Monday, May 7th, 2012
Ten detainees in a southern Israeli jail were transferred to medical facilities after 21 days on hunger-strike, prisoners told Ma’an on Monday.
Inmates at Nafha jail in the Negev said prison doctors had diagnosed hunger-striker Shadi al-Rekhawi, from Gaza, with partial paralysis.
The prisoners are among 2,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails who have joined a mass hunger-strike since April 17, Palestinian Prisoners Day.
Several prisoners joined the wave of hunger-strikes months ago, when Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi won release from detention without charge by refusing food.
Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeals of administrative detainees Bilal Diab, 27, from Jenin, and Thaer Halahla, 33, from Hebron — who have refused food since Feb. 29.
Calls for factional unity
Prisoners are protesting detention without charge as well as restrictive conditions inside Israeli jails, including limited visiting rights and solitary confinement.
On Saturday a representative for Fatah prisoners said detained affiliates accepted half of the proposals made by an Israeli committee in response to the demands of hunger strikers.
The proposals include reinstating family visits for detainees from the Gaza Strip and forming a committee to move prisoners out of solitary confinement.
Fatah-affiliated detainees said Monday that representatives will hold a meeting with prison authorities in Ramon jail, which they described as “the moment of decision” whether remaining Fatah detainees will join the hunger-strike.
Around 500 of 3,000 Fatah affiliates are on hunger strike, along with 1,500 detainees linked to other political parties, the representatives said. There are around 4, 500 Palestinians jailed in Israel.
But Yousef Rizqa, political adviser to Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, warned on Monday that Israel was trying to use party affiliations to sow rifts between the hunger-strikers.
The government in Gaza insists only a completely successful response to demands will end the strike, as partial responses will negatively affect prisoners, he said.
Appeal to Erdogan
Rizqa said Haniyeh had sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan via Turkish delegates who visited the Gaza Strip, appealing for his personal intervention to save the lives of the hunger-strikers.
He noted that many were speaking out against Israel’s use of administrative detention internationally and regionally, backed by many voices in Israel who oppose the practice.
The official called on the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to end security coordination will Israel, and to keep Israeli soldiers who enter areas of PA control in order to swap them for Palestinian detainees.
Israel released 1,047 Palestinian prisoners in 2011 after captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was freed from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in October.