Ashkelon prisoners suspend hunger strike

On Sunday, 16 June, 45 Palestinian prisoners in Ashkelon prison – as well as Nasser Abu Hmaid, the prisoners’ representative who had been transferred away – launched a hunger strike in protest of a series of repressive actions, conditions and invasion at the hands of Israeli occupation forces. They launched the strike after months of demanding changes, but after a few hours, the prisoners announced that the strike had been suspended as the Israeli occupation prison administration had agreed to several key issues.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said that the prison administration had responded positively “in principle” to the demands to end night invasions by armed Israeli occupation guards, opening a kitchen room in the section, lifting fines, following up on the treatment of sick prisoners and returning Abu Hmaid to Ashkelon before 1 July.

On Monday morning, 17 June, repressive attacks on Palestinian prisoners by Israeli forces continued, this time at Ramon prison. Repressive forces closed the sections, ransacked the prisoners’ rooms and confiscated their belongings; Palestinian prisoners’ organizations reported that tension and unrest has risen inside the prison.

Palestinian women prisoners in Damon prison have announced their demands and a plan to launch a collective hunger strike on 1 July; among other issues, the women prisoners are demanding the removal of intrusive security cameras, extended recreation and exercise time, opening of a library, classroom and kitchen, the return of confiscated books and improved conditions for visiting family members.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network congratulates the Palestinian prisoners in Ashkelon prison on their achievements and urges all supporters of justice in Palestine to give their full support to the struggle of the Palestinian women prisoners.