Palestinian Hunger Strikes

Palestinians Protest Prison Conditions

Wikipedia Commons

Currently, Palestinians in Israeli prisons are staging a hunger strike in protest of the conditions in the jail, calling for better medical care, increased family visits and an end to the holding of Palestinians without charge. This strike is being led by Marwan Barghoutti, a Palestinian political figure who is imprisoned for committing five murders.

With nearly 7,000 Palestinians in the prison, around 1,000 to 1,500 of them are joining in the protest, showing their support by shaving their heads and getting rid of any and all food products in their cells. Palestinian Authority Prisoners’ Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe stated that the strike is “bringing prisoners closer to their basic rights and demands and preventing the occupation from harming the dignity of the Palestinian prisoners.” Outside of the walls of the prison, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, thousands marched in solidarity to the strikes on in honor of Prisoners day where Palestinians remember their loved ones currently detained.

When similar strikes have done in previous years, the result was many Palestinians fasting to the point of hospitalization and increased tension between the two sides. Already the Israeli Prison service has stated that “Prisoners who decide to [hunger] strike will face serious consequences” as both strikes and protests of any kind are illegal.