Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad in Palestine, Ziyad Al-Nakhala, said yesterday that his movement will not leave Palestinian prisoners to face punishments inside Israeli jails alone, Safa news agency reported.
His remarks came following a press release issued by the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS), announcing that some 400 Islamic Jihad prisoners had launched a hunger strike in Israeli jails.
The PPS said that the prisoners started their hunger strike in protest against the punishment imposed by the Israeli Prisons Services (IPS) following the escape of six Palestinian prisoners from the high-security prison of Gilboa.
Five of the prisoners, who are serving life sentences, are affiliated to Islamic Jihad and the sixth, Zakaria Zubiedi has ties to Fatah. All were recaptured in different operations within two weeks of their escape.
Since then, the IPS has imposed severe measures on all prisoners across Israeli jails, and in particular to those affiliated with Islamic Jihad.
"We will stand with our prisoners even if we go to a war," Al-Nakhala said in a statement.
"Neither the agreements nor anything else will prevent us from defending our prisoners."