Hundreds of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails on Wednesday continued their hunger strike for the eighth day as the Israeli prison administration continues to reject all the prisoners’ demands, Palestinian media reported.
Palestinian Minster of Prisoners, Issa Qaraqa, said that a meeting held at the Rimonim Jail between the prisoners’ representatives and Israeli intelligence officers failed because the Israeli Prisons Authorities did not want to respond to the detainees’ demands. Prisoners representative Jamal al Rjoub said the meeting was fruitless because the Israeli side rejected all the prisoners’ demands, which he said are considered ’normal absolute rights.’
According to the Palestine News Network (PNN), the Israeli prison administration is allegedly attempting to end the strike by isolating a number of prisoners into cells and stopping family visits as a punishment. Several prisoners have warned that the strike will expand if their demands are not met.
The main demands of the prisoners are to end the policy of isolation and of collective punishment. They also want that Israeli authorities allow their families to visit them without restrictions and shackles.
There are almost 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including 143 people who have been detained for more than 20 years for serious crimes. In July, thousandsof them participated in a one-day hunger strike to protest Israeli policies against them, such as solitary confinement and alleged intentional medical negligence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously announced on June 23 that the country would revoke benefits and privileges from Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Netanyahu was responding to Hamas’ refusal to let the International Red Cross visit soldier Gilad Schalit.
On June 25, 2006, Shalit, a Staff Sergeant with the Israeli Defense Forces, was abducted by Hamas militants and has been held in captivity since. His family has been trying to have contact with him without avail.
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have entered their ninth day of hunger strike protesting Israeli humiliating policy practiced against them.
The Coordinator of the Popular Movement for the Prisoners and Palestinian Rights, Nash’at Al-Wahidi, said that Palestinian prisoners have been in an open hunger strike until Israeli’s prisons authorities respond to their demands.
He called on all Palestinian factions, prisoners’ families, foreign activists, and international institutions to demonstrate on Wednesday in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.
Stating that participants will gather today morning in the protest tent set up near the Red Cross in Gaza city and march toward Beit Hanoun terminal in support of the prisoners.