Two-hundred Palestinians in various Israeli prisons have decided to join a mass hunger strike, according to a statement by the Press Committee for the Palestinian Prisoners' Hunger Strike.
Two-hundred detainees in the Nefha and Rimon prisons decided to start a hunger strike after Israeli prisons' office did not respond to their demands.
More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike since April 17, known as Palestinian Prisoners' Day. Israel holds about 6,500 security prisoners — Palestinians jailed for offenses ranging from stone throwing and membership in organizations outlawed by Israel to attacks that killed or wounded Israelis. Several hundred Palestinians are being held without charges or trial in administrative detention.
Those on strike demand more humane treatment and better conditions in prison facilities, including more frequent family visits, improved medical care and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention practices, but Israeli authorities have thus far refused to negotiate.
The UN's point person on human rights in occupied Palestine urged Israel to abide by international law and international standards of detention. In a written statement, Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory under occupation, requested better and accessible health care, unrestrained family visits and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention for Palestinian hunger strikers.
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