Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ten hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners hospitalised

JERUSALEM—Ten Palestinian prisoners participating in a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails were placed under medical supervision as their conditions worsened, officials said Saturday.

The ten men are among 1,500 to 2,500 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to demand better conditions and an end to detention without trial.

Although Israeli officials and Palestinians give different numbers of hunger strikers, it is still one of the largest prison protests in years.

It involves a quarter to a half of all Palestinians held in Israeli jails, estimated at some 4,600 people. The reasons for their detentions range from throwing stones to killing civilians in brutal militant attacks.

Most them began refusing food 19 days ago, but a smaller core have been striking longer, from periods of time ranging from 40 to almost 70 days.

Prison spokeswoman Sivan Weizeman said the 10 were transferred to a prison clinic for medical supervision. Weizeman did not say when they were transferred or what medical treatment they are currently receiving.

Sahar Francis of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group, said the men were moved at different times last week. She said the men under medical supervision were those who had been on hunger strike the longest.

Another prisoner, Bilal Diab, was moved to a civilian hospital last week. He has refused food for 68 days so far. more

Non-violent protests in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners held in 6 W. Bank villages

(Photo By Rani Burnat - Bilin)

Two injuries were reported, and dozens of cases of gas inhalation, when Israeli troops attacked non-violent solidarity protests in six Palestinian villages in the central and southern West Bank.

This week, the weekly Friday protests (held in villages located on the path of the Israeli wall) were in solidarity with Palestinian political detainees on hunger strike protesting ill-treatment and the use of administrative detention policies by their Israeli captives.

Protesters declared their solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike, especially the prisoners Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla for entering the day 67 of their open hunger strike. In Bil'in village, dozens of local youth have set up a tent in the center of the village, and are on day 15 of a solidarity hunger strike along with over 2,000 imprisoned Palestinians.

In the southern West Bank, villages of Al-Khader, Beit Omer and Al Ma’ssara, near Bethlehem city, organized anti-wall protests. Villagers were joined by Israeli and international supporters at all three locations.

Two Palestinians were injured another one arrested and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked villagers and their supporters at the village of Al-Khader.

Witnesses said that soldiers opened fire at them as soon as they left the village. Later troops invaded Al-Khader and took over roof tops of local homes and used them to fire at protesters. more

PA: Prisoners reviewing Israeli offer to end hunger strike

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's prison administration has agreed to meet several demands made by Palestinian hunger-strikers, including allowing them to receive visitors and make phone calls, an official said Friday.

Palestinian Authority prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe said a committee formed by the Israeli Prison Service decided to grant detainees one phone call per month, and allow them to spend 100 more shekels on personal items.

Among several outstanding issues is visits for Gaza Strip detainees, he said. The committee has postponed its response for two weeks to make arrangements with the army and Red Cross.

Prison officials will also form a committee to meet monthly and discuss four names at a time of prisoners who are in solitary confinement. They will review the files and determine if the punishment is necessary.

Another outstanding issue is education. The prison service is awaiting the response of the High Court, which is reviewing a petition from a number of human rights organizations, he said. more