PALESTINIAN PRISONERS TO START HUNGER STRIKE IN ISRAELI JAILS FROM MARCH 10

RAMALLAH, Feb 23 — The detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee stated that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are set to embark on an extended protest against the prison administrations’ arbitrary and repressive measures against them.

The committee in a press statement said that prisoners are planning to go on a hunger strike to protest their inhumane conditions of detention; Palestinian prisoners are detained in overcrowded cells that lack the least acceptable standards of living.

The committee said that prisoners will carry out a hunger strike on March 10 to get the prison administration to respond to their demands, which revolved around several issues, including ending solitary confinement and administrative detention without charge or trial, providing them with the necessary medical treatment, and ending the policy of collective punishment against them, including the surprise night raids on their cells.

It added that prisoners gave the prison administration up until March 10 to reconsider their arbitrary measures against them, stressing that if the former fails to meet their needs they will further escalate their protest steps, given their unbearable conditions of detention.

The prisoners appealed to all relevant organizations to support them in their struggle to gain their basic rights.

Palestinian prisoners are held in overcrowded cells that lack basic health standards, including the infestation of insects and rats, extreme cold and lack of heating methods, and wastewater leakage into their cells, which further aggravates their already poor conditions.

Prisoners are often subjected to physical abuse during their detention, interrogation and transfer between prisoners, which is prohibited by international law.

Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained and it is very difficult for the families of Palestinian detainees to obtain permits to visit their detained relatives.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) said that Palestinian prisoners in Etzion prison are suffering from extreme cold as a result of being denied warm blankets and heating methods.

PPC said that the prison administration provided prisoners with damp blankets in light of the current snowstorm that affected the region on Thursday.

It also reported that prisoners were hand and leg tied and put inside cold barracks, where they were left without food and water for several hours waiting for their transfer to Ofer military court for their hearings.

PPC said several cases of physical abuse against prisoners were reported during the arrest of a number of prisoners, including beating them up and spraying them with pepper spray.

Meanwhile in Asqalan and Ofer Israeli prisons, prisoners complained about their deteriorating health conditions as a result of being denied the needed medical treatment, stating that several cases are in desperate need of immediate medical treatment.

The detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee reported on the case of prisoner Ala’ al-Hams; he is a resident of Gaza’s Rafah city who has been suffering from serious life-threatening diseases since his arrest in 2010.

Al-Hams has been suffering from TB disease (Tuberculosis) and blood clots in his lungs since his arrest in 2010. The prison administration provided him with some kind of a treatment that further aggravated his condition and caused him serious complications, including a tumor in his lymph glands which causes him to wake up every morning to find blood in his mouth.

The prison administration continues to deny him the treatment he desperately needs, as he has developed tumors and malicious diseases.

Al-Hams lives in constant daily pain throughout his body, nausea, loss of weight and a colon infection, in addition to involuntary urination, and poor vision.

More than 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners are currently held in Israeli jails, of whom dozens serve multiple life sentences. About 1,500 prisoners are believed to have health problems due to medical negligence.

SOURCE: WAFA