An open-ended mass hunger strike by Palestinians to draw the world's attention to harsh conditions at Israeli prisons has entered its second week, with some of those refusing food experiencing health decline.
The media committee of the hunger strike, dubbed the Freedom and Dignity Strike, said that several of the hunger-striking inmates had lost 10 kilograms of their weight, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported on Sunday.
A number of the hunger strikers held in the Israeli Ofer prison are suffering from low blood pressure, severe headaches as well as stomach and joint problems, the report added.
It further noted that the Israeli authorities do not allow the Palestinian prisoners to drink cool water and instead force them to drink warm water.
On Sunday, Palestinian churches were expected to ring bells in solidarity with the hunger strikers.
The long-planned mass strike, which is led by a jailed leader of the Fatah Movement, Marwan Barghouti, began on April 17.
The strike initially began with 1,500 prisoners, but now some 2,000 people are believed to be refusing food to denounce the inhumane treatment of the Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
According to figures provided by the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer in January, 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails, 536 of them arbitrarily.
Palestinian prisoners have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to voice their outrage at the so-called administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months,
Palestinian detainees complain that they have been subjected to assault and torture at Israeli prisons.