Van Bommel plays football to protest Israeli administrative detention

20 June 2012

Van Bommel plays football to protest Israeli administrative detention

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has taken part in a protest film in which he demonstrates his dissatisfaction with the widespread and illegal Israeli practice of aadministrative detention. Van Bommel: ‘This protest film puts the spotlight on the completely unacceptable Israeli practice of holding Palestinians in administrative detention without any kind of trial.’

Harry van BommelThe protest film features Harry playing football outside the Dutch national parliament as well as clips of everyone from children to international footballers, all demonstrating their solidarity with the illegally imprisoned Palestinian professional footballer Mahmoud Sarsak. It was made in response to the ninety-three day long hunger strike by Mahmoud Sarsak, who refused food in protest against his three year administrative detention. Since then an agreement has been reached that, in return for his ending his hunger strike, the Israeli authorities would set Sarsak free on 10th July. Earlier in the year thousands of Palestinians also went on hunger strike at the same time in protest against administrative detention. This ended when the detention regime was relaxed, but a number of Palestinian prisoners remain on hunger strike. Israel retains the right to impose unlimited periods of imprisonment on individuals without trial.

‘The lack of a fair trial for hundreds of Palestinians in administrative detention is a serious breach of international law,’ says Van Bommel. ‘The European Union called in 2008 for an end to this kind of detention, yet it’s completely clear that Israel has done nothing about it, so it’s important that the international community put more pressure on Israel to halt this illegal practice.’

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