The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said Monday that 65 Palestinian prisoners affiliated with the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have started an open hunger strike in Israel’s Megiddo prison, according to Ma’an.
The decision to start the hunger strikes, according to a PPS lawyer, was in protest against Israel’s decision to send PFLP-affiliated prisoner Bilal Kayid to administrative detention without trial for six months. Kayid was expected to be released after completing a 14-year prison sentence.
Kayid began his own hunger strike on June 13 in protest of the decision, reported Ma’an. Israeli forces raided Israel’s Eshel prison, assaulting the prisoners who announced their intent to join Kayid’s strike.
— Press TV (@PressTV) June 20, 2016
Kayid, from the village of Asira al-Shamaliya near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, has been in Israeli custody since 2001 for alleged involvement in the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP.
Ma’an reported that Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to the prisoner’s rights group Addameer, there are currently 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, 715 of whom are held under Israel’s policy of administrative detention.