Palestinians hold prisoners’ pictures and candles during a protest calling for the release of Palestinian inmates from Israeli jails and in support of prisoners on hunger strike in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on October 12, 2012. ©AFP
Over two dozen Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have gone on hunger strike in the occupied Palestinian territories in protest against inhumane treatment by Israeli forces.
The entire 25 inmates at Etzion prison in the illegal Israeli Gush Etzion settlement, located to the south of al-Quds (Jerusalem) in the occupied West Bank, staged the protest action on Thursday, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
The prisoners say they have been subjected to various violations, including physical assault and poor prison conditions, the news agency said, citing Jacqueline Fararj, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
Israeli forces at the prison, which mostly holds inmates from southern West Bank, had attacked two of the prisoners, named as 24-year-old Abdul-Rahim Zamara and Yazan Marqtan, 23, with rifle butts, according to the lawyer.
There are more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have reportedly been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is the policy of arrest and detention of individuals without trial.
The Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.
Earlier this month, Palestinians went on hunger strike at Hawara prison in northern West Bank after Israeli authorities raided their cells and subjected them to strip search.
Israel was forced to release famous Palestinian hunger-striker Muhammad Allan last month.
The 31-year-old Palestinian lawyer was held in custody without charge or trial for seven months before he went on a hunger strike in June in protest at “the absence of law in Israeli court.”
During his hunger strike, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, approved a law which made way for Israel’s prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.
Allan ended his hunger strike after 66 days when Israel’s Supreme Court agreed to suspend his sentence.