Islamic Jihad leader Mohammad Al-Hindi warned Sunday that the death of any hunger-striking prisoner will start the third intifada, referencing the popular uprisings against Israeli occupation.
The Jihad official said the “battle of the empty stomachs” — in which more than 2,000 jailed Palestinians are refusing food — had overcome factional divisions.
“This battle will be the gateway for Palestinian unity,” he told supporters of the hunger-strikers at a solidarity tent in central Gaza City.
Al-Hindi urged cross-factional demonstrations to support the prisoners even if they lead to clashes with Israeli forces.
He also called on the Arab League to shut Israeli embassies and expel envoys in response to the popular protest rocking Israel’s jails.
Meanwhile, the Arab League held an urgent meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the situation, with the Kuwaiti chair of the summit posing a resolution at the UN General Assembly to support the prisoners.
Delegates also urged the World Health Organization to investigate the conditions inside Israeli jails for Palestinians, official PA news agency Wafa reported.
On April 17, Palestinian prisoners day, over 1,000 prisoners joined a group of hunger-strikers protesting detention without charge. Around 2,000 are now taking part in the strike, prisoners rights groups estimate.
Administrative detainees Bilal Diab, 27, from Jenin, and Thaer Halahla, 33, from Hebron — are in a precarious condition after 68 days without food, a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said this week.
The organization petitioned an Israeli court to allow an independent doctor to access to Diab, but the urgent appeal was rejected and postponed until a regular hearing on Monday, PHR said.
The group also slammed the Israeli High Court for not setting a date to hear an appeal against Diab and Halahla’s detention orders.
“By ignoring the gravity of their current situation, the High Court judges are not only acting with severe negligence, but also with malicious intent,” PHR said in a joint statement with prisoners rights group Addameer.