Palestinians to step up solidarity marches on 26th day of hunger strike
RAMALLAH, May 5, 2017 (WAFA) – As around 1,600 Palestinian prisoners Friday entered their 26th day of hunger strike in Israeli jails, Palestinians made calls to step up solidarity marches and sit-ins across the West Bank.
The Media Committee of the Freedom and Dignity Strike called on Palestinians to organize solidarity marches and to crowd in sit-in tents in various West Bank villages, towns and cities.
Some 1,600 out of 6,500 Palestinians held by Israel launched a mass indefinite hunger strike on April 17, only consuming salt and water during the strike, without additives or supplements, to pressure Israel to improve their prison conditions.
Initially called for by Fatah-affiliated prisoners, most notably imprisoned senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouthi, the strike has been joined by other prisoners from various Palestinian political factions.
The hunger strikers have denounced the torture, ill treatment and medical negligence of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli authorities.
They have also denounced Israel’s widely-condemned practice of administrative detention, which allows for internment without trial or charge for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.
Other simple demands include the installation of a public telephone to communicate with their families, reinstating bimonthly family visits, better medical treatment and installing air conditioning in prison among others.
Many Palestinians have gone on hunger strike to protest their administrative detention, raising fears that Israel would force-feed them, a practice that violates human rights standards. Some have managed to pressure Israel into releasing them, although some have been re-detained.