By Palestine Chronicle Staff
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, said in a press release that Israel must meet the demands of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, noting that even if conditions are improved – Israel will still be holding in custody thousands of Palestinians who have had no fair trial, or no trial at all.
B’Tselem noted that the hunger strike “is a non-violent protest focusing on several valid, basic demands for improved prison conditions…Israel imposes severe restrictions on family visits, and many relatives are not permitted to visit at all.” B’Tselem noted that Israel Prison Service (IPS) enforces a complete ban on telephone communications for prisoners held on “security grounds”.
The hunger strikers, B’Tselem added, are demanding, “more family visits and access to telephone communication with their relatives. They are also demanding an adequate level of medical and educational services and the cessation of administrative detention and solitary confinement.”
B’Tselem on hunger strike: Israel must meet Palestinian prisoners’ demands for improved conditions https://t.co/TVbRBPqS5a
— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) May 3, 2017
B’Tselem stressed that Israel, Instead of addressing the strikers’ actual demands, it has adopted punitive measures designed to break the spirit of the striking prisoners, “who have chosen a manner of protest that hurts no one but themselves.” According to B’Tselem, these measures include increasing the strikers’ isolation from the outside world and banning meetings with lawyers. The IPS has also confiscated salt from the prisoners, jeopardizing their wellbeing.
B’Tselem concluded that the hunger strike cannot be viewed in isolation from the broader context of occupation. “The incarceration of thousands of Palestinians and the extreme restrictions imposed on them are part and parcel of the occupation,” B’Tselem concluded.