At least 46 Palestinian prisoners at Etzion jail began an open hunger strike on Thursday, demanding better living conditions, the Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs Committee said.
The committee said the prisoners were starting their strike after being “constantly humiliated, assaulted and beaten” in interrogations, in addition living in conditions that are “inhumane.”
Prisoners at Etzion jail said they are also protesting the quality and quantity of food served to them, in addition to filthy living spaces, inadequate medical treatment and lack of regular access to showers.
When prisoners announced their plans to strike on Wednesday, a lawyer representing prisoners at the jail said some prisoners had not been able to bathe in 15 days. Late last month, the prisoners’ committee said Etzion was “flooded” from heavy rainfall. The flooding, the committee said, ruined prisoners’ clothing and blankets, as mold took root in the dampened materials.
Rights groups have long criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment.
Nearly 7,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, many of whom face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.