The number of hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel in various prisons, detention camps and interrogation facilities around the country, will likely reach 3,000 persons as waves of detainees intend to join the strike, demanding their rights guaranteed under international law.Dozens of detainees are currently on hunger-strike that officially started last Tuesday. The strike, described as âthe battle of empty bowelsâ, aims at ending Israelâs illegal administrative detention polices, halting all violations against the detainees and their families, and improving the living conditions of the detainees.
Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), Qaddoura Fares, told the Ma’an News Agency that the first group of detainees, held under administrative detention without charges, have reached the âno return pointâ as they have been on hunger-strike since 56 days, and insist on not breaking their strike until they are released.
Fares added that the second group of detainees have been on hunger strike for seven days now, and are demanding Israeli to improve their living conditions, allowing visitation rights, halting violations against their visiting family members, ending all solitary confinement policies, allowing them the right to education, and ending all night raids, and searches, targeting them and their rooms.
âThe current number of detainees who are on hunger-strike is 1,400-1,600, and will likely increase to 3,000 in the coming few daysâ Fares said and added that it is unlikely that all 4,700 detainees will join the strike, but could hold solidarity hunger strikes, such as two days a week.
Fares said that the striking detainees are from different political factions and groups, and that they are all united in their legitimate demands regardless of their political affiliation.
It is worth mentioning that Israel conducted punitive measures against 1,200 Palestinian detainees by denying their visitation rights, and isolating them from the detainees who are not part of the protests yet.
Furthermore, a spokeswoman of the Israeli Prison Administration, stated that all âprivilegesâ have been taken away from the detainees, including family visitations, and all electrical equipment has been removed.