Seventy Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails stated they would launch a hunger strike action on Wednesday, 10 December, in protest of the ongoing use of isolation and solitary confinement by Israeli jailers.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that the strike was launched initially in solidarity with Nahar al-Saadi, who has been on hunger strike since November 20 demanding an end to his solitary confinement (where he has been held since May 2013) and an end to the denial of family visits.

The striking prisoners are calling for an end to the use of solitary confinement, currently being used against dozens of prisoners. The long-term use of isolation and solitary confinement is a form of torture.

Palestinian political prisoners engaged in a mass hunger strike involving thousands of prisoners in April-May 2012, which ended with an agreement to release isolated prisoners into the general population. Over two years later, Israeli prison authorities have been escalating the use of solitary confinement, and 30 Palestinian political prisoners are currently isolated in Nafha, Megiddo, Eshel, Ashkelon and Ayalon prisons.

The Palestinian Detainees Committee said Saadi is now totally isolated from the outside world, and is placed in a very small, cold cell, that is not fit for human use. He is serving four life-terms and additional 20 years imprisonment.

In addition, Palestinian political prisoners Fahd Sawalha and Mahmoud Kleibi, both held in Nafha prison, also launched a hunger strike on Saturday, 6 December, against their own solitary confinement. They have been isolated since June with 9 others, when the whole group were accused by occupation prison officials of attempting to dig tunnels under Gilboa prison.