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Palestinian prisoners start hunger strike for better healthcare

February 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Al-Ramleh Prison have announced that they are to start a hunger strike in protest at their “tragic” health conditions. The men are all ill and in need of healthcare.

In a message smuggled out of the prison, they said that they had set up a strategy which includes a hunger strike. The aims of struggle, they said, include better medical treatment in prison.

“Several of our comrades are in a bad way and need urgent surgery and clinical follow-up,” they said. Some of the prisoners are known to suffer from the effects of live bullet wounds, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

The Israeli prison service has, it is claimed, escalated its crackdown against prisoners. The message referred to several prisoners being placed in solitary confinement and officers have stormed into cells and confiscated prisoners’ private property. “At the same time, the authorities ignore the dangerous health conditions.”

Through the hunger strike, the message explained, the patients in jail want to send a message to the Israeli prison service to stop collective and unreasonable punishments, including the use of solitary confinement.

Other demands include visitation rights and the closure of the “hospital” at Al-Ramleh, which is inadequate and not suited for proper medical treatment.