Over 365 Palestinian prisoners, mostly from Hamas, started an open-ended hunger on Thursday and Friday in Israeli jails in protest at different repressive and punitive measures taken against them.
“Al-Karama (dignity) Battle 2” is the name of this new mass hunger strike, according to the higher leading committee of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), 285 Palestinian prisoner went on hunger strike in Nafha and Eshel jails on Thursday and 80 more join the battle on Friday in protest at their exposure to repression at the hands of their jailers.
from his side, Head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haneyya has urged the Palestinian people to stand united behind the hunger-striking prisoners participating in “al-Karama (dignity) Battle 2” until they achieve a victory over their jailers’ repression.
In his Friday khutba (sermon) in Gaza, Haneyya called for active Arab diplomatic efforts to put an end to Israel’s violations against the prisoners. He also stressed the need to hold an urgent UN General Assembly session to formulate a verdict providing protection for the Palestinian prisoners and their rights in Israeli jails. The Hamas official highlighted that the Palestinian resistance would never forsake the prisoners in Israeli jails and would use every trump card in its hands to extract their freedom as it had done in the previous swap deal.
Other prisoners also intend to participate in this hunger strike battle next Sunday. About 40 prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have already gone on hunger strike in different jails in solidarity with hunger-striking fellow detainee Bilal Kayed, who is protesting his detention administratively after he completed his prison term in jail.
Kayed started his hunger strike about 51 days ago. Other four internees have also engaged in hunger strike in protest at their administrative detention, with no guilt.
They are Mahmoud and Mohamed al-Balboul (brothers), Malek al-Qaddi and Ayyad al-Huraimi, and all of them started their hunger strike last month. In addition, journalist Omar Nazzal, from Jenin, said he would go on hunger strike on Friday in protest at his administrative detention. Prisoner Walid Masalmeh, from al-Khalil, has been on hunger strike since July 18 in protest at his detention in an isolation cell.
In a new development, four prisoners in Hadarim jail decided to suspend their hunger strike which they staged in protest at the Red Cross’ decision to decrease its prison visit program for Palestinian families from twice to once a month. The hunger strikers took this decision after they received serious pledges to allow their families to visit them twice a month, according to the PPS on Friday.
The prisoners who froze their hunger strike are Ziyad al-Bazzar, Ahmed al-Barghouthi, Mahmoud Sarahneh and Amin Kamil. The PPS has not stated if the Red Cross will resume its previous prison visit program for all prisoners or only those pledges are meant for the aforementioned prisoners.