Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails end hunger strike: Prison Service


Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners ended a 40-day hunger strike today initially launched over conditions in Israeli jails, the Israel Prison Service and a Palestinian official said.

The Israeli prison service, however, insisted the deal had been done not with prisoners' representatives but with the Palestinian Authority and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Administrative detainees are arrested on "secret evidence", unaware of the accusations against them, and are not allowed to defend themselves in court. More than 6,000 Palestinians are now in prison for offences linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for charges ranging from stone-throwing to weapons possession and attacks that killed or wounded Israeli civilians and soldiers in bombings, shootings and other violence. "An agreement was finally reached with the prisons service". The Palestinians had been throwing rocks at passing vehicles, including one belonging to the settler, according to the Israeli military.

"This is an important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners under global law". Palestinians still claim the territory as their own.

"We have explained in detail to American envoy Jason Greenblatt the issue of the prisoner strike and we have called for American intervention to ensure that the rights of prisoners are protected and their humanitarian demands are granted", he said.

Other demands included longer and more regular family visits, landlines installed in prisons and better healthcare. By the second week of May, only a handful of prisoners gave up the fast for medical reasons.

Gaza's ruling Hamas movement executed three Palestinians on Thursday convicted of killing a commander in the Islamist group's armed wing while acting on Israel's orders.

On April 17, around 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched a mass hunger-strike to protest the hard humanitarian conditions in Israeli jails and demand better treatment. The Palestinian Authority will now fund the second visit, according to Hebrew media. But since then, they have backtracked on most of their commitments. Abdel Majid Sweenem welcomed the fact that the Israeli authorities had been forced to negotiate with prisoner representatives after trying to avoid doing so at all costs. Barghouti, a Fatah leader, has been in an Israeli prison since 2002.

Israel had sentenced Faqha to nine terms of life imprisonment for directing deadly suicide bombing attacks. He observed that his office "has serious doubts as to whether capital trials in Gaza meet these standards".

The strike began in mid-April, with an op-ed in the New York Times penned by Barghouti, who protested "ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners".

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"President Abbas assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same, ' Trump announced at the Palestinian Presidential Palace".

"The aim of the strike", Barghouti said, "is to achieve more humane, fair and more dignified prison conditions". "There is a perception this is a victory for the prisoners, and for Marwan [Barghouti], because he embarked on a strike the Palestinian Authority wasn't that excited about". "Israel has established a dual regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalising Palestinian presence and resistance", he emphasised. They were transferred to Shifa Hospital in western Gaza City.

Tightened tensions between Fatah and Hamas could lead to another conflict in the Gaza Strip, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov warned on Friday.

Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank have been supporting and showing solidarity with the striking prisoners since the beginning of the strike.

Qadoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, which works on behalf of inmates, said some points of the agreement would be discussed further.

His wife, Fadwa, dismissed the footage as a "fake. meant to break the morale of prisoners" and called on Pope Francis to intervene.

The deal came hours before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Some 843 prisoners are still observing the strike that has wide Palestinian support. "I stress that all attempts at blackmail and tough moves will only increase the prisoners determination".

The executions took place at a police headquarters and was attended by hundreds of people, including Hamas officials and community leaders. He has already lost 14 kilograms since he embarked on the hunger strike.