Bethlehem – Ma’an – Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe said the Israeli Prison Service has applied punitive measures to 36 Palestinian female prisoners in the Ad-Damun prison in response to a general hunger strike.
Qaraqe said the IPS has reduced the detainees’ recess to one her per day, prohibited them from sending letters to their family, and further enforced restricted access to the cantina, where prisoners can buy stationary and other goods, because they have participated in a hunger strike which began on 7 April.
Moreover, the minister said the prison administration has transferred a number of prisoners from the Nafha prison to Ber Sheva prison in response to the hunger strike.
Detainees said they would escalate their protest if the IPS did not respond to their demands, which began in April against humiliating treatment of relatives visiting detainees and banning Gaza prisons from family visitation rights for over four years, coinciding with the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian operatives in Gaza.
Prisoners across Israeli jails have boycotted family visits throughout April, and many have participated in the hunger strike. Further hunger strikes are expected to commence on 17 and 27 April.