Palestinian prisoners start hunger strike in Israeli prisons

The New York Times published an op-ed by convicted Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti on Sunday without disclosing the nature of his conviction-writing simply that he was serving time in an Israeli prison.

Barghouti noted that "about 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967 because of such actions".

Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi called on the global community to bring an end to the "inhumane" treatment of Palestinian prisoners. He said he organized the hunger strike to fight back after all other options failed to produce results. In reaction to that, wrote Barghouti, Palestinians were responding with the most peaceful form of resistance that there is. It inflicts pain exclusively on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.

A prominent leader in the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Marwan Barghouti, had called for the strike.

"I see no reason to skimp on this, while failing to do so risks the credibility of the author and the Op-Ed pages", Spayd wrote in a piece titled "An Op-Ed Author Omits His Crimes, and The Times Does Too". According to the BBC, while Palestinians regard these protestors as political prisoners, Israel prefers to view them as terrorists.

In a letter penned by Barghouti and read by his wife Fadwa on Saturday, Barghouti accused Israel of detaining "thousands of Palestinians every year in a flagrant violation of global treaties and conventions".

Even when a permit is granted, the families are required to wait in a yard outside the prison, sometimes for hours without sits or shades.

Those on hunger strike have issued a list of demands, including access to phones, extended visiting rights and better medical care.

"This massive strike sends a strong message to the Israelis, after 50 years of occupation, suppression and oppression, that the prisoners. will lead their people from behind bars", she said.

The NGO Palestinian Prisoners' Club said 1,500 people were taking part.

The Israel Prison Service expects the number of striking prisoners to increase in the coming days after Palestinian officials, marking Palestinian Prisoners' Day on Monday, have called for the public to show support at rallies throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A statement released by Hamas warned the Prison Service against harming the hunger strikers. Many receive monthly "salaries" from the Palestinian Authority, and Israel provides study opportunities for those who are interested.

  • Leroy Wright