Palestinian prisoners plan hunger strike in solidarity with most persecuted
Palestinian prisoners at the Megiddo Prison. (AFP/File)
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Palestinian prisoners at the Ktziot, Ramon, Eshel, Ofer, and Nafha prisons will go on a hunger strike on April 17 in solidarity with prisoners in Nafha prison after a section of it was raided and Friday prayers were banned.
The Palestinian Committee for Prisoners' Affairs said in a statement Friday evening that the hunger strike is joint move in a response to the continued attacks and threats against prisoners in Nafha.
The committee said that if the Nafha prison administration insists on taking "vengeful steps" and continues its attack on prisoners, there will be a serious escalation, rebellion, and face off with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Dozens of Palestinian prisoners were injured on Wednesday when Israeli forces raided section 14 of the Nafha prison after prisoners allegedly provoked guards by shouting and throwing rocks into the hallway. Several prisoners were hospitalized for pepper spray burns and being beaten with batons by Israeli forces, with at least one sustaining critical injuries.
The following Thursday, it was announced prisoners in section 14 would be banned from joining Friday prayers in the prison yard.
Prisoners in the other sections responded by with locking themselves inside their cells in solidarity.
Israeli prisons routinely take punitive measures in response to protests staged by Palestinian prisoners. Many Palestinian prisoners face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.
Earlier this month, Palestine Prisoners' Center for Studies spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar said solitary confinement was being used by Israel against hunger-striking prisoners as a way to pressure them into ending their strike.
On Thursday, Palestinian prisoner Shukri al-Khawaja suspended his hunger strike in protest of solitary confinement due to his deteriorating health condition.
Palestinian prisoners affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) staged protests at the end of March in a number of Israeli prisons, including Nafha, to demand an end to solitary confinement, permission for prisoners to receive family visits, and a resolution to overcrowding issues.
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