They demand better prison conditions and an end to administrative detentions. Led by Marwan Barghouti, sentenced to life for murder during the second Intifada. For Bernard Sabella "it is the sign of a lack of political perspective" and stalling of international politics. Thousands of demonstrators in the West Bank in support of prisoners.
Exigen mejores condiciones carcelarias y el fin de las detenciones
administrativas. En su guía Marwan Barghouti, condenado a cadena
perpetua por asesinato atribuido durante la segunda Intifada. Para
Bernard Sabella "es el signo de una falta de perspectiva política" y
estancamiento de la política internacional. Miles de manifestantes en
Cisjordania apoyan a los prisioneros.
para la traducción española clic aquí
per la traduzione in italiano clicca qui
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - More than 1000 Palestinians have begun a
hunger strike in opposition to the livin
g conditions in Israeli prisons.
The demonstration is led by Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, 57,
sentenced to five life sentences for murders committed during the second
intifada. The date of the official start of the strike is not causal:
April 17 is the "Day for Palestinian Prisoner", in which friends and
relatives detained in jails are remembered. Hunger strikes are nothing
new, but it is the first time to take part is such a significant number.
The demonstrative action had been announced the day before yesterday, after weeks of preparation, with 700 prisoners.
Barghouti was yesterday put in isolation. Israelis consider him
bloodthirsty for his role in the al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinians consider
him a hero and sometimes refer to him as a potential successor to
Mohammad Abbas, current president of the Palestinian National Authority.
Barghouti wrote an open letter to the New York Times, motivating the
strike as the "most peaceful form of available resistance" against
"arbitrary mass arrests and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners."
According to the Israeli authorities, the number of participants is
around 1187, while Issa Qaraqe, of the Palestinian Authority leadership
says the number of prisoners are 1300. The Palestinian Prisoner Club NGO
has a population of 1500.
The purpose of the protest is to ask for improvements in detention
conditions, including more family visits;
the installation of public
telephones in detention blocks; the closure of the service clinics in
prisons in favor of medical care in hospitals; an end to detention
without trial and isolation. As for the medical conditions, the strikers
are also demanding the release of prisoners with disabilities or
chronic illnesses. In addition, the Palestinian branch of the NGO
Defense for Children International reported yesterday that more and more
children are subjected to isolation for longer periods of time: in
2016, 25 minors were confined for an average 16 day period.
Interviewed by AsiaNews, Prof. Bernard Sabella, a Catholic,
representative of Fatah in Jerusalem and Executive Secretary of service
to the Council the Palestinian refugees of Middle Eastern Churches, said
that the hunger strike is one of the consequences of the political
situation: "Without a political solution, no peace between Palestinians
and Israelis, what kind of condition of life can a Palestinian prisoner
have? It is a sad and painful situation."
"The Palestinian prisoners are demanding better living conditions, to
see their families, get medical care, better hygiene, all those who
lack basic necessities," says Prof. Sabella. "It is also the political
Today the Israeli minister for internal security Gilad Erdan
announced to the military radio that Israel will not negotiate with the
demonstrators: "They are terrorists and killers who are serving what
they deserve and we have no reason to negotiate with them."
In the Penitentiary Regulation, the refusal of meals is a
disciplinary offense which can result in withdrawal of privileges or
Abbas issued a statement supporting the strike, demanding the intervention of the international community.
The strike was also supported by demonstrations in different cities
of the West Bank, particularly in Ramallah, where more than 2 thousand
people marched in the main streets, and gathered in the square Yasser
Arafat. The protesters showed pictures of their imprisoned Barghouti and
other relatives, and several demonstrators announced that they wanted
to join the strike.