Palestinians in Gaza March to Support Hunger Strikers

Spokesperson of Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA), Neset al-Wahidi speaks during a press conference in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to demonstrate in support of the Palestinian prisoners, who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails.


Gaza City, Palestine, 22 Sha’ban 1438/19 May 2017 (MINA) – Dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip staged a protest march Thursday to show support for hundreds of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel who since last month have been waging a high-profile hunger strike.

The hunger strike entered its 32nd day Thursday with Israeli authorities so far refusing to comply with the hunger strikers’ demands for better conditions, Anadolu Agency reported.

Holding banners aloft expressing solidarity with the hunger strikers, marchers eventually converged outside the Gaza City office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“We’ve sent thousands of letters to humanitarian organizations, including the ICRC, requesting their intercession on behalf of the hunger strikers,” Nashat al-Wahidi, a spokesman for the Prisoners and Detainees’ Committee (led by Palestinian political movement Fatah), said.

“The hunger strike is the prisoners’ only means of resisting the violations to which they are regularly subjected [by the Israeli authorities],” he added.

Al-Wahidi blasted what he described as “neglect” on the part of international humanitarian organizations, which, he asserted, “should be standing up for the hunger strikers’ rights”.

He went on to urge the ICRC in particular to “shoulder its responsibilities” in this regard.

In a speech delivered on behalf of Palestinian institutions devoted to safeguarding prisoners’ rights, Abdullah Qandil, director of the Waed Association, a Palestinian rights NGO, called for “redoubling popular activities in support of the hunger strikers”.

Qandil also urged Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to “lodge immediate complaints at international tribunals condemning Israel for its ongoing violations against jailed Palestinians”.

Led by jailed resistance icon Marwan Barghouti, more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17 to demand more prison visits, better medical care and improved treatment for female inmates.

Since then, Palestinians have staged demonstrations and protest marches across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip to show solidarity with their hunger-striking compatriots.

According to Palestinian figures, Israel is currently holding more than 6,500 Palestinians — including scores of women and children — at 24 detention centers across the country. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)