More Palestinian detainees decalre hunger strike

22 administrative prisoners joined Hanaa Shalbi in hunger strike. Detainees leaders threaten to join the protest. Prison Services: Situation under control

Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, stopped taking food after Israeli troops seized her in the West Bank on February 16. Recently about 22 additional detainees joined the protest over Sahlbi’s detention by refusing food. Four of them have been striking for more than three weeks.

The new retaliation in protest might be just the tip of the iceberg as the leaders of Palestinian organizations called on detainees to join the strike by the end of the month if Shalabi is not released.

The growing trend of hunger strikes started with the decision to release Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan on April 17, barring any new evidence in his case. Adnan ended his 65-day hunger strike following the decision. Palestinian detainees declared that they are inspired by the IRA hunger strike in 1981 that ended only after 10 prisoners died.

The Israeli Prison Services reports that 300 administrative detainees are held in their facilities. The IPS commented on Wednesday: “We know how to handle various protest measures and are professionally prepared for the situation.” The IPS is working under the assumption that the new wave of strikes will not carry a large percentage of the administrative detainees.

“We’re maintaining contact with the detainees, and monitor their health,” said a source in the IPS. However, the IPS emphasized that they have no authority to negotiate with the detainees.

The support in Shalabi is also strengthening outside the prisons. Several rallies were held in her name, calling for her immediate release. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Shalabi’s father and condemned her detention.

 

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By Roni Shaked

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