Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli prisons announced the launching of an open hunger strike to protest against the occupation’s attacks on them.
The movement said a statement signed by representatives of prisoners from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front and the Democratic Front that the Israeli prison administration has launched an unprecedented fierce attack against Palestinian prisoners including daily repressions and harassment, increasing the frequency and magnitude of punitive measures, deliberate medical negligence, and a mass media incitement campaign to present them as terrorists and murderers.
The movement called on the Palestinian people and the world free people to stand by them and support their “battle of dignity”, stressing that their strike is purely national and has no political dimension.
Israeli has been a crackdown on Palestinian inmates over the past two months. In February, Israel’s prison administration installed phone jamming devices at Al-Naqab (Ketziot) and Ramon prisons. The devices produce powerful radiation and stop radio and television signals from penetrating into the area, in a bid to stop prisoners maintaining contact with the outside world.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement warned that Israel is trying to “burn us and kill us through the devices, and we will stand up against them at any cost”. In March it emerged that the prisoners were suffering from depression, headaches and fainting as a result of the radiation from the devices, with experts saying this can lead to “genetic deformities of human cells and cancer”.
Human rights organisations have condemned these events, with the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Associations – better known as Addameer – issuing a statement to say: “We are following up closely and with much concern, the systematic increasing crimes carried out by the Israeli prison services against the Palestinian prisoners. [These] violations are opposed by all international conventions related to the protection of prisoners.”