On 6 August, after a long negotiations process between Palestinian prisoners representing the political factions and the Israeli Prison Service, Palestinian prisoners from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the leftist Palestinian political party, have postponed their start date for an open hunger strike until Wednesday, 12 August. The Israeli Prison Service reportedly conceded to numerous demands of the prisoners, including an end to the violent raids, family visits for PFLP general secretary Ahmad Sa’adat – who has been prohibited from them for two years – and other prisoners, a return of transferred prisoners to their sections in Nafha and an end to arbitrary transfers, and the improvement of various living conditions.

Given the history of the IPS in conceding to prisoners’ demands and then immediately violating their agreements, the prisoners are giving the IPS until Wednesday to implement its commitments. If these commitments are not implemented, the open hunger strike will launch as scheduled until the implementation of the prisoners’ demands. The statement from the PFLP prison branch follows:

Following a lengthy meeting with the Israeli prison administration in Nafha, attended by representatives of all Palestinian factions in the prison, the prison branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in occupation prisons has decided to postpone its open hunger strike, which was scheduled to begin next Sunday, 9 August, until Wednesday, 12 August, following the commitments of the prison administration to respond to the prisoners’ demands.

The prison administration has promised to allow the leader Ahmad Sa’adat to receive his family visits and to lift the ban on family visits, to stop the general policy of transfers of prisoners, to return the Fateh prisoners to section 10 after they were transferred and removed to other areas, and to make various improvements in prison conditions, including stopping the ongoing nighttime violent raids and inspections.

The PFLP prison branch said that the outcome of the meeting with the IPS management and this response to the demands of the prisoners remains pending; the meaning of these promises will be in their implementation, as long experience has confirmed that the prison administration reneges on its promises to the prisoners. Therefore, the step of postponement of the strike until Wednesday comes in anticipation of the implementation of these demands by the prison administration. If these commitments are disavowed or delayed, the Front’s prisoners will launch an open hunger strike on Wednesday.

The Front’s prison branch emphasizes that the decision to wage a hunger strike is a strategic and difficult decision, and is a last resort undertaken by the national prisoners’ movement after it has exhausted all options, so that if it is possible to obtain our demands through our negotiations and avoid the battle of hunger strike we will do so, but if there is no implementation or a delay in implementation, the prisoners will enter the battle of open hunger strike and will cease only with the implementation of their just demands by the prison administration.

International action and support continues to be urgent to achieve the prisoners’ demands. It is mid-August, and prisoners will be risking their health amid intense heat in an open hunger strike.

Take action now!

1. Sign on to this statement in support of the prisoners’ demandsOrganizational and individual endorsements are welcome – and organizational endorsements particularly critical – in support of the prisoners’ demands and their actions. Click here to sign or sign below: http://bit.ly/HungerStrikeSolidarity

2. Send a solidarity statement. The support of people around the world helps to inform people about the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. It is a morale booster and helps to build political solidarity. Please send your solidarity statements to samidoun@samidoun.net. They will be published and sent directly to the prisoners.

3. Hold a solidarity one-day hunger strike in your area. Gather in a tent or central area, bring materials about Palestinian prisoners and hold a one-day solidarity strike to raise awareness and provide support for the struggle of the prisoners and the Palestinian cause. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

4. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area.  Bring posters and flyers about administrative detention and Palestinian hunger strikers and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

5. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.