140 Palestinians in Israeli prisons enter 9th day of hunger strike

The inmates claim that agreements reached after a similar strike last April have still not been implemented.

September 18, 2019 13:40
1 minute read.
140 Palestinians in Israeli prisons enter 9th day of hunger strike

A Palestinian prisoner, convicted of security offences against Israel, looks out of his cell at Nitzan jail. (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

140 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons entered the 9th day of hunger strikes in protest against the decision by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to not remove jamming devices, according to Palestinian Safa News.

The prisoners began the hunger strike over a week ago when the IPS refused to remove cellular jamming devices from prisons. Some of the prisoners are also not drinking water.

The main demands of the prisoners are the removal of the jamming devices, the placement of public telephones and the cessation of punitive measures against striking prisoners.

The prisoners claim that agreements reached after a strike last April have still not been implemented.

IPS actually installed public phones the Ramon and Ktzi'ot prisons as part of a pilot program in which Hamas inmates would be given a total of 15 minutes of conversation time per week to five pre-approved numbers of family relatives, Haaretz reported in August. The reason prisoners cannot use these phones is that they refused to sign an agreement with the prison authorities not to smuggle mobile phones into prisons. 

The public phones were suggested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Hamas said on Tuesday that the terrorist group "will not leave the Palestinian detainees alone in their fight for their legitimate demands."

"We call for a mass popular and factional action to raise the issue of the Palestinian detainees and support them in the face of Israeli violence and terrorism against them," said Hamas in a press statement.

The IPS put into isolation Abbas al-Sayed, the deputy chairman of the Higher Committee for the Prisoners of Hamas, along with a number of the committee's members including Ahmed al-Qidra, according to former minister of prisoners Wasfi Qabha.

"The escalation by the occupation prisons and the policy of procrastination in the lack of implementation of understandings between them and the prisoner leadership will drag prisons into real battles," said Qabha.

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