Palestinian prisoners announce limited agreement to reduce repressive sanctions


Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Hamas have formed a new agreement to lessen the sanctions they have faced for two years at the hands of the Israeli prison administration, reported the Palestine information center.

These prisoners, as well as fellow Palestinian prisoners associated with multiple Palestinian factions and political parties, have engaged in a series of escalatory actions including partial hunger strikes and protests within the prison, in protest of the sanctions, which have denied prisoners access to the “canteen” in which most necessary items are sold, limited or denied family visits, and prohibited access to most TV channels, especially non-Israeli channels.

Reports indicate that the family visits of prisoners from Gaza, which require special trips coordinated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, will be extended from 45 minutes in length to 75 minutes in length; five TV channels, rather than three, will be accessible; and prisoners will be able to receive 800 NIS (approximately $250) monthly rather than 600 NIS. In addition, Bassem Sayeh, who is suffering from cancer of the spinal cord, will be transferred from Megiddo to Eshel prison, where his brother is held. Sayeh was arrested on 8 October 2015 while attending the trial of his wife, Mona, and previously spent one and a half years in administrative detention without charge or trial. There is a campaign for Sayeh’s release due to his urgent health condition.