them free.
The Palestinian Committee for Prisoners called on Palestinians to revive the Prisoners Day with popular activities near the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.
In the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, a series of activities were also carried out in support for the prisoners. In Jenin, schoolchildren painted graffiti on the walls.
"The Palestinian government is fully supporting the prisoners and their families, with no discrimination between one prisoner and another," said Hamdallah.
His remarks were made at the weekly meeting of the Palestinian consensus government in Ramallah. He said that the next step is to work on releasing all the prisoners from Israeli jails without conditions.
A statement issued after the cabinet meeting held Israel responsible for the safety and lives of the prisoners, calling on the international community to "protect Palestinian prisoners in accordance to international resolutions and UN conventions to save their lives and meet their demands."
Different Palestinians factors all issued statements to express their support to the prisoners jailed in Israel, while calling for their release.
Islamic Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, said that the anniversary of the Prisoners Day comes as the Palestinian prisoners "live in tragic conditions of a racist and criminal policy pursued by Israel."
Hamas pledged that it will double its efforts to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners in an honorable deal.
The Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement that the Prisoners Day "has become the title of Palestinian patriotism and suitable for mobilizing energies and renewed determination to liberate prisoners who represent a state of advanced struggle."
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stressed that the issue of the prisoners is "a national cause of freedom from oppression." Palestinian people have to "keep the issue at the top of the Palestinian national agenda as a national priority."
Meanwhile, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for the widest popular solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in Israel, praising the "fighting role played by Palestinian prisoners."
On the occasion of the Prisoners Day, the Palestinian Prisoner's Club Association estimated that about 1 million cases of arrests had been documented since 1967, and 1,928 Palestinians have been arrested since the start of 2018.
Among the prisoners, 48 have been incarcerated for over 20 years continuously, 25 have spent more than 25 years in jail, and 12 have been detained for over 30 years, according to the report.
In addition, the report underlined that around 700 prisoners are suffering from chronic diseases and require consistent medical attention, including 26 suffering from cancer.