Palestinians in Israel jails set for 1-day hunger strike
By Anees Barghouthy, Wednesday, May 21, 2014
RAMALLAH – Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are set to stage a one-day hunger strike on Thursday to show solidarity with fellow Palestinians in "administrative detention" in Israel, the West Bank-based Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs said Wednesday.
Some 5200 Palestinian prisoners will take part in the mass hunger strike in solidarity with "administrative" prisoners, who have remained on hunger strike since April 24 to protest their continued detention without trial by Israeli authorities, Minister Issa Qaraqe told Anadolu Agency.
The move is intended to ratchet up pressure on the Israeli government in hopes of forcing it to respond to Palestinian prisoners' demands, he said.
Thursday's daylong hunger strike will be the second of its kind this week, as the prisoners staged a similar protest action on Tuesday.
"Thousands of prisoners threatened to join the [open-ended] hunger strike next week and their demands will extend beyond simply canceling the administrative detonation policy," the minister said.
"Administrative detention" is an Israeli policy by which Palestinian prisoners are held without trial, usually for reasons related to "security."
Administrative detention orders range from one to six months and can be extended by up to five years by Israeli military courts.
Around 5000 Palestinians continue to languish in more than 20 detention facilities throughout Israel, according to a recent report by the Prisoners Center for Studies and Research, a Palestinian NGO.
These include 200 minors and 19 female prisoners, the report said.
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