Ramallah, 2 October 2011
On 27 September 2011, Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons announced the start of a campaign of disobedience to protest an escalating series of punitive measures taken against them by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) in recent months. The campaign is composed of several elements, including a hunger strike and refusal to cooperate with a number of IPS rules, such as wearing prison uniforms and participating in multiple daily roll calls.
As of 2 October, all Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) prisoners-who launched the campaign-in all Israeli prisons were participating in the campaign on a full-time basis, including an open-ended hunger strike. The campaign has now gained further momentum, with prisoners from other political factions gradually joining the campaign on a part-time basis, whereby they will take part in acts of disobedience three days a week (Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday). In Ramon, Eshel and Nafha prisons, Hamas leaders joined the campaign on 1 October on a part-time basis, and in Ashqelon prison, Fatah and Hamas prisoners are also participating on a part-time basis. In Ofer and Naqab prisons, although a number of prisoners from other political factions have already joined in the campaign on a part-time basis, representatives of all factions will reach a final decision on the matter on 4 October. In Ofer prison in particular, it is estimated that by the end of the week, 250 Hamas prisoners will join the strike on a part-time basis.
The IPS has already started punishing participating prisoners in an effort to undermine the campaign. On 1 and 2 October respectively, it transferred 28 PFLP prisoners from Naqab prison and 6 PFLP prisoners from Ofer prison to as-of-yet unknown locations. In Naqab prison, the IPS also confiscated the hunger-striking prisoners’ only nourishment, salted water.
In light of these developments, Addameer renews its call on all political parties, institutions, organizations and solidarity groups working in the field of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and abroad to support the prisoners in their campaign of disobedience. Addameer will continue to closely follow the prisoners’ campaign of civil disobedience and provide regular updates on the situation as it develops.