Over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners to launch solidarity hunger strike
Published Wednesday 21/05/2014 (updated) 31/05/2014 20:45
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- More than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli custody will launch a one day hunger strike Thursday in solidarity with around 100 administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for nearly a month, the Palestinian ministry of prisoners' affairs said.
The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that 5,200 prisoners would engage in the solidarity strike on Thursday in order to pressure the Israeli government to comply with the demands of detainees who have been on hunger strike 28 days in protesting against their administrative detention without trial or charge.
The statement also warned that thousands of prisoners would announce an open hunger strike next week, and would make new demands if Israel did not comply with the demands of the group of 100 administrative prisoners.
In addition, 40 prisoners held in the Israeli Negev prison of Ktziot started an open hunger strike on Wednesday joining the administrative prisoners.
More than 120 Palestinian prisoners, including the two jailed leaders, went on hunger strike for one day on Wednesday in support of the group of administrative detainees who have been refusing meals for nearly four weeks.
The approximately 100 striking prisoners launched their campaign on April 24 in protest against Israel's continued use of detention without trial against Palestinians despite a 2012 promise to limit the use of administrative detention to exceptional cases. That promise came as a result of a hunger strike involving more than 2,000 Palestinians that brought many to the brink of death.
Palestinians held in administrative detention are often held without charge or trial for months and without access to the evidence leading to their detention, even though international law stipulates this tactic only be used in exceptional circumstances.
Palestinian prisoner human rights organization Addameer estimates that around 183 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention.
Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the PLO.
Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained, and the families of Palestinian prisoners' face many obstacles in obtaining permits to see their imprisoned relatives.