Ashkelon prisoners start a hunger strike

Gaza, ALRAY – Ashkelon Prisoners started an open hunger strike to protest violent raids on their cells and strip searches, which led to clashes and caused injuries among them.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on November 20 that the raids took place on Monday, November 18, when Special Forces of the Israel Prison Service violently stormed and ransacked cell 15 in the jail.

Later the forces raided cell number 13, strip-searched the prisoners and transferred them to other cells. Those actions led to confrontations with the Palestinian prisoners in the jail leading to nine prisoners injured.

After the searches and clashes, political prisoners were transferred to a criminal section to isolation cells. In addition the prison authorities imposed sanctions, including deprival of family visit for a month, and confiscation of electronic devices.

Lawyer Kareem Abu Ajwa said that the situation in the jail is very tense. Representative of the prisoners in Ashkelon jail,  Naser Abu Hamid, said that the raids led prisoners to riot to protest IPS behaiviour.

Abu Hamid stated that on the morning of November 20 IPS Special Forces stormed again the same section and transferred more prisoners to the criminal section. The prison’s administration also cut off electricity to section.

(Israel) does not recognize Palestinian prisoners as having the status of prisoners of war. The prisoners are instead treated as politically motivated criminals or terrorists, and either charged with terrorist offences or violent crimes, or administratively detained without charge.

In a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that detained persons have the right to remain in occupied territory in all stages of detention, including serving of sentences if convicted, most Palestinian prisoners are deported to prisons and detention centers on Israeli territory.

Alternative Information Center (AIC) reported.

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