Leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Raed Salah launched an open hunger strike yesterday against his solitary confinement and mistreatment by Israeli prison authorities, according to his lawyer Mohammad Aghbariya.
Salah was detained in May and sentenced to nine months in prison for "inciting violence and terrorism", and placed in isolation shortly after.
The Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights has appealed to end his solitary confinement, which was rejected by an Israeli court on 25 October according to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun.
Samidoun has also reported that Salah has been denied access to books given to him by visiting family members, and denied visits by prominent personalities, including Knesset member and leader of the Balad party Jamal Zahalka.
In October, Israeli forces raided and closed several institutions in northern Israel for allegedly being affiliated with the Islamic Movement, reportedly in response to an order issued last year by former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon that outlawed the northern branch of the movement and called for a ban on all of the movement's activities.
The Islamic Movement's northern branch, led by Salah, has been a vocal critic of Israeli activity at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.