Israel not to negotiate with Palestinian hunger strikers: minister

Palestinian prisoners are on an open-ended hunger strike to protest the conditions in Israeli jails and to demand the allowance of what they call "basic rights".

A Palestinian protester holds a picture of Marwan Barghouti during a rally to support the prisoners' strike in the West Bank town of Hebron, April 17 2017.

According to News Chief, the Palestinian prisoners are demanding certain rights as part of their condition to end their strike.

Israel said the move by the prisoners, many of whom were convicted of attacks or planning attacks against Israel, was politically motivated.

Erdan claimed that the strike is a political stunt by Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five consecutive life sentences for his role as commander of the Tanzim terror gang that murdered dozens of Israeli civilians during the Second Intifada, and specifically for his role in five individual killings.

He is popular among Palestinians, with polls suggesting he could win the Palestinian presidency. Their plight raised tensions between the Palestinian public and Israeli authorities.

".By inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation", Barghouti added. "In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it". Palestinian Prisoners' Club is an organisation that advocates on behalf of the inmates.

The Israel Prison Service said that it does not negotiate with prisoners. "My policy is that you can't negotiate with prisoners such as these".

The site further states that since 1967, 200 detainees have been "martyred" in prison due to "torture, medical negligence, being killed directly after detention or shot dead inside prison by soldiers and guards".

Furthermore, the Palestinian Detainees' Committee and the Palestinian Prisoner Society have reported that the prison authority in Galboa' Israeli prison has prevented the lawyers from visiting with hunger striking detainees.

Erdan says the prisoners receive all privileges required by worldwide law.

Such incidents have greatly subsided in recent months.

More than 300 Palestinians have been in prison since before Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo accords in 1993.

For Palestinians, the prisons have become a stark symbol of Israel's occupation.

Strikers have also said they want access to more television channels and compassionate release for disabled prisoners or those sufferings from chronic illnesses.

"When a despicable murderer like Barghouti protests in prison for improved conditions, while the relatives of those he murdered are still in pain, there is only one solution - death penalty for terrorists", Yisrael Katz wrote on Twitter.

  • Leroy Wright