Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are objecting to prison conditions at Ofer Prison, according to an article, “Israeli Extremists Taunt Hunger-Striking Palestinian Prisoners with BBQ,” by Mint Press News. Nearly a quarter of the Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are participating in the open-ended hunger strike, according to the Ma’an News.
The inmates were taunted with the smell of barbecue during a hunger strike.
Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, an inmate serving five life sentences plus 40 years, inspired the hunger strike. He hopes to put an end to detentions without trial, ease visiting conditions and end solitary confinement, according to the article.
“Surrender to a hunger strike?… Anyway, it’s not clear why there’s no death penalty for terrorists. We wish these terrorists luck in their hunger strike. They should take it all the way,” said Avihai Greenwald, former chairman of the National Union, according to the Jerusalem Post.
A group of several far right Zionist Israeli political parties participated in the barbecue to “celebrate the hunger strike” and to “break the spirit” of the hunger strikers, adding the prisoners “will enjoy breathing in the smoke and suffer from the smell of the meat, and [we will] show them that we will not give in to their whims,” the article stated.
An Amnesty International (AI) report specifically addressed the policy of visitation prevention, calling it “ruthless policy,” and Magdalena Mughrabi of AI called it “a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
The human rights organization Addameer said Israeli prisons hold approximately 6,500 Palestinians, including 300 children, according to the article.
The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has warned the inmates who participated in the hunger strike of serious consequences for participation, which it considers a violation of the law.
Twenty-two days into the hunger strike, the IPS decided to suspend payments it provides for prisoners to purchase items from the prison commissary. The IPS started to deduct hunger strikers’ accounts by 200 to 500 shekels ($55-$140) according to the Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe.