7,000 Palestinians start hunger strike in Israeli jails

Israel's prison authorities have been accused of denying Palestinian prisoners their basic rights, including family visits.

7,000 Palestinians start hunger strike in Israeli jails

World Bulletin / News Desk

Around 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails started on Wednesday a one-day hunger strike to protest the death of a fellow prisoner.

"Palestinian prisoners in all Israeli jails have started a hunger strike in protest against the death of fellow prisoner Raed Abdel Salam al-Jaabari at Eshel prison on Tuesday," the independent higher command authority for Palestinian prisoners said in a statement.

It accused Israeli prison authorities of "unprecedented" escalation against Palestinian prisoners, denying them their basic rights.

A former Palestinian minister who had just been released from Israeli prison said the Israeli escalation coincided with the recent Israeli war on the blockaded Gaza Strip, which came to an end on August 26.

"They prevent family visits and deny the prisoners the right to buy their needs from prison cafeterias," Khaled Abu Arafa told Anadolu Agency.

On Tuesday, Israeli prison authorities locked Palestinian prisoners up inside their cells and denied them the 4-hour daily break in prison yards.

The prison authorities had earlier raised alert levels following the death of al-Jaabari, 37.

Israel Radio had quoted a statement by the Israel Prison Service as saying that alert levels had been raised for fear of rioting among angry prisoners.

There has been no official statement from either the Palestinian or the Israeli sides on the death of al-Jaabari who was detained on July 26.

Israeli authorities have launched a massive detention campaign in the occupied West Bank following the disappearance of three Jewish settlers on June 12.

Around 2,000 Palestinians have since been detained and 40 others killed by Israeli forces.

About 500,000 Israelis now live in more than one hundred Jewish-only settlements built since Israel seized the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement building on the Palestinian land illegal.

The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, for an eventual independent state of Palestine.

Last Mod: 10 Eylül 2014, 10:10
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