Israel punishes Palestine hunger-strikers

2012-04-23 21:44

Ramallah - Israel has taken measures against some 1 200 Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike, denying them family visits and separating them from inmates not taking part in the protest, prison authorities said on Monday.

The open-ended strike, dubbed the "battle of empty stomachs" by organisers, began last Tuesday. The prisoners are demanding better jail conditions and for Israel to end detention without trial for Palestinians suspected of security offences.

"Privileges such as family visits have been revoked and items such as electronics have been confiscated," Sivan Weizman, a spokesperson for the Israeli Prisons Authority, said.

Palestinian prisoners have long complained of the difficulty of securing family visits and the invasive searches visiting relatives have to go through.

The striking prisoners have said they would drink only water and salt until their demands are met.

Amani Sarahna of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, an advocacy group for Palestinians jailed by Israel, said prison authorities had conducted extensive searches in hunger strikers' cells, taking away salt from those refusing to eat.

"All the prisoners' belongings were confiscated except their towels and their shoes," Sarahna said.

The start of the strike last week coincided with the release of Khader Adnan, a prisoner who refused food for 66 days before agreeing to a deal under which he was freed. Adnan is a member of Islamic Jihad which has vowed to destroy Israel.

Organisers have called for rallies in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in the coming days in support of the 4 800 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

  • - 2012-04-23 23:21

    The spirit of hunger strike is positive and appreciated , the rest remains with the world to supplement. The effort.

      Fred - 2012-04-24 02:02

      The problem is that it's misdirected. It should be directed at a fundamental decision to not accept arms from Syria and Iran, to not be incited to attack Israel for the benefit of the unelected dictators and illegitimate regimes of the region, and to work for real peace side-by-side with Israel. Tragically they're harming themselves, and allowing themselves to be abused, not by Israel as is the popular and faulty belief.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-24 13:40

      Fred. Please read link below this is just one example of the eu condemning Israeli actions in Palestine ie illegal occupation and eviction of Palestinians from Palestinian land. Truth is both sides are too blame. Hamas for terrorist acts and Israel for illegal expansion of there borders by building illegal settlements onto Palestinian land which by the way was supposed to be halted in accordance with the ME peace process.

      Fred - 2012-04-25 20:38

      Blame is a complete waste of time and energy. Furthermore, one should not smoosh principles together like that. Palestinian leaders, manipilated by the self-serving autocratic regimes of the region, do not recognize the right of Israel to exist. They continually call for its destruction, and follow this up with action, almost daily attacks. Those territories are not "occupied". They were captured when the autocratic regimes invaded Israel twice. This is a normal rule of war. If you invade a country and you are repelled, as the aggressor you loose whatever territory is captured. Israel was invaded twice. Full military invasions. Faced with real extinction, it survived and pushed the invaders back. In the interests of peace, in subsequent years, it agreed to a peace deal that would see parts of this land becoming part of a Palestinian state. Unfortunately the Palestinians had programmed themselves so much to attack and destroy Israel that they reneged on the peace deal. Do I personally believe Israel should suspend new developments in these areas to open the way for peace? Yes, I do. But to suggest Israel is occupying them and is the one who wants to destroy and oppress the Palestinians, is plain wrong. Manipulations and lies that the autocratic regimes thrive on to hold onto power. Unfortunately people look at the self-created and manipulated martyred plight of the Palestinians, their horrid living conditions, and blame Israel. Popular, but wrong.

  • Koos - 2012-04-24 04:03

    Just let them starve to death. 1200 bombers less.

      Tom - 2012-04-24 08:55

      @ Koos, And I am sure that you think or might have thought the same of our local political prisoners who were imprisoned by the Apartaheid state for resisting the Occupation and fighting for Human Rights........Detention without Trial etc..................alas, those prisoners are now running this country which nobody saw coming! Amandla Awetu!

      Brett - 2012-04-24 09:58

      @Tom actually, none of the current crop of clowns in government did any jail time. they deserve to though, bunch of thieves.

      BatRMan959 - 2013-02-18 22:49

      Phew, Rather a poor, corrupt Government for ALL, than A racist, wealthy government..PS: You gotto be nicer to the masses, you need them on your side now...:)

  • Jaba - 2012-04-24 08:43

    "Israel punishes prisoners" - Dah. These prisoners are terrorist killers and deserve to serve time in jail. Israel doesn't punish them. They are punishing themselves by denying their bodily needs. food! they are complaining about the difficulty of securing family visits and the invasive searches visiting relatives have to go through to enter the Jail. Well to me that sounds like any Jail in the Western world – 100% better than any Jail in the Arab world! - Not to mention the fact that they have TV's radios and aircon in the cells.

  • zaid.orrie - 2012-04-24 09:01

    Israel has been likened to an 'Apartheid' state - for S Africans to be ignorant of the plight of the Palestinians is criminal! Shame on you for condoning the actions of Israel, it is akin to supporting our dark past and condemning Mandela, Biko, etc to 'Terrorists'. Is our memory so short? Has there not been enough suffering? Are you not HUMAN?

      Jaba - 2012-04-24 09:13

      Sorry, no Apartheid in Israel – your propaganda is old and boring. Israel is a democracy under daily threat. When the Palestinian leadership decides peace, rather than violence is their route - there will be peace. Violence will lead no where – time they learn from Madiba.

      Bradley - 2012-04-24 10:25

      Lol!! chong is that you?

      Fred - 2012-04-25 20:50

      Zaid, unfortunately you're allowing yourself to be manipulated by regime's even worse than the Apartheid one. I recommend looking deeper into what is really happening. Then you can have real impact for positive change and peace.

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