Israel punishes Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike
Date : Tuesday 24 April 2012 12:11
Israel has taken measures to punish 1,200 Palestinian prisoners who are on an open-ended hunger strike to protest their detention conditions.
Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Prisons Authority, announced on Monday that the inmates who refuse to eat have been denied family visits and have been separated from inmates who have not joined the protest, Reuters reported.
"Privileges such as family visits have been revoked and items such as electronics have been confiscated," Weizman said.
The open-ended hunger strike, dubbed the ‘battle of empty stomachs’ by organizers, started last Tuesday.
The prisoners have demanded better prison conditions and urged Israel to end detention without trial for Palestinians. The prisoners have said they will only consume water and salt until their demands are met.
Palestinian prisoners have long complained of the difficulty of securing family visits and the invasive searches visiting relatives have to go through.
Amani Sarahna of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, an advocacy group for Palestinians jailed by Israel, said prison authorities had done extensive searches in hunger strikers' cells and had taken away salt from those refusing to eat.
"All the prisoners' belongings were confiscated except their towels and their shoes," Sarahna stated.
Meanwhile, on Monday an Israeli court rejected appeals by two Palestinians who have been on hunger strike for about two months.
This is the latest in a string of hunger strikes initiated by administrative detainees such as Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi.
Organizers have called for demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the coming days in support of the 4,800 Palestinians currently detained in Israeli prisons.
The Israeli regime uses administrative detention to imprison Palestinians for up to six months without trial or formal charges. And the detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.
Story Code: 40614
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), International Service