Israel Vows Not to Negotiate with Palestinian Hunger Strikers

20 April, 2017, 06:31 | Author: Oscar Goodwin

Palestinians are holding rallies and protests across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in solidarity with the prisoners.

The Israel Prisons Service spokesman Assaf Librati said Barghouti had been transferred from Hadarim Prison to the Kishon Prison, near Haifa.

The United Nations says it is keeping a close eye on the situation of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners, who have gone on hunger strike honoring a call by a fellow inmate.

"We will not surrender to it", he wrote.

More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons.

Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and convicted terrorist, authored a piece for publication in the NYT titled, "Why We Are On Hunger Strike in Israel's Prisons", condemning Israel's treatment of prisoners and their relatives, as well as recalling abuse he suffered as a teenager in Israeli prisons.

"These are terrorists and incarcerated murderers who are getting exactly what the global law requires", he told Israel's Army Radio, adding that under the ministry's policy, "you can't negotiate with prisoners such as these".

The Prisoners' Club said a main demand was for Israel to halt detention without trial for some 500 Palestinians now being held and for an end to solitary confinement.

Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners' rights, said 6,500 Palestinians are now held by Israel.

Hunger-striking Palestinians being held under administrative detention and Israeli authorities have negotiated deals in the past.

Barghouti was arrested in 2002, and is serving 5 life sentences plus 40 years for his role in multiple terror attacks, including sending out suicide bombers.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to consider Barghouti and his comrades partaking in the hunger strike as "political prisoners", noting that "they were murderers and saboteurs"- the statement clearly stated that they were tried and convicted, according to the law. The protest has unsettled Israeli officials who also reacted furiously to an article penned by Barghouti justifying the strike in the New York Times. One cage held two Palestinians in Israeli prison uniform.

Various organizations are estimating the number of prisoners involved in the strike between 1,100-1,500.

"Israel is trying to de-incentivize future hunger strikes and is trying to basically embrace the "no concession" policy... they are taking deterrent measures", Zalzberg said.

Barghouti, a prominent leader in PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, called the strike, but in a show of unity it has been joined by prisoners from other Palestinian parties.

Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on Monday.

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