The prisoner issue is emotional for Palestinians, many of whom have had a loved one behind bars at some point during decades of conflict. Palestinians generally view them as heroes, regardless of the reason for their imprisonment. -- Blake Sobczak, writing in the Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star.According to a report by various Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) is not fulfilling several important commitments given two months ago in the agreement that ended a general Palestinian hunger strike.
Haggai Matar at +972 writes that the report states the Israelis have failed to implement the release of all prisoners who are “classified as administrative detainees” as agreed upon. Also, the prisoner service has not allowed family visits from Gaza, reinstituted higher education for prisoners, ceased violent searches or improved health care.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) and Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support group, have urged the international community to intervene on behalf of the prisoners and demand that independent physicians be given unrestricted access to all hunger strikers, that no hunger striker be shackled while hospitalized and that hunger strikers’ families be permitted visitation rights and given access to up-to-date medical information about their loved ones’ conditions.
Addameer and PHR-IL have also called for the immediate release of Akram Rikhawi who has been on a hunger strike for over 87 days. On July 4th, a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel visited Rikhawi along with his lawyer, Mona Neddaf, after a judge ordered the IPS to permit the visit. more