70 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike hospitalized

Published June 3rd, 2014 - 07:34 GMT

Dozens of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons have been taken to hospitals as their health conditions have seriously deteriorated.

Sivan Weitzman, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Prison Service, the agency responsible for overseeing jails, made the announcement on Sunday, Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.

The 70 prisoners hospitalized are part of more than 120 Palestinian inmates who have been on an open-ended hunger strike since April 24 in protest at the Israeli “administrative detention,” which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.

Earlier, 17 rights groups and the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs wrote a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to bring her attention to the situation of the hunger-striking Palestinians, as the overall number of the hunger-strikers has increased to 290.

In 2012, over 1,500 Palestinian inmates staged a four-week hunger strike that came to an end after Tel Aviv agreed not to extend the jail terms of those in administrative detention.

More than 5,000 Palestinians are reportedly being held in Israeli prisons; nearly 200 of them are under administrative detention orders.

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