Palestinian prisoners left out by May 14th agreement continue their hunger strike.
Palestinian prisoner and Palestinian national football team member Mahmoud Sarsak is now entering his 78th day of hunger strike making him the longest Palestinian hunger striker in history. Another Palestinian prisoner, Akram Rikhawi, is on his 59th day of hunger strike. The Palestinian prisoner support network Addameer reports that doctors from Israeli Physicians for Human Rights have been denied any visit to Sarsak or Rikhawi and that Israeli authorities have refused to admit them to a civilian hospital.
Sarsak is currently being held in what is known as administrative detention, a policy that refers to the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial. His administrative detention began in 2009 and will continue for an indefinite period of time. Rikhawi was arrested and imprisoned in June 2004, and sentenced to nine years in prison. Palestinians like Rikhawi who are lucky enough to be charged with a crime are tried in front of a military tribunal, a process that almost always results in their conviction.
On April 17th Palestinian prisoners began a mass hunger strike that reached a total of 2,000 participants before Israel agreed to some core demands of the hunger strikers and the hunger strike ended on May 14th.
In the deal reached on May 14th, Israel agreed to allow family visits to prisoners, to end the practice of placing Palestinians in solitary confinement, to release some of the Palestinians held in administrative detention, and to not issue any new administrative detention orders. However, this deal did not apply to prisoners such as Sarsak and Rikhawi. Sarsak is imprisoned in administrative detention and has no way of knowing if he will be released in the next 6 months or the next 6 years. In the May 14th deal Israel made an agreement to release some of the prisoners as well as to not issue any new administrative detention orders. However, Sarsak and Rikhawi were not released and so decided to begin their hunger strike.
The Palestinian prisoner support network Addameer is reporting that Israel is blatantly ignoring the May 14th agreement and has already begun to issue new administrative detention orders.
Solidarity to the Palestinian hunger strikers!