Israel wants deal with hunger strikers

2012-05-10 21:58

kalahari.com

  • Palestine
    The traumas and tragedies of historic Palestine are impacting every twist and turn in the countdown... Now R209.00
    buy now

Jerusalem - Israel's prison service has offered to ease restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in a bid to end a mass hunger strike that has left several detainees close to death, sources told AFP on Thursday.

Just under 1 600 Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food in a wide-ranging protest against solitary confinement, detention without charge and restrictions on family visits, education and various privileges.

The strike has drawn international attention, with the European Union and United Nations expressing concern. Two of those protesting, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla, marked their 72nd day without food on Thursday.

But an official with Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer told AFP on Thursday that negotiations between prisoners and the Israel Prison Service (IPS) appeared to be making progress.

"According to what we have learned from the prisoners, there was a meeting last night in Nafha prison [in southern Israel] between the IPS and leaders of the hunger strike," she said, suggesting an end to the hunger strike could be imminent.

"There might be a positive response in the next few days."

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the IPS appeared to have "agreed to allow visits for families from Gaza", and to revoke a range of restrictions on prisoners, including a ban on education and various privileges.

And she added that an agreement on moving prisoners out of solitary confinement was also on the table.

"On solitary confinement, in the meeting before this one the IPS offered to move all except for three out of 19 prisoners," she said.

"The leaders of the strike refused, and said it's all or nothing. After the meeting yesterday, we have indications that IPS might have agreed on it."

IPS spokesperson Sivan Weizman confirmed the Nafha meeting, saying it was part of an ongoing process of consultations between detainees and a committee examining prison conditions.

"There was a meeting at Nafha prison, but it's not the only one," she told AFP.

"We are holding meetings with the prisoners all the time, talking to them."

But she declined to comment on specific proposals or decisions, saying the discussions were ongoing.

"I won't comment on the decisions that were reached. On the subject of solitary confinement, what was decided was that a committee would be set up to examine each particular case on its merits."

No real negotiations

Israeli media reported signs of a deal, with public radio saying sources suggested the strike could be over "in a week to 10 days."

The Haaretz newspaper said the IPS had offered to remove some prisoners from solitary confinement, allow prisoners to take classes and remove a ban on books.

It said that no agreement had been reached on allowing relatives in Gaza to visit prisoners, and that disagreements remained about moving three prisoners out of solitary confinement.

But Qaddura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, which tracks the well-being of Palestinians in Israeli jails, poured cold water on talk of a deal.

The discussions "are only exploratory rounds by the IPS, there are no real negotiations," he told AFP.

The hunger strike has widespread support among Palestinians, and demonstrations have been held in solidarity with the prisoners across the West Bank and Gaza.

On Thursday, around 50 protesters gathered outside the Red Cross headquarters to call on the organisation to support the prisoners, while another 50 protested outside the offices of the European Union in east Jerusalem.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas also raised the fate of the prisoners during discussions with the UN's Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry, a statement from the UN official's office said.

"President Abbas and Mr Serry both agreed on the urgency of resolving this issue immediately," the statement said.

Read more on:    mahmoud abbas  |  palestine  |  israel
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
44 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.