Palestinian prisoners in Israel begin mass hunger strike

According to CNN, over a thousand Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli detention began a hunger strike to protest the treatment of prisoners on Tuesday.

Fifteen hundred prisoners decided to join the strike to protest Israel’s policy of administrative detention, the solitary confinement of prisoners for months at a time and the arbitrary fines imposed on prisoners, said Palestinian Prisoner’s Association Club spokeswoman Amani Sarahna. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Association Club is an inmate advocacy group.

Administrative detention has no requirement to charge people under this practice and allows Israeli authorities to detain people indefinitely, according to the article. “Of the roughly 4,700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, approximately 300 are in administrative detention,” according to the article.

The hunger strike began as Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza gathered at various events to observe the annual Prisoner’s Day, which marks solidarity for the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, according to the article.

Prior to this mass hunger strike, there were 10 prisoners already conducting their own strike lasting various durations, Sarahna said. Those prisoners who were already striking are suffering from health issues, according to a press release released by the club.

Omar Abu Shallal, a prisoner in Israeli detention, has been on a hunger strike for 44 days. He is suffering from “total faintness and is having difficulty sleeping in additions to headaches and back pains,” the release said.

Also, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla are on the 50th day of their hunger strike, the release said. CNN was not able to independently verify these accounts.

 

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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