Sunday, 29 April 2012

Palestinian hunger strike case to go to UN: Meshaal

(Former premier Islamil Haniya (R) meets the president of Egypt's leading Salafist Al-Nur party, Emad Abdel Ghafur (L) - AFP/HO/Hamas Press Office/File)

CAIRO — Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Sunday that the case of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly.

Meshaal told journalists in Cairo that he had agreed on the course of action in talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

He was in "full coordination" with Abbas on the issue of the hunger striking prisoners, the Hamas chief said.

Some 1,350 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel are currently 13 days into a mass hunger strike to protest against the conditions in which they are being held, with many more expected to join them in the coming days.

Another eight prisoners have been refusing food for longer, with two of them now into the 61st day of their hunger strike, despite increasingly chronic health problems.

A Palestinian MP said on Sunday that a top militant on hunger strike for nearly two weeks has been transferred to the hospital wing of an Israeli prison near Tel Aviv.

Ahmed Saadat, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, began refusing food on April 17.

The Meshaal-led Hamas delegation visiting the Egyptian capital would stress the need for Arab and international support over the prisoners' cause, Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Rishq wrote on his Facebook page. more

Eighth hunger striking prisoner transferred to hospital; at least 2,000 still on hunger strike

On Saturday, Palestinian prisoner Muhammed Halas was transferred to Ramleh prison medical center after twelve days on hunger strike, joining seven other long-term hunger strikers, including two that have had no food for sixty days.

Poster of hunger striking detainees (image by Electronic Intifada)

1200 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17th, Palestinian Prisoners Day, joining eight prisoners who began hunger strikes in March. In the days since, they have been joined by hundreds more prisoners.

The open-ended hunger strikes are meant to challenge Israel's policy of administrative detention, in which Palestinians can be abducted by Israeli military forces from the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and held without charges or trial for years on end.

Mohammed Halas is the latest prisoner to be transferred to the prison medical facility after his health began to deteriorate from the extended hunger strike. more

Israeli forces detain five Gaza fishermen

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel's navy detained a group of fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Sunday morning, the army said.

Local official Mahfouth al-Kabareeti told Ma'an that Israeli naval forces detained eight men.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that navy forces fired at the engine of a Palestinian fishing boat after it had deviated from the designated fishing area.

No injuries were reported and the boat was transferred to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The fishermen were transferred to the custody of security forces, the spokeswoman added. more