April 17 marks Palestinian Prisoners Day, when Palestinians remember their friends and family members held in Israeli prisons. Despite their growing numbers — currently 7,000, including 700 in administrative detention and 400 children — the prisoners and their supporters have something to celebrate this year. Security megafirm G4S, or Group 4 Securicor, announced in March that it would revoke its contract with Israel.
Human rights organizations around the world have targeted G4S because of the role it plays in maintaining Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. G4S’s security services and equipment enable Israel to maintain the cruel and illegal blockade of Gaza, force West Bank Palestinians to pass through checkpoints even within the Green Line, and hold children as young as 12 in military prisons, with little to no access to their parents or a lawyer after their arrest, in overt violation of international law and human rights. (Children living in Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank are prosecuted in the Israeli civilian legal system.)
Read more from Friends of Sabeel, North America