RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex-detainees Issa Qaraqi’ on Monday said that eight Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open hunger strike demanding Israel to end their solitary confinement.
Qaraqi’ said that the eight Palestinians in the Israeli prison of Rimon in the Negev Desert “sent back their meals, calling on Israel occupation authorities end their solitary confinement and move them to another jail.”
He added that the prisoner is held in a solitary cell measuring 1x1x0.5 meter, including a toilet, where he sleeps and eats. The minister identified the eight prisoners as Said Masalmeh, Abdullah Barham, Ahmed Jalamneh, Jihad Dwaikat, Ali Hassan, Shadi Soukiyeh, Mousa Jum’ah and Mohammed Al-Bulbol.
Qaraqi’ added that another six Jordanian prisoners with Palestinian origins have been on hunger strike since May 2 against their detention conditions in Israeli jails and to pressure Israel to grant them family visits.
He identified the six as Monir Mar’i, Abdullah al-Barghouthi, Ala’ Hammad, Mohammed al-Rimawi, Abdullah Jaber and Hamzeh Othman. Meanwhile, The Israeli forces operating in several West Bank areas and near Israel’s borders with Gaza Strip arrested twelve Palestinians. The Israeli Army Radio said that four Palestinians were arrested when they tried to enter Israel illegally from Gaza through the security fence. The report said the Palestinians were unarmed and they were searching for work inside Israel. In the West Bank, the forces arrested eight Palestinians in the cities of Nablus and Bethlehem.
Israel regularly carries out arrest raids throughout the West Bank, including in areas under full Palestinian Authority (PA)’s security control. The Palestinian Authority (PA) says that the daily Israeli raids in the West Bank cities and villages hinder its security forces to tighten their grip on the Palestinian territories. Israel does not allow the PA to have any security role in specific areas in the West Bank that the 1993 Oslo peace agreement between the two sides classified as C areas, which makes up more than 60 percent of the West Bank lands.
According to the recent Palestinian statistics, Israel is holding 4,900 prisoners in 23 prisons and detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank of whom 235 children, 14 women and 14 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists that prisoners must be freed in line with to the peace agreements reached with Israel.