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| 18 May, 2017

Health condition of Palestinian hunger strikers at stake, says Detainees Commission

Palestinians perform Friday prayers before a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem May 12, 2017.

Palestinians perform Friday prayers before a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem May 12, 2017.

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

RAMALLAH, 18th May, 2017 (WAM) -- Head of the Detainees Affairs Commission, Issa Qaraqe, said on Thursday that the health condition of the 1800 hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has deteriorated after 32 days of fast.

Qaraqe said the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) transferred all hunger strikers to Beersheba, Shatta and Ramleh prisons because of their proximity to hospitals, which is an indicator of the prisoners’ critical health situation.

Accoording tp Palestinian news agency, WAFA, He held the Israeli authorities and IPS fully responsible for the lives of the prisoners, some of whom are "suffering internal bleeding and fainting." Qaraqe called on the international community to "act immediately to pressure the occupation authorities to end the suffering of the prisoners and to respond to their legitimate humanitarian demands." On April 17, around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched a mass hunger-strike to protest the difficult humanitarian conditions in Israeli jails and demand better treatment. Since then, prisoners started feeding solely on water and salt as their only sources of nourishment.

The prisoners’ main demands include being moved to prisons in the occupied territories as per the Fourth Geneva Convention, which would make it easier for their families to visit them, and lifting restrictions on family visits and better treatment of families at military checkpoints.

The prisoners also demand an improvement in access to medical care; increasing visit duration from 45 to 90 minutes; families of women prisoners meet without glass barriers to allow mothers to hold their children; an improvement in detention conditions including easing restrictions on the entry of books, clothing, food and other gifts from family members; restoring some educational facilities; and installing public phones to enable prisoners to communicate with their families.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.