Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to go on hunger strike

The Guardian reports: Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are expected to embark on hunger strikes this week to draw attention to imprisonment without charge and solitary confinement. They will build on a protest that has resulted in deals to release two inmates who refused food for prolonged periods.

At least 11 prisoners are already on hunger strike, three of whom have been transferred to hospital. One began refusing fluids last week, increasing concern about the rate of deterioration of his health.

A wave of hunger strikes is planned to begin on or around Prisoners’ Day on Tuesday, held under the slogan: “We will live in dignity.” About 1,600 prisoners have agreed to take part in the protest, according to Palestinian prisons minister Issa Qaraqi. “The situation inside Israeli prisons has become very dangerous and serious,” he was quoted as saying.

There are around 4,600 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, according to the prisoners’ rights group Addameer. More than 300 are held under “administrative detention”, meaning they and their lawyers are not informed of accusations or evidence against them, no trial is held, and their term of imprisonment is determined by an Israeli military judge.

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