The Israeli occupation authorities have approved at least 13 "unprecedented, arbitrary" laws targeting Palestinian prisoners since 2015, the head of the PLO's Prisoners' and Freed Prisoners' Committee said on Friday. The hunger strike set to mark Palestinian Prisoner Day on 17 April and is part of the response to these laws. Isa Qaraqe's reactions to these laws below:
racist and revengeful laws approved by the Israeli Knesset against Palestinian prisoners.
The 13 bills passed into law, he explained, were among 120 proposed to the Knesset, 30 of which were actually discussed.
Qaraqe pointed out that the laws include those which allow the forced feeding of hunger strikers; 20-year prison sentences for minors who throw stones; courts to sentence minors below the age of 14; strip searches; giving the intelligence services the option to document or not document investigations; the execution of prisoners; the indictment of Palestinians without due cause; and depriving prisoners of education.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said that Israeli prison officers attacked prisoners in one detention facility after the Friday prayer yesterday. The authorities apparently placed the Imam leading the prayer in solitary confinement after accusing him of incitement for encouraging the prisoners to take part in the 17 April strike.
Rights groups estimate the number of Palestinian prisoners being held in 22 Israeli jails at 6,500, including 48 women, 14 girls and 300 boys. Of these, 300 are being held under administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.
The system allows the Israelis to imprison Palestinians without telling them or their lawyers the reason why they are being detained; such orders can be renewed indefinitely.
Photo story: Gazans running for Palestinian prisoners