Update : strike ended until June 1 with many demands fulfilled.
Today the Palestinian Political Prisoners are fasting for the 32nd day.
People around the world are supporting their claims by 24hours solidarity fasts.
Please learn more about the conditions of the #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners in the report below from a human rights knowledgable person working in the Israeli Knesset.
The Hunger Strike
On 17th April 2017, about 1600 Palestinians held by Israel and classified as ”security prisoners” began a hunger strike to protest the conditions of their detention in Israeli prisons and to demand improvements (Israel is currently holding some 6500 Palestinians in prisons and dentention centers), such as the use of public telephone, the option to study and the ability to meet with family members.
The category ”security prisoner” is not an legally defined prisoner category, but an interpretation by the Israel Prison Service used to serve its purposes. In Israel criminal prisoners have access to public phones, family visits every 2 weeks and are allowed to participate in study programs. In addition, criminal prisoners with young children can meet with them in specially designated ”family areas” where they can embrace them and play with them. ”Security prisoners” have been stripped of these rights.
It should be noted that many of the political prisoners are Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, a practice contradictory to international law. The practice prevents family members from visiting them, as they are not allowed to cross the checkpoints into Israel except for extremely special occassions. As a result, many children are prevented from meeting with their parents. Prisoners from the Gaza strip cannot receive any visits at all. As prisoners do not have access to public phones either, they are completely isolated from the outside world and their families and friends from them. The hunger strikers demand public phones be installed in the prisons.
Israel Prison Service (IPS) is preventing Palestinian prisoners who are participating in the hunger strike from meeting with their lawyers, a punitive practice previously defined as illegal by the Supreme Court. the decision is being challenged by ”Adalah – the center of Arab minority rights in Israel.
Being on hunger strike has been defined an ”offence against prison rules” and hunger-strikers are made to pay fines.
Attorneys who had scheduled authorized visits with their clients were surprised to discover that the IPS had cancelled their meetings for a variety of illegal pretexts relating to the prisoner’s participation in the hunger strike.
The Israeli courts have authorized force-feeding of hunger strikers. The Israeli Medical Association (MAI) however, has forbidden Israeli doctors to participate in force-feeding, deeming the act a form of violence against a patient and therefore morally wrong. (It is also against international law)
Some of the leaders of the hunger strike, Marwan Barghouti among them, have been placed in isolation. The authorities carry out frequent searches in their cells, during which they have to stand up. Standing up is an extreme effort for most of them due to the weakened state of their bodies.
Some of the strikers drink water mixed with small amounts of salt to keep up their minerals. The authorities have taken the salt away.
In addition, the prison authorities have removed all comfort items.