Four Palestinian Prisoners Remain on Hunger Strike
On Monday, a deal was struck between Israeli authorities and Palestinian prisoners that ended an almost month-long mass hunger strike by thousands of prisoners. But at least four Palestinian prisoners remain on hunger strike.
The historic deal was reached as two hunger strikers reached death’s door and as protests in the occupied territories picked up steam. The main provisions of the deal include: an end to solitary confinement; the resumption of family visits from the Gaza Strip; and no renewal of administrative detention orders for the over 300 prisoners being held without charge and trial, unless there are “serious” reasons to do so.
Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, says that four prisoners remain on hunger strike. According to the Palestinian news outlet Ma’an, “the prisoners still on strike were not part of the mass movement and their cases would not affect the deal.”
One of the prisoners still on hunger strike is Mahmoud al-Sarsak, a Palestinian soccer player from Gaza who was arrested while en route to the West Bank to join his team. He has been held since 2009, but has yet to be charged or tried. Israel says they are holding him under an “unlawful combatant” law. Sarsak has been refusing food for 60 days. Dave Zirin of the Nation wrote about Sarsak’s case here.
The other prisoners still on strike have varied reasons for doing so. Akram al-Rekhawi is protesting inadequate medical treatment, while Mohammad Taj is demanding to be treated as a prisoner of war by Israel. That would mean Israel recognizing the Geneva Conventions when it comes to the rights of prisoners.
For more on the Palestinian hunger strike, read AlterNet’s own Anna Lekas Miller here.