Palestinian political prisoners suspend hunger strike

Over 100 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli jails suspended their open hunger strike late Wednesday, following negotiations and an as-yet unreleased agreement with prison administration, reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.

The prisoners’ committee responsible for the strike advised Jawad Boulous of the Legal Unit of PPS that they reached an agreement over three days of negotiations, that will be released soon.

The strike, demanding the release into general population and family visits for Nahar al-Saadi, who has been held in solitary confinement since May 2013, began on 9 December. Al-Saadi has been on hunger strike since 20 November; he has suspended his strike as well in light of the agreement and has spoken via telephone with his mother.

In May 2012, in order to end the collective hunger strike of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, the Israeli prison administration agreed to end the use of solitary confinement and isolation, releasing the 19 then held in isolation into general population. Since that time, the use of isolation and solitary confinement by Israeli prisons has been escalating, sparking this renewed hunger strike demanding an end once more to isolation and solitary confinement in Israeli jails.

Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights issued an urgent call regarding the situation of Nahar al-Saadi, calling for an immediate end to solitary confinement. Isolation and solitary confinement are forms of torture; Isolation is recognized by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture as a form of torture when used for extended periods, as it is in Israeli prisons.