Hamas Says Hunger Strike Goals Achieved
Hamas says Israel has agreed to meet enough of their demands to end to the hunger strike by terrorists and security prisoners. Israel has not commented on the recent development.
Not wanting the issue to explode into a propaganda victory for the Palestinian Authority, Israel reportedly agreed to move jailed prisoners, some of them terrorists, from solitary confinement to regular cells and to allow visits from relatives in Gaza.
Israel also may have granted concessions concerning the procedure of administrative detentions, widely accepted in the United States and elsewhere, whereby suspects are held without charges on the basis of intelligence information. The prisoners and their supporters have demanded that they be released if charges are not placed.
Approximately 1,600 prisoners have been on a hunger strike for more than 70 days, and Israel has transferred a number of the prisoners to hospitals.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas already has warned that he would hold Israel responsible for the deaths of any hunger strikers.
The Palestinian Authority has unsuccessfully employed several methods the past year in an attempt to gain international sympathy, which has been wilting away in the wake of the PA's refusal to accept political or territorial compromises regarding a possible peace treaty with Israel.
Ironically, prisoners who belong to Abbas’ Fatah movement have been on a hunger strike to protest their conditions in Hamas jails in Gaza as well as to show solidarity for terrorists and security prisoners in Israeli prisons. Several of the prisoners in Gaza have also been jailed without charges.