Over 400 Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Protest of Detention Policies

A hunger strike including over 400 Palestinian prisoners in Israel began this week in protest of Israeli’s arbitrary detention policies. The numbers continue to rise after the originally reported 80 Palestinian prisoners began their hunger strikes in the beginning of July. The detainees state that Israeli authorities have been conducting “humiliating” searches against them in their cells, violating their human rights.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, the hunger strike was staged in solidarity with Palestinian Bilal Kayed, who has been on a strike now for 54 days after being transferred to a detention center even though his 15-year sentence had just ended. His health continues to decline, and Israeli authorities ordered that he remain in custody after his sentence ended under “administrative detention”, which allows a person to be held without trial for a renewable six-month period.

Detainee Mahmoud Al-Balboul has been on strike since July 4th, and his brother Muhammed on strike since July 7th. Detainees Malek Al-Kadhi and Ayad Al-Hreimi have been on a hunger strike since July 15th.

Journalist Omar Nazal began his hunger strike on August 4th, while prisoner Waleed Muslameh announced his hunger strike on July 18th after the Israeli prison guards transferred him to solitary confinement.

Though certain prisoners such as Ahed Abu Ghulma, who is being held in solitary confinement in Ramon prison has been suffering “headaches, severe joint pain, vomiting and exhaustion” on his hunger strike, Israeli authorities will not allow medical attention in order to pressure him into ending his hunger strike.

Author

Alexis Henning, BA in Political Science/International Relations, Minor in Middle Eastern Studies. US Expat in Dublin, IE.