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32 Islamic Jihad prisoners join hunger strike

Aug. 9, 2015 8:30 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 9, 2015 9:25 P.M.)
Palestinians hold portraits of jailed relatives during a protest calling for their release from Israeli prisons. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli/File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Some 32 Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners in Israel's Nafha and Ramon jails on Sunday joined a hunger strike being carried out by more than 100 Palestinian prisoners to protest conditions inside Israeli jails, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said.

The society said that the Israeli Prison Service had imposed severe restrictions, including a curfew, on prisoners inside Ramon jail after a number of them sent back their food.

The prisoner's society said that there were now up to 180 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.

Sunday marked the fifth day on hunger strike for around 120 Fatah-affiliated prisoners in Nafha jail.

The prisoners have demanded that they be returned to their prison wings after they were moved to a different section of the jail last week. They have also called for family visits, public telephones, and an end to solitary confinement.

Another 30 Fatah-affiliated prisoners in Eshel jail, also in Israel's south, said Saturday they would join the hunger strike on Sunday if Israel had not yet responded to the prisoners' demands in Nafha.

There has been widespread unrest in Israel's prisons in recent days, with Hamas-affiliated prisoners across Israel threatening a campaign of disobedience following Israeli plans to move Hamas-affiliated prisoners from Nafha prison in southern Israel to Gilboa prison in the country's north.

Palestinians in Israeli prisons have frequently gone on hunger strike to protest their conditions.

In 2012, more than 2,000 Palestinians took part in a mass hunger strike demanding better conditions inside Israeli jails.

Last month, the Israeli Knesset passed a law enabling them to force feed Palestinian prisoners, and on Sunday, they declared their intention to use the procedure on prisoner Muhammad Allaan, who has been on hunger strike 56 days.

The move has sparked widespread condemnation from rights groups and doctors.

Around 5,750 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails, over 400 of whom are held under administrative detention.
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