Abbas working to end terrorist hunger strike

PA official says Abbas is trying to apply pressure through international sources to put an end to hunger strike by terrorist prisoners.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is trying to apply pressure through international sources to put an end to the ongoing hunger strike by terrorist prisoners in Israel, the PA official in charge of prisoner affairs said on Thursday.

Issa Karaka said, according to a report in Haaretz, that it is currently not possible to discuss serious negotiations to solve the crisis.

"We are in a race against the clock and the health of the prisoners is getting worse and tension on Palestinian streets is rising and not only among the prisoners' families," he warned.

Hundreds of terrorists in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on April 17 in an attempt to pressure Israel to improve the conditions of their imprisonment.

Among their demands, as published this week, is access to no less than 20 television channels, the introduction of books, magazines and newspapers into the prison without proscribed limits, and a later time for lights out in the prisons.

The hunger strike is being led by Marwan Barghouti, the archterrorist leader of Fatah who is serving five life sentences in Israel over attacks he planned against Israelis.

Israeli authorities have already distributed video footage proving that Barghouti secretly ate in his cell despite being on hunger strike.

Both Israel and the PA want to end the strike quickly because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the region next week, noted Haaretz. But should a crisis arise over the prisoners, with a striker being hospitalized or even dying during the visit, that could divert media attention to an issue the PA considers less beneficial for its purposes.

Avi Issacharoff reported on the Walla news website on Monday that senior PA officials met recently with officials from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), who asked the PA to help them explore ways to end the strike. The results of that meeting are unknown.