Palestinian prisoners vow to start open-ended hunger strike

Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Mar 2023

Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons say they will intensify their protest against measures taken by Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Runners carry placards depicting Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails as they pass the controversial separation barrier as they compete in the Palestine Marathon in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Friday, March 10, 2023. AP


For the 26th day in a row, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons continued their daily disobedience in protest against the Israeli government's treatment of prisoners, including wearing the brown prison uniform as a message of readiness for confrontation.

They have been mobilized during their exit to the prison yards, and hold sit-ins in the squares after the morning call to prayer.

Ben Gvir announced on January 8 his decision to cancel a policy which allows any lawmaker in the Israeli Knesset to visit incarcerated Palestinians in prison.

Since then, the Israel Prison Service has begun moving inmates and transferring them between the 20 prisons used exclusively for Palestinian political prisoners.

Approximately 140 Palestinian prisoners were transferred to Nafha in January. The prison is notorious for terrible living conditions, which some prisoners describe as inhumane.

The prison administration has yet to respond to prisoners' demands to stop implementing the procedures announced based on recommendations from Ben Gvir.

Moreover, the Israeli government's proposed new draft law that would allow the death penalty to be applied to any Palestinian convicted of murder on "terrorist grounds".

The law would allow for the death penalty to be used in both military and civil courts and applied through a unanimous court decision by two of three judges and without needing to consult the Military Prosecutor.

Critics argue the law is a continuation of the Israeli occupation's racist policies against Palestinians and would violate basic human rights.

According to WAFA, 4,500 Palestinians are currently detained inside Israeli occupation prisons, including 30 women and 160 children.

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