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Protesting against detainment Photo: Shuttershock
Protesting against detainment Photo: Shuttershock
 
 

Palestinian prisoners halt hunger strike for Ramadan fast

After two months without food for some, most hunger strikers come to unclarified deal with authorities; force-feeding bill approaches Knesset vote.

Elior Levy and Ra'anan Ben Tzur
Published: 06.25.14, 09:05 / Israel News

Sixty-three Palestinian prisoners have suspended the hunger strike which they have observed in Israeli jails since late April, one of their lawyers said Tuesday night.

 

 

"The strikers, who have reached an agreement with the Israeli prison authorities, have decided to suspend their action with the approach of (the Muslim holy month of) Ramadan," lawyer Abu Snena said.

 

Protestors call for the release of hunger striking Palestinians in Israeli jails. (Photo: AFP)
Protestors call for the release of hunger striking Palestinians in Israeli jails. (Photo: AFP)

 

Palestinian minister Shawki Aleessa announced the ending of the strike, and the announcement will be passed on to all security detainees that have been hospitalized as a consequence.

 

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A senior military official, however, said Wednesday morning that "not everyone stopped striking."

 

According to the Palestinians, the end of the hunger strike is conditioned in the Israel Prisoners Service cancelling the fines imposed on striking detainees, and moving them back to their cell blocks.

 

Despite that, there will be no change in the administrative detention policy.

 

The Israel Prisons Service confirmed the end of the strike, but refused to elaborate on the agreements reached. The Prisons Service said the 75 hunger striking detainees who have been hospitalized will remain in the hospital for the time being for monitoring.

 

The hunger strike lasted nearly two months. The different prisoners and detainees joined it at different stages, and the longest time a detainee has been on a hunger strike was 63 days.

 

"In the midst of the events (of Operation Brother's Keeper) and the brutal aggression against our people, and following several meetings with the heads of the prisons service ahead of Ramadan - we decided to stop our strike," the detainees said in a statement.

 

The statement went on to say that the details of the agreement will be made public after the hunger strikes are all released from hospital.

 

The strikes began in protest against Israel's administrative detention policy. The detainees demanded that this policy be changed immediately.

 

Palestinians offered wide support for the hunger strikes by taking to the streets and organizing several protests in solidarity. The supportive protest movement became known as 'water + salt = honor'.

 

Meanwhile the coalition reached a compromise on a controversial bill that would allow for the force-feeding of hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails. The Knesset is due to vote on the bill next Monday.

 

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