Israel Reneges on Hunger Strike Agreement, Palestinian Prisoners May Renew Strike

Published on
by
Common Dreams

Israel Reneges on Hunger Strike Agreement, Palestinian Prisoners May Renew Strike

by
Common Dreams staff

A Palestinian woman holds a picture of a relative who is on hunger strike in an Israeli jail, during a rally outside the Massiyahu Prison on May 7. (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)

Within two weeks after an agreement reached between Palestinian hungers strikers in Israeli prisons, Israel has begun to renege on the deal.

Days after announcing the end of the strike, Israel renewed administrative detention orders for 30 prisoners, according to Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraqa.

Up to 2,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel had ended a hunger strike on May 14 after Israeli authorities agreed to allow visits from relatives in Gaza, transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement, and a curb to administrative detention, a procedure that allows suspects to be held without charge or trial indefinitely.

Accusing Israel of already going back on its promises, prisoners have now begun to threaten the prospects of a renewed hunger strike.

"There are still provocations in the prisons, and the prisoners are threatening to resume the strike if the situation remains as it is," Qaraqaa said at a press conference in Ramallah.

* * *

Agence France-Presse: Palestinian threat to relaunch prisoner hunger strike

Palestinian prisoners in Israel are threatening to relaunch a hunger strike, a Palestinian official said on Sunday, blaming Israel for reneging on a deal that ended a recent one.

"There are still provocations in the prisons, and the prisoners are threatening to resume the strike if the situation remains as it is," Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraqaa said at a press conference in Ramallah.

Some 1,550 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel ended a hunger strike on May 14 in exchange for a package of measures which would allow visits from relatives in Gaza, and the transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement.

Israel also said it would not extend administrative detention orders, unless new evidence emerged.

In return, prisoner leaders committed to not engage in militant activity inside jail and to refrain from future hunger strikes. [...]

But Qaraqaa said Israel was not keeping its end of the deal.

"Israel has begun to violate the deal it signed with the prisoners, and within ten days after announcing the end of the strike, Israel renewed administrative detention orders for approximately 30 prisoners," Qaraqaa charged.

"Israel wants to punish the prisoners for striking with these renewed orders," he said. [...]

Qaraqaa also addressed the issue of two prisoners, Mahmud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi, who have been on extended hunger strikes.

He said they "were on the verge of a coma and have a low heart rate."

Sarsak, who comes from Gaza and is demanding to be recognised as a prisoner of war, began refusing food on March 23, and went 53 days without eating before a short break on May 14 when the deal was signed.

He restarted his strike a day later.

# # #

Share This Article

More in: