RAMALLAH, Wednesday, October 13, 2021 (WAFA) – Some 400 Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails today started a hunger strike against Israel’s punitive measures.
The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said in a press release that the prisoners have gone on the open-ended hunger strike in protest of the punitive measures imposed against them by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) following the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa Prison in early September.
PPS added that IPS administration started overnight to forcibly transfer the striking prisoners to separate cells because of their political affiliation, a move that was vehemently opposed by the prisoners.
It said the prisoners’ decision to go on hunger strike is a part of the struggle program recently approved by the National Emergency Committee, whose members represent all factions, aimed at confronting the IPS punitive measures.
Following the escape of six prisoners from the highly-fortified Gilboa Prison on September 6, IPS clamped down on Palestinian prisoners, particularly those belonging to the Islamic Jihad, to which five of the escapees belonged.
The escape triggered a massive manhunt for the escapees, who included Fatah-affiliated member Zakaria Zubeidi.
The six escapees were caught in pairs in separate times within a two-week period after their escape, and now face additional charges in addition to their original life sentences.
Following the prison break, IPS forcibly transferred a number of Islamic Jihad-affiliated prisoners to solitary confinement, and leaders of the movement were transferred to interrogation cells in a bid to dismantle its structure within Israeli prisons; a move which triggered the Palestinian factions to announce an escalating “struggle program” against the IPS administration’s suppression of prisoners.