Since April 17, about 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners have been on a hunger strike in prisons across Israel, the Palestinian prisoner’s day. The hunger strike is led by jailed Fatah Leader Marwan Barghouti, who has been detained since 2002 and is serving 5 life sentences.
The Palestinian prisoners are protesting against Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. More than 6,500 Palestinian prisoners, including 57 women and about 300 children, are detainees in Israeli Jails. Many Palestinian prisoners have died as a result of torture and inhuman conditions in Israeli jails. Among the detained prisoners, there are 15 members of the Palestinian parliament.
This non-violent form of resistance is to highlight Israel’s consistent violation of international law and human rights of Palestinians. Over the past seven decades, up to one million Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel, some of them serving the world’s longest sentences for political prisoners.
The demand of the striking prisoners is for basic human rights; stop the torture, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners; for basic medical facilities; ensuring regular family visits; stop solitary confinement; and for the immediate release of illegally arrested prisoners.
Since the strike began, reports indicate that the striking prisoners are being transferred into solitary confinement, denied visits and many have been taken ill.
We stand in solidarity with the striking Palestinian prisoners and support their call to the international community to defend their humanity. We also express our deep concern for their lives, in the light of the continued violation by Israeli of Palestinian human rights, particularly prisoner’s rights.
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