The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society has issued a statement confirming that 60 people being held in Beersheba Prison, in Eshel, are currently engaged in continuous hunger strike, and that each of them are being held in solitary confinement.
According to Ma’an News Agency, the prisoners are among hundreds who are now refusing meals in act of solidarity with administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for 41 days.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, of the PLO Executive Committee, said that the strikers ‘represent the most selfless struggle for justice and freedom in Palestine and that the ongoing hunger strike exposes ‘the cruelty and illegality of the ongoing illegal occupation, particularly in relation to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.’
Ashrawi has called on the international community to pressure Israel in meeting the strikers’ demands, Ma’an further reports:
‘The deafening silence from the international media and some official circles regarding the hundreds of Palestinian prisoner hunger strikers is inexcusable,’ she said.
‘We call on all states, members of the press, and people of conscience to pressure Israel to drop its cruel and illegal use of the colonial practice of administrative detention and other administrative punitive measures and form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the severe and illegal violations committed by the IPS (Israeli Prison Service).’
Furthermore, Palestinian human rights organization Addameer has estimated that somewhere around 183 Palestinians are currently being held under administrative detention conditions, without charge or trial.
Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, by the PLO’s calculations.
A spokesman for IPS could not be immediately reached for comment.