Israel hospitalized 40 hunger-striking Palestinian detainees this week as their fast entered a second month, the spokeswoman of Israel’s Prison Authority said Tuesday. In all, some 240 detainees are currently on a hunger strike.
The condition of those hospitalized is “reasonable,” said spokeswoman Sivan Weizman, but did not elaborate.
Advocates for the prisoners said their health is deteriorating.
The advocacy group Addameer visited five hunger strikers in Israel’s Ramle Prison last week and said they were weak and barely able to move.
Issa Karakeh, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, told a news conference Tuesday that some of the hunger-strikers are in serious danger.
The prisoners demand their release and the halt of open-ended “administrative detention,” which allows Israel to hold people without charge or trial. Over the years, virtually all administrative detainees were Palestinians.
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that as of April, 191 Palestinians were in administrative detention. Overall, Israel is holding more than 5,000 Palestinians convicted or accused of anti-Israeli activity.
Since 2012, Palestinian prisoners have staged a series of hunger strikes, sometimes as individuals and sometimes in larger groups.
The current hunger strike was launched April 24 by 80 detainees and more have joined since then.
Weizman said that 240 Palestinian prisoners are currently on a hunger strike, while Karakeh put the number at about 300, and said about half of them are administrative detainees.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.