Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike Thursday in solidarity with some 100 Palestinian administrative detainees who began their own, open-ended hunger strike two weeks ago.
Those in administrative detention are held without charge, trial, or access to the evidence being used against them, a practice that has drawn widespread international condemnation.
The large-scale demonstration of prisoner unity and protest is reminiscent of the 2012 hunger strike actions that attracted global attention and forced Israeli occupation authorities to make a deal to reduce the use of administrative detention – a deal Palestinians say has been reneged upon by Israel.
On 24 April, dozens of Palestinians being held under administrative detention launched an open-ended hunger strike to protest the systematic, routine use of this policy, as well as demanding that the military-issued order for administrative detention be limited to one period of extension only.
Yesterday, thousands more staged a one-day, solidarity hunger strike, and a few dozen more joined the open-ended hunger strike, in a coordinated show of support. The protest was confirmed by Israeli officials, though its scale disputed.
There are currently 183 Palestinians behind held under administrative detention, including nine members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. They are part of a group of more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, a number that includes some 200 children.