The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society and Prisoners Voice Radio are reporting that Palestinian prisoners in Nafha are suspending their protest steps following an agreement on their demands after prisoners were attacked with tear gas and pepper spray by Israeli forces inside the prison.
The prisoners’ demands that have been agreed to and will be implemented include the removal of police/guard escorts to recreation; weekly or more frequent meetings of prisoners’ representatives; the lifting of sanctions following recent events, especially in sections 13 and 14; admission of some small appliances from prisoners’ families, including kitchen utensils, an ice maker, a small refrigerator, and insect repellants; restoring satellite channels that had been blocked; and other quality of life issues.
This agreement came following a sharp increase in protest and tension following a new attack on Palestinian prisoners in Nafha prison’s section 4 by Israeli forces invading the prison on Wednesday morning, 20 April. The attack follows one a week before on Nafha’s section 14, when heavily armed forces stormed the section, using tear gas and pepper spray against Palestinian prisoners.
48 prisoners were injured in the section, where Palestinian prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad and Fateh are imprisoned by Israel. Attacks on neighboring sections 13 and 11 followed, and on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 3,000 prisoners in Eshel, Nafha, Ofer and Ketziot prisons engaged in a one-day hunger strike against the sanctions imposed on prisoners in Nafha. They were then sanctioned with a one-month ban on family visits.
Negotiations over the punishment of prisoners and the impunity of Israeli forces between elected prisoner representatives and representatives of the prison administration broke down, followed shortly by the attack.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s prison section issued a call for a “day of anger” on Thursday, 21 April, in response to the Israeli attacks in Nafha; other Palestinian political groups, including Hamas, joined calls for popular action regarding the prison situation.