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Over 100 Palestinian prisoners commence open hunger strike

April 9, 2019 10:40 A.M. (Updated: April 11, 2019 2:22 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Some 120 Palestinian prisoners, commenced an open hunger strike following failure of talks with the Israel Prison Services (IPS) over the deteriorating situation in Israeli prisons, on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs Committee said in a statement that representatives of the prisoners have announced that following several days of talks with the IPS at Rimon prison, no results were reached, leading the prisoners to start an open hunger strike that includes refusing to drink water.

Palestinian prisoners demanded that the IPS remove all electronic jamming devices recently in several prisons, which are believed to have an impact on their health, including dizziness, headaches, and links to cancer, in addition to allowing visitation by families of Gaza prisoners, installing public phones in the prisons, ending solitary conferment, ending raids of cells and assaults and improving medical service.

The committee said the hunger strike, which started with 120 prisoners in Rimon and the Negev prisons, will increase in numbers in the following days.

The committee said that the IPS possibly backtracked on its agreement with the prisoners as a result of political pressure due to the upcoming Israeli legislative elections.

The Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, had personally led a campaign to make life extremely difficult for Palestinian prisoners in recent months, including reducing the amount of water they receive, installing jamming devices.

Erdan recently called for preparing hospitals in Israel to receive incoming prisoners who are going on a hunger and water strike, as a sign that the demands of the prisoners will not be met.

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