Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are in a hunger strike in protest of Israeli cruel policies at detention centers. The inhumane conditions they endure have sparked waves of hunger strikes amongst Palestinian prisoners.
According to the International Red Cross recent Press Release last week, Palestinian prisoners health conditions are deteriorated and is at risk.
“The situation is desperate for six Palestinians held in administrative detention who have been refusing food for seven weeks or more. As we speak, they are still detained in the medical facility of Marash Prison. Their condition is critical. We are extremely concerned, as some of them are in imminent danger of dying. All six should be transferred without delay to a suitable hospital so that their condition can be continuously monitored and they can receive specialized medical and nursing care.” Said ICRC
Over 750,000 Palestinians, 20% of the population in the occupied territories, have been imprisoned since the Israeli occupation. Currently there are 4,897, political prisoners of which 269 are in administrative detainees, 10 women, 176 children, and 22 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Prisoners groups estimate 2,000 detainees are now refusing food in a desperate bid to improve their terrible conditions and end several polices like
• Methods of torture and the use of psychological terror and techniques of degradation used against them.
• Family visits where most of prisoners are not allowed to see their families. Some families didn’t see their sons for almost 10 years.
• The use of administrative detention is notably cruel as Israeli authorities imprison Palestinians indefinitely without trials, some for years.
• Prisoners are deprived basic medical care resulting in critical and chronic diseases.
ICRC has requested that families visit their relatives on hunger strike. The organization confirmed that under international humanitarian law, Israel has an obligation to ensure family visits for Palestinian detainees, subject to reasonable security restrictions. It asserted that the visits in such a time is very necessary and act of humanity.
The plight of Palestinian prisoners has gone under the radar for many years. It is one of the many examples of the mistreatment faced by Palestinians on a daily basis as a result of Israel’s illegal expansionist policies.
The imprisoned Palestinians are not criminals. Their life is blighted by an illegal occupation. They have no other means of protest except to take the desperate and brave act of extreme non violent resistance.