Palestinian security prisoners are planning to go on hunger strike on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on March 22, in protest of a series of restrictions imposed on them by the Israel Prison Service (IPS).
The Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners Club said in a joint statement that inmates in Nafha Prison in southern Israel declared a state of “revolt” on Tuesday by disrupting the security checks by the guards and the requirement to wear the brown uniforms supplied by the PIS.
According to the statement, the IPS threatened the security prisoners in the Meggido and Gilboa prisons that they would face even harsher measures if they joined the insurgency.
What are the Palestinian security prisoners protesting?
The prisoners are protesting a series of measures announced by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who said last month that he wants to “ensure that the murderers of Jews are not getting better conditions.”
He has since ordered the closure of bakeries run by the inmates in two prisons. He has also instructed the IPS to allocate a showering time of only four minutes and to provide a total time of one hour of running water to each prisoner wing.
On Tuesday, the Prisoners’ Higher Emergency Committee accused Ben-Gvir of using bread and water to “wage war” on the security prisoners. “We will respond to him with the battle of freedom and martyrdom,” said the committee, which claims to represent the 4,700 security prisoners held in Israeli jails.
“We will respond to him with the battle of freedom and martyrdom.”Prisoners’ Higher Emergency Committee
The committee announced that the security prisoners have decided to protest against the measures by initially declaring a “revolt” and later going on a hunger strike on the first day of Ramadan.
Qadura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, warned of violence in the prisons if the Israeli authorities tried to punish the prisoners because of the revolt.
“The situation in the prisons is very dangerous,” Fares told the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper. “The prisoners took the decision [to revolt] in protest of the measures because Ben-Gvir wants to take the prisoners 50 years back. The prisoners won’t accept this. They won’t allow him to undermine the achievements they made over the past 50 years.”