The conditions in which Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are being held have been regressing since the end of the mass hunger strike six months ago, Quds Press reported former detainee Muhammad Al-Qeeq saying yesterday.
Al-Qeeq, who was released from jail last week, stressed that the prisoners’ suffering, including the ban on family visits, the systematic lack of proper medical treatment and the systematic violations on female prisoners has increased.
He also said that the Israeli occupation is seeking to “exaggerate the issue of incitement by linking it to the Palestinian resistance,” noting that the occupation is taking tough measures against Palestinian media throughout closing television channels, radio stations and broadcasting companies.
Prisoners, he explained, were angry that as a result of the reconciliation process the resistance was being asked to surrender its weapons.
“The prisoners see only a glimpse of hope towards their freedom through the Palestinian resistance,” he said. “They believe that their imprisonment is the cost of resistance which is the only way to regain the rights of the Palestinians.”
Some two thousand Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike in mid-April calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – among other demands for basic rights.
The strike lasted 40 days after an agreement was signed by prisoners groups and the Israel Prison Service, details of which were not made public.
The strike was called by Marwan Barghouti, the most high-profile Palestinian jailed in Israel, to protest against solitary confinement and detention without trial, which has been applied to thousands of prisoners since the 1980s. Israel says that measure is necessary to prevent attacks and protect security sources.