Friday, October 14, 2011

Prisoners joining hunger strike

Palestinian woman walks next to photos of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli
jails, at al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, Oct. 12.
(Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- As the hunger strike in Israeli prisons enters its 17th day Thursday, 240 prisoners in Gilboa prison have officially joined the action to improve conditions, the prisoners minister in the West Bank said.

Issa Qaraqe said prisoners from Ofer prison have also set in motion a plan to gradually increase participation, while 30 Palestinians in Eshel jail are striking now along with 140 who will join within the week.

Qaraqe expects thousands of detainees to join the strike. The Israeli government continues to reject demands for humane and fair conditions, he said.

Palestinians jailed in Israel went on a mass hunger strike on Sept. 27 to protest harsh conditions. Thousands of demonstrators have staged rallies to support prisoners who are refusing food.

Palestinian singer and activist Rim Banna meanwhile has announced she is on hunger strike for a third consecutive day in solidarity with the detainees throughout the Israeli prison system.

Banna wrote on her Facebook page that she began "a hunger strike in a solidarity with the 6000 Palestinian and Arab political detainees in their struggle 'of the empty stomachs battle' in Israeli prisons."

"Please join and support the detainees to achieve their demands," she said.