Human Rights

More than a Thousand Palestinians on a Hunger Strike in Israeli Prisons

Responding to the call of Marwan Barghouti, the jailed Fatah leader of the West Bank, they intend to protest against the 'ill-treatment' inflicted by the prison administration.

At the call of Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader in the West Bank, sentenced by Israeli justice to five life sentences, Palestinian prisoners held in the Jewish state  began a hunger strike on Sunday. According to the Israeli Prison Service (Shabas), 1,187 of the 6,200 "terrorists with blood on their hands" affiliated with Fatah and Hamas are participating in the movement. Issa Karakeh, who is in charge of the Palestinian Authority (PA) prisoners' file, says the number would be 1,300. The Palestinian NGO, which looks after the families of prisoners,  estimates it at 1,600.

For the time being, the main centers of the strike are the prisons of Gilboa, Hadarim, Ashkelon, Ketziot (one of the hardest settlements in the Negev desert) and Ramon. "But the movement will spread over days and it will last as long as it takes," promises Karakeh.

Prisoners’ demands

The strike broke out on April 17, on the occasion of the traditional "prisoner's day" instituted in 1975, followed closely in the Palestinian territories, where several demonstrations of support took place. Barghouti defied the Israeli government in a long platform published on April16 in the New York Times in an attempt to broaden the protest. He denounced "judicial apartheid", "mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment" reserved for the Palestinians.

The prisoners have issued a list of demands in thirteen areas, including the end of physical violence and the internment of minors, the right to decent medical care, the right to use public telephones identical to those used by inmates who are not under surveillance, the extension of visiting rights to representatives of humanitarian organizations, the right to freely watch television (which had been abolished in recent months), and the installation of air-conditioning in their overcrowded jails .

In Jerusalem, the Israeli Minister of Homeland Security; Gilad Erdan (Likud), promises that he will "not negotiate with terrorists and certainly not with Barghouti, who only seeks to strengthen his position within Fatah and Palestinian public opinion." He also ordered a field hospital to be set up next to the Ketziot prison in order not to send the hunger strikers to civilian hospitals for treatment.

Shabas also announced that all participants in the strike would be subject to an internal procedure which could result in them being held incommunicado or other punitive measures, such as deprivation of family visits or the prohibition of receiving photos of relatives. (PAJUMONTREAL.ORG)

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at

blog comments powered by Disqus