HRW: Hunger Strikes Highlight Isolation of Palestinian Prisoners

Members of Israel’s right-wing National Religious Party said they wanted to 'celebrate the hunger strike'. (Photo: Maan)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Human Rights Watch has published a report yesterday detailing the conditions and demands of Palestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike in Israeli jails. According to HRW, Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike on April 16, to improve their living and imprisonment conditions. “Their primary demands include more frequent and lengthy family visits, better prison conditions such as improved medical care, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention – detention without charge or trial,” HRW noted.

Human Rights Watch added that of the more than 6,000 Palestinian detainees, “Israel holds nearly 500 in administrative detention, many for prolonged periods.”

The organization added that while international humanitarian law permits administrative detention as a temporary and exceptional measure, “Israel’s expansive use of this form of internment in year 50 of the occupation raises important due process concerns.”

HRW stressed that Israel’s transfer of Palestinians to prisons inside Israel violates international humanitarian law, noting that this measure means prisoners families “need to obtain an additional permit from the military to enter Israel to visit them, which requires security screening by Israel’s security agency, or Shin Bet.” According to HRW, some relatives get rejections for these permits, “which amplifies the anguish of separation between the prisoner and their family.”

Palestinians freed prisoner Mazin Al-Mughrabi, 45, who has been on hunger strike in Ramallah in solidarity with inmates in Israeli prisons, passed away today while on hunger strike after he suffered from a heart stroke.


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