Israel punishes top Palestinian prisoners over hunger strike – Arab News




RAMALLAH: The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has placed two senior Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement for launching a partial hunger strike three weeks ago.

The High Committee on Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs said that the administration of Israeli Nafha prison placed Secretary-General of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa’adat and West-Bank Hamas leader Jamal Abu Al-Haija in solitary confinement late on Saturday night.

The committee said that Sa’adat and Abu Al-Haija have been on a hunger strike for three weeks to protest the deteriorating living conditions in Israeli jails.

The committee said that Sa’adat needs medical surgery due to pain in his neck and back and Abu Al-Haija is unable to use his arm due to amputation.

Sa’adat is serving a 30-year term for overseeing the PFLP’s military operations, membership of an illegal organization, arms dealing and incitement. He was charged with being behind the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in October 2001. The PFLP had claimed responsibility for the killing saying it was in response to the assassination of its leader Abu Ali Mustafa by Israeli forces in his Ramallah office in August 2001.

Israel kidnapped Sa’adat from a Palestinian prison in Jericho in 2006. He and the other PFLP suspects were being in the prison under the supervision of American and British wardens, in accordance with a deal reached in 2002. In an arrangement brokered by the United States that opened the way for Israel to lift a month-long siege of then-Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah, the PA had taken the six men into custody.

Abu Al Haija, who was arrested in May 2007 for his role in resisting the Jenin incursion of 2002, was convicted by the Israeli courts and sentenced to nine life sentences and an additional 20 years.

Hamas insists the two be included in the prisoner-swap deal in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Palestinian prisoners have staged dozens of hunger strikes since the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967. Abdulqader Abu Al-Fahem was the first Palestinian prisoner to die after 15 days of hunger strike at the Asqlan prison in 1970. Prisoners Rasim Halaweh, Alial-Ja’fari and Ishaq Maragheh died in the Nafhah prison in 1980 after 32 days of hunger strike. Prisoners Anees Douleh and Hussein Obaidat died in 1992 after 15 days of hunger strike.

According to the recent Palestinian statistics, there are 6,700 Palestinians currently held in 10 prisons and 3 detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank. There are 300 prisoners under the age of 18. Israel also holds 37 women and 10 members of the Palestine Legislative Council.

Israel punishes top Palestinian prisoners over hunger strike – Arab News.

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