[Pnews] 300 Palestinian prisoners now participating in mass hunger strike

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 4 12:13:07 EDT 2016


*300 Palestinian prisoners now participating in mass hunger strike*


Aug. 4, 2016 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772515


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- More than 300 Palestinians are currently 
participating in an open hunger strike in Israeli prisons, the 
Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.

PPS said that 285 Hamas-affiliated prisoners held at the Eshel and Nafha 
prisons entered an open hunger strike on Thursday to protest suppressive 
measures by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), while some 40 prisoners 
from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were 
striking in support of fellow prisoner Bilal Kayid.

Kayid enters his 51st day of hunger strike on Thursday in protest of 
being sentenced to administrative detention -- internment without trial 
or charges -- on the day when he was meant to be released from prison 
after serving a 14-and-a-half year sentence.

Kayid is one of six Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike to 
protest their administrative detention. These hunger strikers included 
brothers Mahmoud and Muhammad al-Balboul, who began their hunger strikes 
on July 4 and 7 respectively; Malik al-Qadi; and Ayyad Hreimi, who both 
began their strikes on July 15.

Meanwhile, prominent imprisoned Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal began 
his own open hunger strike on Thursday.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention, almost exclusively used 
against Palestinians, has been widely criticized by rights group that 
have accused Israel of using the policy to erode Palestinian political 
and social life by detaining scores of Palestinians without proof of 
wrongdoing.

Four other prisoners -- identified as Ahmad al-Barghouthi, Mahmoud 
Sarahneh, Ziyad al-Bazzar, and Amin Kamil -- have been refusing food to 
denounce a recent decision by the International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC) to decrease the number of family visits to prisoners to 
once monthly.

Meanwhile, prisoner Walid Malluh Masalmeh has been on a hunger strike 
since July 18 to protest being held in solitary confinement for more 
than ten months.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, Israel was detaining some 
7,000 Palestinian prisoners as of May, including 715 in administrative 
detention.

The large-scale solidarity movement amongst prisoners has resulted in an 
equally massive crackdown by the IPS, which has conducted multiple 
raids, cell block closures, confiscations of personal property, and 
transfers of detainees in attempts to quell the strikes.

PPS reported that IPS raided Section 10 of the Eshel prison on Thursday 
and transferred a number of detainees to the Ohalei Kedar prison after a 
“humiliating search.”

The ongoing prisoners movement has inspired sit-ins across the occupied 
Palestinian territory organized by families of incarcerated hunger 
strikers and their supporters.

Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) carried out a 
sit-in in Gaza City in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners on 
Thursday.

The deputy speaker of the PLC in Gaza, Ahmad Bahr, called on all 
Palestinian resistance factions and their military wings to unite to 
release prisoners from Israeli custody.

Bahr also demanded that the Palestinian Authority end its controversial 
security coordination with Israel. “We must unite to free prisoners,” he 
added.

-- 
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