IPS defends treatment of Palestinian prisoners on strike

Prison service says prisoners under daily medical supervision; Prisoners launch hunger strike protesting enforced separation.

Ramallah prisoner demonstration 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Ramallah prisoner demonstration 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Israel Police Service (IPS) defended the treatment of Palestinian prisoners after some 234 joined a hunger strike that began on September 27 protesting the enforced isolation of 50 prisoners belonging to the Popular Front terror organization from the general prison population.
According to the IPS, the separation is fully legal and carried out according to a court order. Prisoners are under daily medical supervision, and their health conditions are satisfactory, the IPS said, adding that prisoners have regular visitations by International Red Cross representatives.
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Prisoners that are participating in the hunger strike claim that the prison service has harmed their living conditions since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for tougher restrictions after talks with Hamas to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit failed.
Prisoners participating in the hunger striker released the following statement: "We protest the fact that we are being separated from general prison population."
The IPS has said it is able to deal with unexpected developments.
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 open-ended strike were nonetheless shunning food for three days every week in solidarity with the others.
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.