Palestinians jailed in Israel go on hunger strike

By IANS,

Ramallah : Palestinians jailed in Israel began a hunger strike on Tuesday demanding an improvement of their detention conditions.

Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club said about 1, 500 detainees joined the strike on Tuesday, who represent different factions in all Israeli detention facilities and prisons, reported Xinhua.

He added that more prisoners will join the strike if their demands are not met.

The prisoners mainly want an end to the administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold Palestinian activists without a charge, based on secret information that Israel says can not be revealed in courts.

Currently, there are 309 Palestinians held on administrative detention.

The hunger strikers are also pressing Israel to end the policy of solitary confinement and to allow families of Gazan prisoners to visit them.

Representatives of the prisoners have met officials from Israel Prison Service, who promised to respond to the prisoners’ demands in two weeks, according to Fares.

The strike coincides with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, which marks the release of the first Palestinian prisoner in the first exchange deal between Israel and the Palestinians in 1974.

Also on Tuesday, Israel is expected to free a Palestinian prisoner who fasted for 66 days to protest his administrative detention. Khader Adnan, a detained Islamic Jihad member, ended his strike in February after Israel agreed to release him in April.

Another Islamic Jihad member from the West Bank, Hana Shalabi, was released and transferred to Gaza after she had been fasting for 43 days.

Israel holds nearly 5,000 Palestinians, including nine female prisoners. There are 120 prisoners who were arrested before the creation of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994.

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