Families of Palestinians jailed in Israel
Palestinian women attend a protest in Gaza calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails on June 28, 2010 Photo by Reuters

2,000 Palestinian security prisoners have joined an ongoing hunger strike against worsening conditions in Israeli prisons.

The prisoners are mostly members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Fatah, and other Palestinian factions, except for Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which have not joined the strike at this point. However, several Hamas members under solitary confinement have decided to join the strike.

According to the strikers, the prison conditions have worsened since Israel Prison Service Director Aharon Franco came into office. Franco has frozen administrative leaves, and has decided to make changes in the conditions of security prisoners.

In response, the Israel Prison Service has enacted sanctions against the strikers. Prisoners who refuse to eat must undergo a daily examination by a doctor. Strikers have been denied electrical products in their cells, cannot receive family visits, or visit the prison store. The prisoners are isolated and are only allowed visits by attorneys or the Red Cross. No prisoner has needed to undergo medical treatment.

Prisoner activists have stated that in the last several days they are attempting to make contact with the strike leaders at different prisons in order to prevent collective decisions.

A lead activist that met earlier with one of the strike leaders said that the Israel Prison Service has refused to meet the demand to put an end prisoner isolation, stating that such decisions must be made by a higher authority.