15 Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s notorious Ramla prison are set to embark on a collective one-day hunger strike on Thursday, May 25, to protest the inhumane conditions and increasing human rights violations they are facing. In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that “the strike aims to protest their harsh prison conditions amid a rise in the number of sick detainees and a policy of medical negligence pursued by prison authorities.”
The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee said that the strike will be staged by prisoners at the Ramla prison clinic. As per the statement, before they decided to go on a hunger strike, the prisoners held long-drawn negotiations with the prison administration, demanding basic rights in accordance with international laws and the four Geneva conventions governing the treatment of prisoners.
The prisoners are also discussing plans to gradually spread the hunger strike to other Israeli prisons, detention centers, and interrogation centers. Among their main demands is the right to receive specialized medical treatment from their personal doctors instead of those sent by the prison administration.
Israeli authorities do not allow prisoners to get treatment from their personal doctors or access their own medical records, thus keeping them in the dark about medical issues they face.
As per latest Palestinian statistics, among the around 4,800 Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israel, around 700 are sick or seriously ill, suffering from a range of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Over the years, many Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees have resorted to non-violent protest actions like hunger strikes to force Israeli authorities to respect their rights, or to protest against arbitrary detention or abusive treatment. A number of those on prolonged hunger strikes have also fallen severely ill, some even dying. The most recent such death was of Khader Adnan, who had been on hunger strike for 87 days to protest his illegal administrative detention.