In comments given to Al-Mayadeen on 20 October, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders rejected concessions offered to hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli Shin Bet and Prisoners Authority.
The comments were made in response to false reports by Israeli newspaper Haaretz that PIJ prisoners had agreed to end their hunger strike on terms agreed upon with the Israeli Prisoners Authority.
Haaretz had said that the terms included the release of all prisoners in solitary confinement, excluding the six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from the high security Gilboa prison in early September, as well as Abdullah al-Ardah, who was aware of the escape operation.
Al-Mayadeen sources added that the prisoners are in fact planning on escalating their response in light of the Israeli Prisoner Authority’s refusal to address or respond to the demands of the hunger-striking prisoners, many of whom were arrested without charges by administrative detention.
Six Palestinian prisoners have already been on much longer hunger strikes – one of them, Khaled al-Fasfous, is entering his 98th day without sustenance.
In comments to Al-Mayadeen, Fasfous announced he would be continuing his open-ended hunger strike in response to Israeli authorities freezing his administrative detention charge because, ultimately, his “goal is freedom.”
Determined to either be freed or be martyred, Fasfous said this was his second time in captivity, and that he had decided a “hunger strike is the only way to go … after suffering greatly from the detainment and the court’s repeated extension orders.”
Twenty-four year old Miqdad al-Qawasmi, who has been on a hunger strike for 92 days, is on the verge of death, currently suffering from blurred vision, muscle aches, and the inability to stand.
When Qawasmi was moved into intensive care on 19 October, his mother vowed that her son would “continue his hunger strike until he attains freedom.”
The Palestinian Detainees Committee reports that 273 detainees have joined the strike to protest against the Israeli policy of administrative detention.
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement said on 13 October that 150 prisoners from its movement have started an open hunger strike.