Palestinian Terrorist Prisoner Hunger Strike Ends

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli forces detain a Palestinian protester during clashes in the Arab village of Beita, near Shechem, on Friday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Forty days after it began, the hunger strike by Palestinian Authority terrorists being held in Israeli prisons has ended. A committee representing the terrorist prisoners announced over the weekend that “understandings” had been reached with the Prisons Service.

According to PA sources, the negotiations with the Prisons Service were conducted by arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti. The PA’s Prisoners Committee said that Barghouti discussed the situation of terrorists being held by Israel with Prisons Service representatives for some 20 hours straight.

The Prisons Service denied that any negotiations had taken place at all, saying that the hunger strike had been ended by an internal PA decision that had nothing to do with Israel. As a “gesture” for Ramadan, which began Friday, the Service is granting terrorist prisoners a second visit by family each month, which will be paid for by the PA. It is on the strength of that arrangement that the terrorists ended their hunger strike, it said.

The decision by the terrorists to make do with a second visit as the final compromise to their demands is a drastic reduction in the full list of demands they had previously demanded. The terrorists had made over a dozen demands, including better and more food, more visits with relatives, and more visits from international medical groups like the Red Cross, which the terrorists demanded be allowed to visit them twice a month. They also demanded that public phones be installed in prisons to allow terrorists to contact families. Representatives of the terrorist prisoners say that the phone calls would not entail a security risk, as they would be monitored by Israel.

Barghouti, whom the Prisoners Committee had said was negotiating on their behalf, was famously caught cheating on his hunger strike several weeks ago. In a statement, the Prisons Service said that most of the terrorists who were “officially” on a hunger strike and declared that they would eat again had actually broken their fasts weeks ago.