Gazans rally for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

About 230 security prisoners have joined hunger strike claiming jail conditions are worsening; Israeli Prison Service defends status-quo.

By
October 9, 2011 18:57
1 minute read.
Gaza rally for Palestinian prisoners

Gaza City rally 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)

 
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Some 230 Palestinian security prisoners have joined a hunger strike that began last month to protest what they claim are unfair conditions.

The hunger strike, launched on September 27, began when 50 prisoners belonging to the Popular Front terror organization protested their isolation from the general inmate population.

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The hunger strike has since spread to three prisons in the South and North of the country.

According to the Israel Prisons Service, the separation is fully legal and was carried out in line with a court order.

Prisoners are under daily medical supervision, the IPS added, and their health conditions are satisfactory. They also enjoy regular visitations by International Red Cross representatives, the IPS said.

The hunger strikers claim that their living conditions have deteriorated since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for tougher restrictions, after talks with Hamas to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit hit a dead end.

“We protest the fact that we are being separated from the general prison population,” those participating in the hunger strike said in a statement.

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The IPS has said on Sunday it was ready to deal with any “unexpected developments” and that it had beefed up its forces.

Around 6,000 Palestinians are detained in Israeli prisons, according to Palestinian Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqea, who said last week that most of those not on the openended strike were still shunning food for three days every week in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

Rights groups have claimed that the government clampdown on prisoners included preventing access to books, educational programs and new clothes, expanding solitary confinement, cutting back on family visits and forcing detainees to meet their lawyers with their hands cuffed.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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