Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are taking part in a mass hunger strike today, Monday, in protest against the state's refusal to release critically ill Nasser Abu Hamid, Anadolu has reported. Abu Hamid, 49, is suffering from cancer and is in a coma.
"The prisoners are going on hunger strike for one day in protest against the medical negligence of sick prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid and to exert pressure for him to be released," said the Prisoners Information Office.
A spokesman for Hamas called on all international rights groups to intervene immediately and put pressure on the Israeli occupation to release Abu Hamid and save his life. "Israel's negligence of Abu Hamid's deteriorating health conditions despite suffering from cancer and being in a coma for eleven days reflects the brutality of the Israeli occupation and its violation of international laws and conventions," explained Abdul Latif Al-Qanou.
Abu Hamid is one of five Palestinian prisoners serving life in Israel. He was detained in 2002 and was given seven life sentences. Prisoners have been calling for the Israeli Prison Service to let them visit him before he dies.
According to rights groups, there are 4,600 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, many of them being held with neither charge nor trial. Around 600 are cancer patients.