Terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons on Monday announced their plan to launch a hunger strike this Friday, on “Palestinian Prisoners' Day”, in an attempt to pressure Israel to comply with their demands.
The Palestine newspaper, which is affiliated with Hamas, reported that the prisoners' demands include, among other things, an improvement in the conditions of imprisonment, visits by relatives twice a month (instead of once a month), and improving the conditions of imprisonment of imprisoned minors.
Fuad al-Khashaf, director of the Ahrar Center for Research on Prisoners, made clear that this was not a symbolic hunger strike for Palestinian Prisoners' Day, but a matter of principle that would lead to escalated measures if the Israel Prison Service ignored the demands of the terrorists.
Palestinian Prisoners' Day is used every year by the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian Arab organizations to carry out protest activities against Israel, manifested in large-scale demonstrations and riots.
Jailed terrorists have often used hunger strikes as a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to improve the conditions of their imprisonment or release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.
Some 1,550 Palestinian Arabs imprisoned in Israel ended a hunger strike in May 2012, in exchange for a package of measures which would allow visits from relatives in Gaza and the transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement.