Palestinian prisoners to begin hunger strike to protest Israeli collective punishment
The Palestinian prisoner leadership has announced their intention to begin a hunger strike, starting Friday, to protest acts of Israeli collective punishment after the escape of six Palestinian detainees.
Some 1,380 Palestinian prisoners from across the political spectrum will go on hunger strike, according to Haaretz.
Prison wardens and security officials at Gilboa and Shita prisons may also face retaliatory attacks from prisoners in response to the "violent repression against them".
The first phase of the hunger strike will begin on Friday across eight prisons, including Gilboa jail, and will be expanding on 21 September with 100 senior detained leaders joining the hunger strike.
According to the Palestinian Detainees Committee, Marwan Barghouti and Karim Younis will be joining the protest.
The committee stated that the prisoners are demanding an end to Israeli violence in prisons, solitary confinement, and arbitrary detention.
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are currently being detained in Israel without charge or trial date.
The committee is also demanding the resumption of family visits to the prison, the installation of public phones, and the resumption of the entry of fruits and vegetables.
The planned hunger strike is in response to the collective punishment of Palestinian prisoners following the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa prison in the early hours of 6 September.
Since the escape, four of the prisoners have been apprehended by the Israeli authorities.
Five of the escapees were alleged members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), prompting prison officials to disperse other detained affiliates of the group to different prisons throughout Israel.
According to Haaretz, as of last week, around 300 members of the group's members have been moved.
The moving of detained PIJ members angered inmates, with clashes erupting between the detainees and prison guards, and cells set on fire in Ketziot and Rimon prisons.
There were no reports of injuries to detainees or prison officials as a result of the blaze and it was extinguished by prison staff.
According to prisoner organisations, they have no intention to cooperate with the movement of detainees.
Israel’s Prison Service Commissioner, Katy Perry, announced that the number of guards will be increased, searches of cells will be conducted, and security prisoners will have their cells locked throughout the day.