Thursday, April 19, 2012

Palestinian prisoners initiate mass hunger strike

Between 1,200 and 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have begun what they're calling "the battle of empty stomachs":
Hunger strikes by a few individuals have gathered an unexpected momentum, leading to mass action by prisoners against the Israeli use of solitary confinement, the difficulty of securing family visits and the strip searches inflicted on visitors. 
Palestinians also criticize the use of 'administrative detention', whereby Israel can imprison suspects indefinitely, without ever informing them of the charges they face or presenting their lawyers with any evidence. 
Hundreds of prisoners joined the "battle of empty stomachs" on Tuesday to coincide with "Prisoners' Day", when both the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip stage mass rallies in support of some 4,800 Palestinians who are held in Israeli jails. 
The Israeli prisons authority said 2,300 prisoners had announced they would reject their daily meal on Tuesday, while 1,200 indicated they were launching a formal hunger strike... 
Palestinian officials said 1,600 prisoners were joining the indefinite hunger strike, which fits into their much broader struggle to secure an independent homeland.

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