Israel Prison Service denies reports that deal has been struck with Palestinian prisoners

Palestinian prisoners threaten civil disobedience and hunger strike if demands are not met.

By
March 11, 2015 13:54
1 minute read.
Palestinian protester

Israeli prison guards escort a paramilitary border policeman at Jerusalem District court November 23, 2014. Israeli prosecutors charged the policeman on Sunday in the fatal shooting of a teenage Palestinian protester.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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No deal was reached between security prisoners and the Prisons Service and no promises were made to inmates as part of a deal to avoid a strike.

“We don’t sign deals with them and they are not receiving any concessions from us,” Sivan Weizman of the Prisons Service said on Wednesday.

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The service meets with prisoners on a regular basis and talks with them about their needs, but no deal was agreed to, despite reports to the contrary, Weizman said.

She added that reports about an agreement are likely the result of prisoners wanting to save face after realizing that a strike would not result in them having their demands met.

Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday that Palestinian security prisoners had called off a series of protests after reaching a deal with Prisons Service authorities, under which they would receive some of their demands, including an increase in family visits.

According to the report, the protests were planned following clashes between prisoners and guards in February at Ramon Prison in the Negev after four Islamic Jihad prisoners had been transferred to other facilities. One of the reported demands was that the four prisoners would be returned to Ramon.

The report quoted Issa Qaraqe, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority’s committee of prisoners’ affairs, as saying that the prisoners had planned “several civil disobedience measures,” eventually escalating to a hunger strike, and that such steps could still be taken if the deal isn’t put into effect.

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In late June last year, Palestinian prisoners called off a two-month hunger strike.

The Prisons Service said at the time that the strike was called off after it reached an agreement with inmates, but that the agreement did not include any concessions to their demands.

The hunger strike was launched by 90 prisoners being held in administrative detention, the controversial practice of holding suspects in security offenses in detention without charges or without their ability to see the charges against them.

The practice remains one of the main motivations behind recent protests and hunger strikes among security prisoners.

Hunger strikes are a favored protest by security prisoners and can often inspire solidarity protests by Palestinians outside prison facilities.

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