Some 1,300 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have suspended a 40-day mass hunger strike during dawn hours on Saturday after reaching an agreement with Israel Prison Service (IPS) and reportedly achieving their demands for basic rights, according to Palestinian sources.
Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike in Israeli prisons ends
Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe and Head of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Qaddura Fares said in a joint statement that the prisoners suspended the “Freedom and Dignity” strike after reaching an agreement with IPS officials following more than 20 hours of negotiations between Marwan Barghouthi — the imprisoned Fatah leader who has been the primary leader of the mass strike — and other prison leaders with IPS in Ashkelon prison.
The statement added that IPS officials announced the end of the strike after negotiating with Barghouthi, who they had consistently refused to speak with throughout the strike’s duration. However, the statement did not mention which of the hunger strikers’ demands were actually met by Israeli prison authorities.
A spokesperson for IPS told Maan News that the agreement was forged between the Israeli state, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and granted the prisoners a second monthly family visit that would be funded by the PA.
The spokesperson did not confirm whether Barghouthi was present during the negotiations.