Palestinian Prisoners Threaten Hunger Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israelis soldiers face off against Palestinians during a rally in solidarity with the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison, in Chevron. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

Almost 1,400 Palestinians in Israeli prisons threatened to go on a hunger strike to protest conditions, which they claim worsened following a jailbreak last week.

According to the Palestinian Authority, hundreds of inmates were transferred to other jails and personal items confiscated in searches carried out by guards,

The changes provoked angry prisoners to start fires in several jails.

“The situation is very bad in the prisons, that’s why they’re going on hunger strike,” Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the PA commission for prisoners, told AFP.

He said that 1,380 prisoners — over a third of the more than 4,000 Palestinians held in detention facilities — are set to begin the hunger strike on Friday.

Meanwhile, there were further revelations concerning the escape of six men from Gilboa Prison, two of whom are still at large,

Security officials suspect that plans for the breakout were widely known among the prison population, according to media reports.

In addition, according to the reports, a prison guard who was responsible for maintaining the prison’s sewer system knew of recent blockages in the system due to sand, but did not report the blockages to the prison authorities. The sand was apparently from digging of a tunnel that the prisoners used for their escape.