Some 180 Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike After One Day

Israel denies a deal was made, but Palestinians say some of their demands were met.

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A protester showing solidarity with Mohammed Allan in Be’er Sheva, August 9, 2015.
A protester showing solidarity with Mohammed Allan in Be’er Sheva, August 9, 2015.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Some 180 Palestinian security prisoners have ended a hunger strike launched on Saturday to protest their conditions, the Israel Prison Service and the Palestinian Prisoners Society confirmed Sunday.

The Israeli agency said the hunger strikers, most of whom are in the Nafha and Rimon prisons, had resumed eating unconditionally, and that no deal had been made.

But prisoner society chairman Qadura Fares told Haaretz that the strike was halted because the prison service agreed to return 120 prisoners to the wing of Nafha where they were previously held and made concessions over searches and other issues. Fares said the prisoners would evaluate the deal’s implementation and could resume the strike after two weeks if progress was unsatisfactory.

Earlier Sunday, the organization said more prisoners would join the strike because talks between the prisoners and the prison service were fruitless.

The strike included only prisoners from Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Hamas and Islamic Jihad did not join in.

Activists for the prisoners said this split, which reflects the rift in Palestinian society, had undermined the prisoners’ struggle.

Meanwhile, dozens of people demonstrated outside Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva yesterday to demonstrate solidarity with Mohammed Allaan, an administrative detainee who has been on hunger strike for 52 days and is hospitalized there.

On Friday the International Committee of theRed Cross warned that Allaan, 31, is at risk of dying. But Soroka said yesterday that Allaan is conscious and his condition is stable.

The demonstrators demanded the immediate release of Allaan, who has been imprisoned without trial for about six months, as well as dozens of other administrative detainees. They also demanded that Allaan not be force-fed.

His mother, Ma’zuza, who attended the protest, said she had visited her son over the weekend and that he was determined to continue fighting for his rights.

“He told me he would continue his battle until he receives the rights he deserves. I stand behind him ... He is very strong and will continue his legitimate battle.”

MKs Haneen Zoabi and Ahmad Tibi of the Joint Arab List addressed the crowd. Calling administrative detention “immoral,” Zoabi said that Allaan was one of 400 Palestinians being held without trial. “This has become legitimate, and we don’t know what the detainees have been jailed for. Mohammed and others say they’re willing to stand trial, but they’re being imprisoned without an indictment. We will fight for an end to this inhuman practice.”

Zoabi said the hunger strike was a battle of the oppressed. “They’ve taken everything from us,” she said. “All that’s left is our pride and our desire to live.”

Tibi said that Allaan “is using his body to end administrative detention and the illegal abuse entailed in force-feeding.” He added that he opposes administrative detention for Jews as well as as well as for Arabs.

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