Prisoners gearing up for hunger strike as Nafha sections announce they will join action

Palestinian prisoners associated with Fateh are building plans for their collective hunger strike scheduled to begin on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.

In Nafha prison, Palestinian detainees associated with Fateh, the Islamic Jihad movement and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced that they would participate in the strike to achieve its demands, including proper health treatment for sick prisoners, an end to the denial and cutbacks on family visits, and an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. The prisoners in sections 3, 4, 10, 13 and 14 in Nafha prison – approximately 530 prisoners – announced they were joining the strike.

Nashaat al-Wahidi, the spokesperson for Fateh in the National and Islamic Forces’ prisoners’ committee in Gaza, said that 1,500 Palestinian prisoners will participate in the strike, including 120 Palestinian prisoners in Gaza. Marwan Barghouthi, the imprisoned Fateh leader, is the spokesperson and representative of the striking Fateh prisoners.

Palestinian prisoners from all factions held in Gilboa and Hadarim prisons will join the strike, as well as two sections in the Ofer prison (approximately 240 prisoners), 30 prisoners in Ashkelon prison, 120 prisoners in Ramon prison and 150 prisoners in the Negev desert prison, in addition to the participants held in Nafha prison.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan has threatened to deny prisoners on hunger strike access to standard hospitals in an attempt to thwart the strike and block popular solidarity in Palestine ’48. Instead, he has ordered the creation of a “field hospital” in the Negev desert prison, planning for the transfer of hunger strikers, and potentially threatening hunger strikers with forced feeding.

Fadwa Barghouthi, Palestinian lawyer and the wife of Marwan Barghouthi, urged solidarity for the prisoners’ demands and their hunger strike. A number of Palestinian organizations and institutions have organized events for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and the coming weeks.