More Than 1000 Palestinians In Israeli Prisons Go On Hunger Strike

Posted April 18, 2017

More than a thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have begun a mass hunger strike against detention conditions.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, joined about 1,500 marchers.

The op-ed drew widespread condemnation in Israel for failing to mention that Barghouti is serving time for being convicted of being behind five killings, calling him "a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian" at the bottom of the piece.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 57 women and around 300 children, according to NGO the Palestinian Prisoners Club. However, Palestinians from the West Bank need an entry permit to enter Israel and the Israeli authorities often deny such permits.

The number of prisoners going on hunger strike was expected to expand to 2,000 of the Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails. The demands of the strike include allowing Palestinians to receive proper medical attention, ending the ban on family visits, allowing female prisoners to be treated appropriately, ending solitary confinement and ending administrative detention.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, however, disputes Barghouti's claim, saying that the proposed hunger-strike has more has to do with internal Palestinian politics rather than prisoner treatment.

He stated that the number of the prisoners who died in Israeli jails has increased to 210.

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He is a popular figure among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency.

According to Shakir, a mass hunger strike is an attempt by Palestinian prisoners to shed light on such practices that raise serious questions about Israel's policies under worldwide law.

Palestinian officials said some 1,500 inmates affiliated with all political factions including rival Fatah and Hamas were taking part in the protest.

The prisoners said in a statement that they would fast until Israel accepts a 13-item demands list, including visitation rights and access to telephones.

Ashkar affirmed that the Israeli occupation forces escalated at the beginning of 2017 the arrest campaigns against the Palestinian MPs raising the number of those kidnapped to 13, eight of whom are held under administrative detention.

Prisoners in Ashkelon, Nafha, Rimon, Hadarim, Gilboa and Beer-Sheva put all the food out of their cells and declared their hunger strike.

Erdan said a field hospital would be erected next to one prison - an apparent move to pre-empt transfers to civilian medical facilities, which could draw wider media attention.