63 Palestinian prisoners suspend hunger strike
The prisoners have reportedly reached an agreement with Israeli authorities before the month of Ramadan
Sixty-three Palestinian prisoners have suspended the hunger strike which they have observed in Israeli jails since late April, one of their lawyers said Tuesday.
“The strikers, who have reached an agreement with the Israeli prison authorities, have decided to suspend their action with the approach of (the Muslim holy month of) Ramadan,” lawyer Abu Snena said.
Details of the deal will be made public on Wednesday, he added.
Most of the strikers involved are administrative detainees who are being held without charge for indefinitely renewable six-month periods in a procedure dating back to the British Mandate (1920-1948).
The hunger strike was launched to denounce such administrative detentions.
Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said earlier this month that their hunger strike was the longest-ever staged by Palestinian detainees.
Some 5,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails, with nearly 200 in administrative detention.
Rights groups have denounced the practice, while the Palestinian authority has pressed the international community to put pressure on Israel to scrap the measure.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about the deteriorating health of the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, calling on Israel to charge or release them without delay.
In an attempt to prevent further hunger strikes, the Israeli government wants to bring in a law which would allow the authorities to force-feed prisoners.
The draft law, also denounced by human rights groups, is due to be debated in the Israeli parliament on Monday.