Hundreds of security prisoners at Ofer Prison in the West Bank held a one-day
hunger strike on Tuesday, to protest changes in their detention conditions, the
Prisons Service reported on Tuesday.
Sivan Weitzman, spokeswoman for the
Prisons Service, said that the 550 prisoners are protesting changes in the
prison wings they are assigned to, mainly in terms of the prisoners’ party
affiliations. Weitzman denied reports that the protest is being held out of
solidarity with the handful of hunger-striking prisoners at the Prisons
Service’s medical facility.
“What the prisoners at the scene have told us
is this protest is about the conditions of their detention and changes in who is
housed with who,” she said, “despite what outside organizations are trying to
say about the protest.”
As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the striking prisoners
had began eating again, according to the Prisons Service.
Zeghari, executive director of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, said the
one-day protest on Tuesday was called to show solidarity with Palestinian
security prisoners who have been rearrested since their release under the
November 2011 exchange deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
these, Iman Sharwana, was arrested in February 2012 three months after the
Schalit deal. Sharwana had been serving a life sentence for attempted murder
when he was released in the deal.
Zeghari said the arrests are being
carried out because the prisoners were political leaders in the West Bank. He
added that last Friday, a number of prisoners were holding a prayer service and
speaking of the “victory of the resistance in Gaza,” and as a result security at
the prison moved a number of the prayer leaders to Hadarim Prison, leading to a
one-day hunger strike by prisoners at Ofer Prison on Saturday.