Palestinian prisoners' mass hunger strike suspended

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ended their hunger strike Saturday after 40 days, officials said.

26 de mayo de 2017, 15:23United Nations, May 26 (Prensa Latina) United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov urged Israel today to resolve the crisis created by the hunger strike of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for nearly two months.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Service confirmed the agreement, but denied the strike had forced the authorities to negotiate over conditions in the jails with the prisoner representatives.

As the strike continued and the health of many prisoners sharply deteriorated, Israel increased psychological pressure: media reports suggested Israel would resort to the unsafe and medically unethical practice of force-feeding and Israeli ministers publicly smeared Marwan Barghouti in an apparent effort to discredit him and break the strike's unity.

Since then, 18 strikers were hospitalised and more than 750 abandoned the strike, which was upheld by 834 inmates until its suspension.

Mladenov said that in April the PA cut salary allowances to almost 60,000 public sector employees in Gaza and the Gaza power plant, which supplies a third of electricity, stopped working due to a dispute between the PA and Hamas over fuel tax.He said power lines between Egypt and Gaza are down for technical reasons, leaving only Israeli electricity lines, which provide 60 percent of Gaza's power.

Barghouti is seen as a possible future successor to the Palestinian leadership.

The deal comes as Muslims around the world begin the holy month of Ramadan, during which many people fast.

"It is also an indication of the reality of the Israeli occupation which has left no option to Palestinian prisoners but to starve themselves to achieve basic rights they are entitled to under global law", the statement read.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had taken up the issue with visiting US President Donald Trump earlier this week, urging him to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to heed the prisoners' demands.

Human rights groups had called on the Islamist movement not to carry out the executions - just two weeks after it announced the arrests and aired videos of what it said were the men's confessions.

According to PA sources, the negotiations with the Prisons Service were conducted by arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.

Last week, Palestinians observed a second general strike in solidarity with the hunger striking detainees.

  • Leroy Wright