[Pnews] Palestinian hunger strikers cut off from communication

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 2 12:01:49 EDT 2017


  Palestinian hunger strikers cut off from communication

Charlotte Silver 
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver> 2 May 2017


As Palestinian prisoners enter day 16 of their mass hunger strike 
Israeli authorities are said to be obstructing negotiations and severely 
impeding communication from the strikers to the outside world.

As many as 1,600 Palestinians are refusing food in protest 
of ill treatment by Israeli prison authorities, including medical 
neglect and reduction of family visits.

Israel has attempted to prevent information on the striking prisoners 
from reaching the public by transferring protest leaders into solitary 
confinement and blocking visits by families and lawyers.

On Saturday, the Israel Prison Service reportedly ordered 
<http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=42095> mobile 
phone companies to block reception in the western area of the Naqab 
desert in the south of the country to prevent Palestinians on strike in 
the Ketziot and Nafha prisons from communicating.

The blackout was partially lifted after Israeli residents in the area 
complained of service disruptions.

The cellular blackout was apparently coordinated by public security 
minister Gilad Erdan <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/gilad-erdan>, 
who has taken a hard line against hunger strikes. Erdan pushed for the 
legalization of force-feeding in 2015 by calling 
hunger strikes a “new sort of suicide bombing to threaten the state of 

In an op-ed published by /The New York Times/ on Monday, Erdan states 
that Israel will not “surrender to terrorism,” and the hunger strike has 
nothing to do with the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners.

    Attacks on solidarity protests

Throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli 
forces attacked gatherings and demonstrations in solidarity with hunger 
striking prisoners.

In the northern West Bank village Sebastia, soldiers fired tear gas 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776786> at a sit-in on Monday, 
causing the protest tent to catch fire, two days after tear gas fired by 
Israeli forces caused a blaze 
<https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776744> in the village of 
Beita, south of Nablus.

The Israeli military used violent force 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776735> against a coordinated 
“day of rage” throughout the West Bank on Friday.

Protesters were injured by tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and 
live ammunition.

While lawyers have been banned from hunger strikers at most detention 
centers, attorneys with the rights group Addameer 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/addameer> have been able 
to visit with non-striking prisoners, who have given updates on the 
progress of the strike.

Addameer’s lawyers were told that Israel has continued to impose 
punitive measures on strikers, including transferring them to solitary 
confinement, prohibiting them from participating in group prayer on 
Fridays and banning 
them from washing their clothing.

    Salt confiscated

A prisoner told 
Addameer that prison officials seized salt from hunger strikers, which 
they consume to stabilize and prevent long-term damage to their health.

A lawyer from the Palestinian Authority committee on prisoners’ affairs 
accused <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776776> Israeli 
officials of “psychological torture” by putting food in front of the 
striking prisoners.

Last week, the Palestinian Authority body and the Palestinian human 
rights group Adalah <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/adalah> filed a 
joint petition <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9086> to Israel’s 
high court over the Israel Prison Service’s ban on meetings between 
hunger strikers and their lawyers.

The court is scheduled hear the petition on Wednesday.

The groups state that the Israeli prison authorities are violating a 
2004 high court ruling which states that it is illegal to bar meetings 
between prisoners – including those on hunger strike – and their lawyers.

The health of several hunger strikers is said to have deteriorated 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776795>, but information is 
difficult to confirm due to communication restrictions.

Israel is meanwhile reportedly impeding negotiations by conditioning 
them on the exclusion of Marwan Barghouti 

Barghouti, a leader of the Fatah party who is serving multiple life 
sentences since his arrest in 2002, launched 
the mass hunger strike on 17 April, which marks Palestinian Prisoners’ 
Day, though the campaign has generated widespread support among 
Palestinians from multiple political factions.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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