Seventy Palestinian prisoners, held by Israel, launched on Wednesday a hunger strike due to the Israeli prison’s medical negligence on prisons, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club.
The hunger-striking prisoners have been calling for an end to the use of solitary confinement by Israelis, currently being used against dozens of prisoners. The long-term use of isolation and solitary confinement is used as a form of torture.
The strike was launched firstly in solidarity with Nahar al-Saadi, a prisoner who has been on hunger strike since Nov. 20 demanding an end to rejection of family visits and an end to his solitary confinement.
Palestinian prisoner had embarked a mass hunger strike with thousands of prisoners in 2012 and ended it up with an agreement when Israel released isolation. Since then, Israel has been raising the use of solitary confinement which caused 70 prisoners to hunger strike in Nafha, Megiddo, Eshel, Ashelon and Ayalon prisons.
‘2014 has been the worst year for Palestinian prisoners’
Nearly 3,000 Palestinians have been detained in the past six months, bringing the total number detained in Israeli prisons to over 7,000, said Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs.
Qaraqe said out of the total number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, 1,500 prisoners suffer ill health. Of those, 80 prisoners are suffering from serious health conditions and are not receiving medical treatment.
Sivan Weizman, Israeli Prison Authority spokeswoman, said that if any of the prisoners suffer from a medical condition they are provided with medical care.
In June 2013, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued harsh concluding observations of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children detainees and prisoners, including harsh arrests and detentions of minors, night-time raids on Palestinian homes, denial of family supervision or contact during custody, solitary confinement against minors as punishment, and psychological and physical violence by police and security forces that constitute forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Between the ages of 12-14, children can be sentenced for offences for a period of up to six months – meaning that a child accused of throwing a stone can be sent to prison for six months. After the age of 14, Palestinian children are tried as adults, in violation of international law.