Two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have refused to end their hunger strike as Israeli authorities fail to address their demands.
“Prisoners Mahmud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi are still on hunger strike,” the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram cited an official from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club as saying on Thursday.
According to Israeli sources, Sarsak embarked on a hunger strike on April 4 and is demanding to be recognized as a prisoner of war.
Rikhawi is protesting against his detention without a charge, under an administrative imprisonment order issued by a military court, which allows detention without trial for renewable periods of six months.
On Monday, about 1,600 Palestinian prisoners ended their mass hunger strike after reaching an Egyptian-mediated deal with Israel.
Israel Prisons Services spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed Sarsak and Rikhawi were refusing to eat food, but said they had briefly stopped their hunger strikes before resuming on Tuesday.
"They ate on Monday night with the rest of the prisoners who ended their hunger strike," she told AFP. "The prisoners then declared that they want to continue their hunger strike."
But a Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said neither Sarsak nor Rikhawi had stopped their protest, even after the agreement was announced on Monday.
Under the deal announced Monday, Israel is required to release prisoners held without charge, allow the families of the inmates from the Gaza Strip to visit their loved ones, and the transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement.
The use of administrative detention was a key inspiration for the mass hunger strike that swept through the Palestinian population in Israeli jails in recent months.