We will use IV tubes to force-feed prisoners if necessary, Israeli Prison service official Eli Gabizon said Sunday.

Some 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners housed in three main Israeli jails began a hunger strike Sunday morning. Prisoners are drinking water but not eating.

In reaction to the strike, the Prisons Service imposed additional restrictions, removing radios and television sets from jail cells, did not distribute newspapers, canceled family visits and stopped selling cigarettes.

Palestinian Political Prisoners Started the Open Ended Hunger Strike

Palestinian Political Prisoners in Nafah, Eishel, and Hadarim Prisons rejected breakfast, marking the start of an open ended hunger strike. Prisoners in other prisons and detention centers will join the hunger strike in the coming days.

Around 4,000 prisoners will join the first stage of the general hunger strike. It is not known whether or when the remaining 4,000 Palestinians in military detention centers join the strike.

Israeli Prison Authority and Security officials rejected prisoners’ demands, and insisted that political motivations are behind the prisoners’ move.

“Palestinian security prisoners can starve to death” Israeli Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Friday, affirming that Israel does not intend to positively deal with prisoners’ demands.

In protest against grieve human conditions inside Israeli jails, some 8,000 Palestinian political prisoners announced earlier this month their intention to start an open ended hunger strike on August 15.

The prisoners are demanding public telephones in their cell blocks, the removal of glass separating them from visiting relatives, adequate health care, and an end to ‘intrusive’ body searches.

What is certain is that the prisoners are threatening to extend their hunger strike in a dramatic fashion, some even hinting that they would be willing to in fact die of hunger, imitating inmates in Turkey and Northern Ireland.

The prisons authority warned that if the hunger strike goes ahead, the prisoners will suffer the loss of existing privileges, including end to all family visits as well as a loss of television and radio privileges.

The Prisons authority prepared two special units with expertise in crowd dispersal and mass evacuation of injured prisoners to hospitals.