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Palestinian prisoners to press Israel for prisoners-of-war status


08:19, June 05, 2013

RAMALLAH, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian prisoners held in Israel will stage a protest Wednesday to demand Israel recognize them as prisoners of war, a Palestinian official said Tuesday.

"The national battle to recognize the detainees as prisoners of war will begin tomorrow," said Eissa Qaraqe', minister of prisoners' affairs.

The prisoners will not stand for daily counting, will not wear the prison's uniform and will not line up for identity verification as the first step of the protest.

They also demand Israel move them into prisons on the occupied Palestinian territories and be treated in accordance with the international law.

He said that Israel denies this status in contradiction with the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the issue of prisoners, "Israel acts as a state above the law and doesn't pay any regard to the international agreements and treaties," Qaraqe' said at a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Qadoura Fares, the head of the Prisoner's Club Society, said that there will be no breakthrough in the ongoing U.S. efforts to revive the peace talks without a breakthrough in the issue of prisoners.

Israel holds up to 4,700 Palestinian prisoners, dozens of whom have spent more than 20 years behind bars.

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