Five more Palestinian prisoners declare hunger strike

Palestinian inmates in Negev prison in Israel start hunger strike in protest against continued politicised detention without charge or fair trial

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Palestinians light candles on posters depicting Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan during a protest in support of Allan in the West Bank city of Hebron August 19, 2015

The Israel Prison Service announced five more Palestinian prisoners had begun an open-ended hunger strike on Monday in protest against Israel’s “administrative detention” policy which locks Palestinians up for renewable periods without charge or trial.

Qadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Society - an NGO - confirmed to Anadolu Agency that five Palestinian prisoners had begun an open-ended hunger strike on Sunday.

“Five Palestinian prisoners have begun a hunger strike in southern Israel’s Negev Prison,” Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted security sources as saying.

Over 6,500 Palestinian detainees are currently in Israeli jails, according to official Palestinian figures.

The leader of the secularist right wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu (Jewish Home), Avigdor Lieberman, has criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decisions regarding the latest hunger strikes.

Lieberman said Israel should have allowed a hunger striker detainee to die in prison.

The nationalist leader called Netanyahu’s stance "weak," during a meeting in Jerusalem with members of his party, touching on the situation of Mohammad Allan’s situation, who ended his hunger strike due to health issues after 65 days.

Lieberman said Allan was able to take on the state and win because Netanyahu’s government “broadcasts a message of defeat, fear and indecision.”

He said. "We have seen how the government takes the important tool of administrative detention and rendered it useless, over the years, including at the beginning of the military operation in Gaza, I’ve told Netanyahu that if you start something then do it all the way.

"It’s the same with administrative detention. If you detain someone, then go all the way. Don’t give in to any pressure, and if he wants to hunger strike to death, let him die."

Mohammad Allan is a Palestinian lawyer, he began his hunger strike on June 16 and for more than 60 days he refused any kind of food. It was one of the longest hunger strikes conducted by a Palestinian detainee in years.

The Israeli parliament last month passed legislation that allows authorities to use "force-feeding," which is medically risky and considered to be a form of toture by some.

The Israeli Medical Association urged Israeli doctors not to abide by the force feeding law, citing serious health risks for inmates.

UN officials from the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, and the World Health Organisation called the new law "a cause for concern to those who work to protect the right to health of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory."


TRTWorld and agencies