Almost 1,400 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons will embark on a hunger strike in protest of their detention conditions following a jailbreak last week, says the Palestinian Authority.
Tensions have been running high since six inmates staged a dramatic escape from a high-security jail in northern Israel on September 6, via a tunnel dug under a sink. Four of them have since been recaptured.
Hundreds of their fellow inmates were transferred to other jails and personal items confiscated in searches carried out by guards, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. Angry prisoners started fires in several jails.
“The situation is very bad in the prisons, that’s why they’re going on hunger strike,” Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Authority’s commission for prisoners, tells AFP. He says 1,380 prisoners — of more than 4,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails — will begin the hunger strike on Friday, to be joined by other inmates next week.