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10 Palestinians on hunger strike in jail face deteriorating health conditions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Israeli prison guard keeps watch from a tower at Ayalon prison. (File photo by Reuters)

Ten Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike in Israeli jails for a few weeks are facing ‘exacerbating health conditions,’ the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) has warned.

The one who has been on the longest hunger strike among the ten inmates is Salem Ziadat, 40. He has been denying food for 35 days.

“The hunger-striking prisoners are experiencing difficult health conditions exacerbated by the Israeli authorities’ failure to hear their demands,” said the PPS.

It has become common for Palestinians in Israeli prisons to go on hunger strike.

The action is in protest against Israel’s administrative detention and the prison authorities’ negligence in providing medical care for the Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions, lacking proper hygienic standards.

Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression.

Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the fourth Geneva Convention. 

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention.

The Israeli parliament, Knesset, has already approved a law which made way for prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening. The law sparked criticism from rights groups as a disrespect to the detainees’ choices. 

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.


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