Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails launch mass hunger strike

18 April, 2017, 02:53 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Palestinian prisoners walk at the yard of the Israeli prison of Megiddo

More than a thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have begun a mass hunger strike against detention conditions. 13 of the female prisoners are wounded, 10 of them are sick and do not receive proper treatment while 4 of them are ex-prisoners who were rearrested by the Israeli occupation forces.

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

Akram Atallah, of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), told Efe news that it hopes more prisoners will continue joining the call, which coincides with the national Palestinian Prisoners' Day held every April 17.

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

PCHR also called on European countries to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel should respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation; and the United Nations bodies, International Committee of the Red Cross and international community to pressurize Israel to improve the detention conditions of the Palestinian prisoners, stop torture and open prisons to observers until prisoners are released.

The number of prisoners going on hunger strike was expected to expand to 2,000 of the Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.

Some 740 Palestinians are held in administrative detention, according to Qaraqe.

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The strike is led by Marwan Barghouti, a high-profile Fatah-linked prisoner, who is considered by some as a potential successor to President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club non-governmental organisation put the number at 1,500.

"Through our hunger strike, we seek an end to these abuses. Some have been killed while in detention", he wrote.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the June 1967 Mideast war.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the decision as "threatening peace and undermining the two-state solution".

Under worldwide humanitarian law, prisoners from occupied territories must be held in the occupied territory, not in the territory of the occupying power.

Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan reportedly said on Sunday that the strike was spurred by internal Palestinian politics. Led by jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, the strike will see Palestinian prisoners from across the political spectrum participate from within six prisons inside Israel.

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