Hamas threatens Israel if hunger striker dies (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 05/05/12)
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A Hamas leader warned Friday that Israel would face "unexpected"
consequences if any of the approximately 1,550 Palestinian prisoners
in Israeli jails currently on hunger strike were to die.
“You must realize that the hunger strike isn’t a party, and we could
be surprised by the death of some of them,” AFP quoted Khalil al-Haya
as saying at a solidarity tent for the strikers in Gaza City. “If
that happens, you can expect both the expected and the unexpected
from us,” he added.
Two Palestinian prisoners, Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, have been
on a hunger strike for 66 days. On April 17 they were joined in the
strike by more than 1,500 other prisoners in protest of the Israeli
practice of holding Palestinians in administrative detention without
trial or having formal charges leveled against them. Palestinians
have held rallies in Gaza and the West Bank in support of the
On Thursday, Diab lost consciousness as Supreme Court Justices
Elyakim Rubinstein, Yoram Danziger and Noam Sohlberg heard a petition
against the prisoners’ administrative detention. Diab was moved to
the gastroenterology department of the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center
in Tzrifin, where his lawyer told reporters he was in “stable
condition.” The court is expected to make a decision on the petition
at a later date.
“We are summoned to ready armies to free our prisoners... We have the
means to mobilize and for combat,” Haya was quoted as saying by Hamas
on Friday. Rival Gaza Islamist movement, Islamic Jihad, has
threatened to break an informal truce with Israel if one of the
hunger strikers dies.
In addition to calling for an end to the practice of administrative
detention, prisoners are also calling for an end to solitary
confinement, visitation by family members from the Gaza Strip and the
reversal of Israel´s decision to ban prisoners from engaging in
academic studies and reading newspapers.
Palestinian news agency Ma´an reported Friday that Israel had agreed
to meet some of the prisoners´ demands, including a greater spending
stipend and the right to make phone calls. According to the report,
the leaders of the hunger strike were currently considering the offer.
Ma´an also quoted Palestinian Authority official Nimmer Hammed as
saying the PA was in communication with several countries, including
the US, about the hunger strike.
The strike has already led human rights groups and UN Special
Rapporteur Richard Falk to condemn Israel´s treatment of Palestinian
prisoners. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/05/12)
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