At least 46 Palestinian detainees being held at Etzion incarceration facility will begin an open hunger strike on Thursday, in demand of better living conditions, according to a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.Jacqueline Fararjeh said that the detainees are protesting the quality and quantity of food served to them, in addition to filthy living conditions, inadequate medical treatment and lack of regular access to showers.
Fararjeh said some prisoners had not bathed in 15 days, Ma’an News Agency reports.
While Fararjeh explained that Etzion jail is supposed to house Palestinians awaiting charges and trials, at least 11 Palestinians being held at the prison have been put under administrative detention, meaning they should be transferred from the facility, but have not, due to the overcrowding at other prisons.
The lawyer added that Etzion jail falls under Isreali military jurisdiction, not the central Israeli Prison Service, and is considered one of the worst detention centers at which Palestinian prisoners are held.
Late last month, a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners’ Affairs Committee, Hussien al-Sheikh, said Etzion was ‘flooded’ from heavy rainfall.
The flooding, al-Sheikh said, ruined detainees’ clothing and blankets, as mold took root in the dampened materials. He added that due to the poor conditions, flu and skin infection had started to spread among the prisoners, who remained untreated.
In addition to deteriorating living conditions in the jail, al-Sheikh documented cases of Israeli authorities insulting, beating and torturing prisoners during interrogations.
Rights groups have long criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment.
Nearly 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, many of whom face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.
Also of interest: Al-Qeeq Suspends His Strike After Reaching An Agreement For His Release