Суббота, 08 Мая, 2021

Palestinian hunger striking prisoners plan to observe Ramadan fasting

Christy Curtis | 29 Мая, 2017, 04:50

"This is an internal Palestinian issue, not an Israeli-Palestinian issue". Family visits to Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails is administered exclusively by the Red Cross. It was the International Committee of the Red Cross that stopped the visits a year ago, because family members were not showing up and the group was running out of funds.

Although hunger strikes are not uncommon among the 6500 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, many of whom were convicted of attacks or planning attacks against Israelis, this was one of the largest.

"The prisoners win, they are suspending their strike", said the headline on the Palestinian Maan news agency, a private outlet. More than 6,500 Palestinian prisoners, including an estimated 300 children, are languishing in Israeli jails under bleak conditions.

The prisoners' two main demands had been for more frequent visits and for prisoners to be allowed to speak to their families on public phones under supervision. "Then two hours later everything changed", he said, adding that Israeli negotiators had began talks with Barghouti.

Opinion polls have, however, repeatedly showed that many Palestinians would like Barghouti to be their next president and analysts believe the deal will improve his position in Palestinian politics. A death among the protesting prisoners was likely to have fanned demonstrations and risked turmoil with Israeli forces in the West Bank.

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Israel had initially resisted any idea of improving prison conditions, arguing that they already met the bare minimum requirements as set out by worldwide law.

The hunger strikers were demanding appropriate medical care and treatment in Israeli prisons, as well as an end to solitary confinement and the so-called administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge.

Palestinian political prisoners in Israel are on an indefinite hunger strike protesting against the degrading conditions in the prisons, the restrictions imposed on family visits and the very nature of their detention. Israel said the number was closer to 800. "Unless urgent measures are taken to de-escalate, the crisis risks spiraling out of control with devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis alike."Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement controls the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs the Israeli occupied West Bank".

Nevertheless, Israel worked hard to undermine Barghouti during the strike, including planting a candy bar in his cell and releasing a film of him eating it.

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