RAMALLAH, August 6, 2015 (WAFA) – Some 120 Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli Nafha prison have launched a hunger strike in protest of a recent surge in maltreatment and suppression by the Israeli prison authorities, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs (CPA).
In a press statement Thursday, CPA said the prisoners, who are affiliated with multiple Palestinian factions, resorted to escalation against the prison authorities after they had been subjected to a number of arbitrary measures, including provocative searches, repeated raids on prisoners’ rooms, physical assault including with clubs, teargas attacks, as well as the unjustified transfer of prisoners to other prisons.
Meanwhile, rage mounted among Palestinian prisoners in Eshel prison, in southern Israel, after the prison authorities reportedly “humiliated” their families during the regular monthly visit. The Commission said the prison guards attempted at searching the wives and mothers of the prisoners in a humiliating manner that was left unexplained, provoking resentment among the prisoners and their families.
According to CPA, the prisoners in Eshel declared next Friday a “day of rage and disobedience”, and said they will not accept meals on that day in protest of the arbitrary measures taken against their families.
The prisoners also called upon their “brotherly Palestinians” to go on a “day of rage” on Friday in solidarity with the prisoners.
On July 27, Israeli prison guards launched a crackdown on Palestinian prisoners in Nafha and Rimon prisons. During the offensive, hundreds of Israeli guards from the Nahshon, Masada, Dror and Alamaz units of the Israeli Prison Service stormed Palestinian detainees’ cells in Nafha and Rimon, assaulted many of them and moved others to other sections.
The Israeli repression unit of Masada savagely raided section 10 housing Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip in Nafha prison, moving all of them to other sections and ransacking the content of the cells. In return, Palestinian detainees burnt cell number 85 in Nafha prison.
The following day, Israeli prison guards assaulted prisoner Ahmad Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Nafha prison.
Issa Qaraqe, Chairman of the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, warned of the persisting crackdown on Nafha prison, saying the situation was heading towards an “explosion” at any moment. He blamed the Israeli authorities for the assault on both Saadat and other Palestinian prisoners at Nafha.