Palestinian political prisoners are on day 17 of a hunger strike to demand regular family visits, medical care and an end to Israel’s inhumane detention practices.

On April 17, more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners began a hunger strike protesting the inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons. Prisoners’ demands include regular family visits, adequate medical care, ending Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in administrative detention and ending solitary confinement, according to Addameer Prisoner Support.

Today marks day 17 of the strike.

Israel routinely employs administrative detention as a tool to try and intimidate and weaken Palestinians. This means that people are jailed for months and sometimes even years without charges or trial. The Zionist state has made a habit of detaining Palestinians who are active in the nonviolent resistance movement. Currently, there are more than 6,300 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, 500 in “administrative” detention. Three hundred are children and 60 are women.

Even though it violates international humanitarian law, the Israeli government incarcerates Palestinian prisoners from the occupied West Bank and Gaza inside of Israel. Besides having to endure the various checkpoints, families who have an imprisoned family member must also be granted a special permit from the military to enter Israel in order to visit them, and many are rejected on unspecified grounds.

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Authorities of the Israeli occupation have also employed repressive tactics towards the hunger strikers in order to try and put an end to the strike. One tactic has been to put prisoners in solitary confinement and take away the salt hunger strikers have been using to stabilize themselves and prevent permanent damage to their health. Prison officials have also prevented strikers from washing their clothes or participating in Friday prayer, and have been taunting them by putting food in front of them as a form of psychological torture. Israeli officials have barred lawyers from meeting with hunger strikers as well, another violation of international law.

There have been several protests in solidarity with hunger strikers throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Israeli forces have attacked those protesting with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition. Palestinians across the world have also been showing solidarity with the hunger strikers by participating in the “Salt Water Challenge” and posting videos of themselves drinking salt water on social media.

If you’d like to donate or offer other forms of support, contact info@addameer.ps.

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