Three Palestinians ´restart´ hunger strike (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 05/17/12)
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Three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are refusing food,
despite the signing this week of a deal to end a mass prisoner hunger
strike, Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Thursday.
An official from the Palestinian Prisoners´ Club, which tracks the
well-being of the 4,700 Palestinians in Israeli jails, told AFP
that "prisoners Mahmud Sarsak, Akram Rikhawi and Mohammed Abdel Aziz
are still on hunger strike."
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said none of the
three had ever stopped their protest, even after prisoner leaders on
Monday accepted a package of Israeli measures easing conditions in
exchange for the end of a mass hunger strike that had grown to
include about 1,550 detainees.
Israel Prisons Services spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed that
Sarsak and Rikhawi were refusing food, but said they had briefly
stopped their hunger strikes on Monday, before resuming them on
There was no immediate confirmation from Weizman about Abdel Aziz.
"They ate on Monday night with the rest of the prisoners who ended
their hunger strike," she told AFP of Sarsak and Rikhawi. "The
prisoners then declared that they want to continue their hunger
"Both are under medical supervision in the prison clinic in Ramle,
near Tel Aviv, and in good condition."
Weizman said Sarsak began refusing food on April 4, and was calling
on Israel to recognise him as a prisoner of war.
Rikhawi is protesting his jailing without charge under an
administrative detention order, which is issued by a military court
and allows Israel to hold detainees without trial for renewable
periods of six months.
The use of administrative detention was a key inspiration for the
mass hunger strike that swept through the Palestinian population in
Israeli jails in recent months.
Early this year, prisoner Khader Adnan drew international attention
by refusing food for 66 days to protest his administrative detention,
eventually winning a deal under which Israel agreed not to renew his
He was followed by Hanaa Shalabi, who refused food for 43 days to
protest her imprisonment without charge. She agreed to a deal under
which Israel deported her from the West Bank to Gaza, where she must
remain for three years.
Other prisoners who began refusing food alongside Shalabi continued
their hunger strike, and they were joined by hundreds more in April,
prompting international organisations and foreign governments to
The Egyptian-mediated deal announced Monday saw the prisoner
leadership agree to end the strike in exchange for a package of
measures, including visits from relatives in Gaza, and the transfer
of detainees out of solitary confinement. (Copyright © 2012 Agence
France Presse. 05/17/12)
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