Palestinian prisoners in Etzion detention center in the southern West Bank announced that they were engaging in an open hunger strike beginning Thursday, 31 March, in protest of the worsening conditions inside the prison.
Several weeks ago, 18 prisoners engaged in an open hunger strike demanding transfers to other prisons. Etzion is a detention center typically used only for short-term and temporary confinement of Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation forces; due to the ongoing mass arrests, Palestinians are being held in the overcrowded detention center for lengthy periods of time.
Amina Tawil of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for studies said that Palestinians detained in Etzion are subject to ongoing harassment and beatings by occupaion soldiers, and daily inspections and ransacking of their cells. They are denied medical care and are transported via “Bosta” to the military court in trips that take over four hours.
Palestinian lawyer Hussein al-Sheikh reported testimonies of prisoners beaten at Etzion during detention and interrogation. Sameh Abu Sall, 19, from Al-Aroub refugee camp, was beaten with fists, kicks and rifle butts after his home was invaded after midnight, said al-Sheikh, and he was taken to the Etzion center. Ahmed Raed Jadallah, 18, from Ramallah area, was beaten for four hours after being brought to Etzion by occupation forces, said al-Sheikh, who said that this also involved fellow prisoners Mohammed Othman and Samer Othman, from the same village.
Al-Sheikh reported that there are dozens of young men in Etzion facing charges of “incitement” for posting on Facebook.