Palestinian prisoners to go on hunger strike

Published January 6th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT

Tens of Palestinian inmates have reportedly gone on hunger strike at an Israeli prison to protest against mistreatment as well as poor conditions at the detention facility.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society announced that 50 Palestinians at Nafha Prison in the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon have stopped eating their food portions since Tuesday evening. The inmates are angry over returning them to the Nafha jail, months after they were moved to Ktzi'ot Prison, which lies 45 miles southwest of Beersheba, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

The prisoners were placed in different wards of Nafha Prison rather than a single one, as it was the case prior to their transfer to Ktzi'ot Prison, prompting the inmates to go on hunger strike.

There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is the policy of arrest and detention of individuals without trial.

The Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.

In December 2015, Palestinians went on hunger strike at Hawara prison in northern occupied West Bank after Israeli officials raided their cells and subjected them to strip search.

Israel released famous Palestinian hunger-striker, Muhammad Allan, on November 5, 2015.

The 31-year-old Palestinian lawyer was held in custody without charge or trial for seven months before he went on a hunger strike in June 2015 in protest at "the absence of law in Israeli court."

During his hunger strike, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, approved a law which made way for Israel’s prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.

Allan ended his hunger strike after 66 days when Israel's Supreme Court agreed to suspend his sentence.

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