Senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouti has joined Hamas members and other Palestinian prisoners on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails. According to the former Minister of Palestinian Prisoners and Freed Prisoners, Wasfi Qabha, the senior Hamas leader in prison, Abbas Al-Sayed, is also taking part in the protest.
Barghouti and Al-Sayed said that they started their strike in support of the prisoners held under so-called administrative detention who have been refusing food for 12 days. Qabha said that the two senior figures wanted to draw attention to the prisoners’ issue and put more pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities in order to end the policy of administrative detention.
In a statement, Qabha noted that more prisoners are planning to join the strike should the Israeli prison services continue to ignore the protesters’ demands. He is a former administrative detainee himself and he called upon the Red Cross to carry out its responsibilities, visit the isolated administrative prisoners and put pressure on the Israelis to afford them the basic needs of daily life.
The Israeli prison service has isolated the hunger strikers and halted family visits. “The Israeli occupation wants to crack down on the determination of prisoners who are demanding their rights,” commented Qabha.