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1,000 Palestinian prisoners launch open-ended hunger strike

August 18, 2023 at 2:41 pm

Protestors hold banners during a demonstration in support of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons in Gaza City, Gaza on August 14, 2023 [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

Nearly 1,000 Palestinian prisoners detained in a number of Israeli prisons yesterday launched an open-ended hunger strike in protest of the Israeli prison administration’s aggression against them including the latest campaign of raids, the Palestinian Prisoners Information Office announced.

The Israel Prison Service recently escalated the targeting of Palestinian prisoners with a campaign of raids, the latest against sections 3 and 4 in the Negev Prison, preceded by a break-in into section 26 several days ago in the same prison, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club and the Prisoners Affairs Authority said in a joint statement issued earlier on Thursday.

According to the statement, the prison administration also transferred a number of prisoners to Raymond Prison.

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Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Ofer Prison and called for harsher treatment for Palestinian prisoners. He said “the policy that I’m leading as the minister in charge of the Israel Prison Service should be known by everyone,” adding that “it’s begun to be implemented”. His policies include “reducing as much as possible the indulgences” prisoners access “and stopping ‘summer camp’ that was going on in the prison wings in the past.”

The director of the Prisoners’ Information Office, Ahmed Al-Qidra, said: “After the prisoners entered into a collective strike… all Palestinians must announce mobilisation and take to the streets in support of the prisoners in their battle against the jailer’s oppression.”

He called for mass rallies as an expression of popular anger at the Israeli aggression against the prisoners.

Soon after taking office, Ben-Gvir targeted Palestinian prisoners with a series of repressive and arbitrary measures, including denying them pitta bread.

Rights group warns Ben-Gvir targeting Palestinian prisoners