Palestinian prisoners launch protests, leading to mass hunger strike

Palestinian prisoners launch protests, leading to mass hunger strike
On Monday, the Palestinian prisoners' leadership body called for protests at Israeli checkpoints starting next Friday to support their cause.
3 min read
West Bank
24 August, 2022
Palestinian prisoners demand Israel to cancel punitive measures imposed on them after the Gilboa prison break. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are preparing for a mass hunger strike if their demands are not met by the Israeli jails authority, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club told The New Arab on Wednesday.
In March, Palestinian prisoners suspended a planned hunger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to their demands. Yet earlier in August, the prisoners announced in a statement, made public by the Prisoners' Club, that Israeli authorities had broken the agreement.
"Israeli authorities had introduced a series of punitive measures against the prisoners following the Gilboa prison break last September, which included the constant transfer of prisoners between prison facilities and repeated solitary confinement," Amani Sarahneh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners' Club told The New Arab.
"The hunger strike that was announced to start in late March was to demand the cancelling of those punitive actions and Israelí authorities agreed," said Sarahneh.

 "Recently, the Israeli authorities decided to resume some of those measures, especially the constant transfer between jails for prisoners with high sentences," she pointed out.

"Prisoners have started a series of protest actions on Monday, mainly refusing a meal during the day and refusing to step out of their cells for morning counting," she added.

"The prisoners decide to go into a full-scale mass hunger strike in September in case Israeli authorities don't backtrack on their decision."

On Monday, the Palestinian prisoners' leadership body called on Palestinians to show support for their case by protesting at Israeli checkpoints, beginning next Friday.
On Tuesday, the main Palestinian prisoners' support organizations, including the Prisoners' Club and the High Commission for Prisoners' Affairs, said in a press conference in Ramallah that they have prepared support activities across the Palestinian territories to be announced soon, and called on all Palestinians to take part. 
Human rights groups estimate that Israel has arrested around one million Palestinians since 1967, including a third of the male population in the occupied territories, which makes the prisoners issue a national question for Palestinians, impacting all sectors of the Palestinian society.

Among the main Palestinian concerns related to prisoners in Israeli jails is the question of ill prisoners, accounting for around 600, who medical negligence by Israel.
The most significant case is that of 49-year-old Abdel Baset Muutan, who suffers from colon cancer.
In addition, the "Administrative Detention" system, implemented by Israel to detain Palestinians indefinitely without charges, remains a constant matter for Palestinians.

Last week, Palestinian administrative detainee Khalil Awawdeh was suspended, without ending, his 160-day-long hunger strike in protest against his detention without charges, after Israeli authorities agreed to freeze his detention order, allowing him to receive visits in a civil hospital.
Currently, around 4,450 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, including 27 women, 175 children and 670 administrative detainees without charges, according to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.