Israel punishes 8 Palestinians over hunger strike

RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees on Saturday said that the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) transferred eight Palestinian prisoners to solitary confinement for participating in a hunger strike in solidarity with their comrade.

Karim Ajweh, the ministry’s lawyer, said that the eight prisoners were transferred from the Ishel prison to solitary confinement in section 12 in the Asqalan prison.

Ajweh said that the 8 prisoners have been on hunger strike since August 25 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi.

Abu Sisi has been on hunger strike for the twelfth day to protest against his continued solitary confinement and medical negligence. He is s suffering from heart, kidney, gallbladder and eyes problems.

The ministry’s lawyer said that the prisoners decided to continue with their strike after the IPS refused to end Abu Sisi’s solitary confinement.
On late July, the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights prisoners’ rights said that Abu Sisi is the sole Palestinian held in solitary confinement in Israeli jails.

The right’s center said that Abu Sisi, the director of Gaza Strip’s only power plant has been in solitary confinement since two years in Ishel prison.

The center added that Abu Sisi was having difficulties recalling language, and was exhibiting health problems due to the detention conditions. It added that solitary confinement was taking its toll mentally on the prisoner.

According to the center, the Israeli Prison Service confiscated his notebook and gives him rotten food.

The center said Abu Sisi was the only prisoner who was excluded from the Egypt mediated between Israel and Palestinian armed-groups, including Hamas, by which Israeli authorities vowed to end prolonged solitary confinement.

The deal, signed in May 2012, was made after Palestinian prisoners had launched a hunger strike, but Abu Sisi was nevertheless kept in an isolation cell, seeing as he was charged with developing Hamas’ rocket capabilities, as part of his position as the technical director of the Gaza electricity plant.

Abu Sisi went missing on a train traveling in Ukraine with his wife on February 2011 and later was revealed to be at the Israeli prison of Shikma, to the south of Tel Aviv.

Israel said at the time that Abu Sisi had information about Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas near Gaza in 2006 and was released in 2011 in exchange with 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

The former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the Palestinian engineer has inside information on Hamas, not only on the matter of Shalit, so for this reason his detention is justified.

Abu Sisi denies the allegations against him.

According to the recent Palestinian statistics, Israel is holding 5,100 prisoners in 23 prisons and detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists that prisoners must be freed in line with to the peace agreements reached with Israel.

(Source / 02.09.2013)

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