Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: Reuters)
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniya on Sunday urged Palestinians to continue the ongoing 'prisoners' intifada' in support of Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli jails, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported on Sunday.
At a photo exhibition held in Gaza City in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, Haniya said that detainees on hunger strike were not seeking media attention but were fighting a genuine battle.
"We will fight in all arenas... and pay the price for the sake of their freedom," the Hamas premier said.
Haniya added: "These images tell the story of a people and a cause. They tell a story of imprisonment and of the blessed march of Jihad in the land of Palestine, especially in [Israeli] prisons."
Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for 214 days. On Wednesday, he was transferred from Israel's Ramle Prison to an Israeli hospital.
Ayman Sharawna, another Palestinian prisoner, has refused food since July, aside from a brief period in December.
According to Maan, both men were rearrested after being released as part of the October 2011 prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Palestinian resistance faction Hamas. Israeli military prosecutors are currently trying to reinstate the released Palestinians' former sentences.
The plight of the hunger strikers and the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat, who recently died in Israeli custody, sparked mass protests across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In a report released Saturday, the Palestinian Authority's prisoners ministry asserted that Jaradat had been savagely tortured by Israeli interrogators in the Jalameh detention centre.
"He was then moved to an interrogation facility in Megiddo [the so-called 'stool pigeons' room'] for further investigation because he wouldn't admit to the charges against him at Jalameh," the report said. "Two days after he was moved, he was murdered."
The ministry report described Israel's "stool pigeons' room" as the most brutal facility used by the Israeli intelligence services to interrogate Palestinian detainees.
"Prisoners are beaten, tortured, blackmailed and threatened in that room in the absence of any oversight," the report asserted.
It added: "Israeli courts and intelligence services rely on the results of investigations conducted in such rooms without questioning or scrutinising the methods of interrogation employed therein."