SHAFAQNA – Scores of Palestinian prisoners have joined a mass hunger strike underway in Israeli prisons in a protest campaign which entered its eighth day on Monday.
The media committee established to support the “Freedom and Dignity” strike said six Palestinians held in the Israeli prison of Megiddo started refusing food on Thursday, joining their 1,500 fellow inmates who are currently on hunger strike.
According to the report, the six prisoners were immediately placed in isolation on Sunday which saw 34 other detainees in Megiddo taking part in the hunger strike.
Palestinian prisoners from across the political spectrum have gone on the hunger strike, initially called for by former Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, since April 17 in protest at the conditions of Israeli prisons.
The Israel Prison Service (IPS) has continued to punish the hunger-striking detainees by placing them in solitary confinement and denied family and legal visits of their lawyers since the strike began on the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe on Sunday denied Israeli media reports that some 88 prisoners had ended their strike.
Israeli prison authorities have raided prison sections, seizing personal belongings and banning the hunger strikers from praying and taking breaks in prison yards.
Israeli prisons hold around 6,500 Palestinians, including 300 minors. Some of the inmates are held under Tel Aviv’s policy of administrative detention, which enables confinement without charge.
Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.