RAMALLAH (Dispatches) –
Almost 1,400 Palestinians held in the Zionist regime’s prisons are to go on hunger strike in protest at their detention conditions since a jailbreak last week, the Palestinian Authority said Tuesday.
Tensions have been running high since six inmates staged a dramatic escape from a high-security jail in northern parts of the occupied territories on September 6, via a tunnel dug under a sink. Four of them have since been recaptured.
Hundreds of their fellow inmates were transferred to other jails and personal data-x-items confiscated in searches carried out by guards, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.
Angry prisoners started 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 Palestinian Authority’s commission for prisoners, told AFP.
He said 1,380 prisoners — of more than 4,000 Palestinians held in the occupying regime’s jails — were to start the strike action on Friday, to be joined by other inmates next week.
The Red Cross has said the Zionist regime has decided to allow visits to prisoners, after they were suspended last week. But Qadri expressed concern over the fate of the four escapees, whom the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit.
Meanwhile, the Arab League’s general secretariat said it holds the Zionist regime fully responsible for the safety of the six Palestinian inmates who escaped prison last week.
Saeed Abu Ali, the organization’s assistant secretary-general for the occupied Arab territories, said the general secretariat is following with great concern the measures taken by regime authorities after the six inmates escaped Gilboa prison.
Abu Ali affirmed the general secretariat’s absolute support for the Palestinian people, saying the issue of prisoners is one of rights, freedom and justice.
He warned against punishing the six Palestinian prisoners and harming those who struggle for freedom and justice, stressing their rights international humanitarian law.
He urged the international community and human rights organizations to help protect the prisoners by pressuring the occupying regime to abide by international conventions, especially the Geneva Conventions.