Today is the 21st day that some 1500 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails have been on hunger strike. According to the media committee set up by ‘Idraab al-Karaamah‘ or the ‘Strike of Dignity’, no correspondence has taken place between the detainees and the prison’s administration, with many of the prisoners beginning to suffer from reduced blood pressure, dropping heart function and muscular weakness.
The committee added that prison guards subject their captives with summary raids and provocative search routines, whilst transferring them, some up to four times between cells and solitary confinement. In the statement, detainees have been barred from communicating with the outside world and from reaching their lawyers.
The hunger strike was announced to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners’ Day which was marked on Monday 17th of April. It demands the ending of Administrative Detention, solitary confinement, denial of family visits and medical negligence.
During the strike, Israeli settlers, including members of the National Union Party set up barbecues outside the Ofer jails within close proximity to the prisoners to taunt strikers.
Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote,
“When it comes to the hunger strike by terrorists in Israeli jails, I take the approach of Margaret Thatcher,”
who infamously let Irish hunger strikers die in prison in 1981.
Some 6,500 prisoners are being held in Israeli jails, including 51 women, 300 children and 500 without trial and up to 1,800 suffer from varying medical conditions.