May 01, 2012 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
The Islamic Jihad movement warned that the Egyptian-mediated truce with Israel will be abandoned if any hunger-striking detainee dies in an Israeli prison or detention camp.
The press conference was held after a sharp deterioration in the health condition of detainees Thaer Halahla and Bilal Thiab as a result of which Thiab was moved to Assaf Harofeh Israeli Medical Center. Both detainees have entered their 63rd day of hunger strike. “We received news that Thiab could die at any given moment”, Habeeb said. “The situation is heading for escalation, and we cannot remain silent while Israel continues its violations against the detainees; any death will be dealt with as an assassination”.
Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled al-Batsh, stated that the movement had contacted President Mahmoud Abbas, Fateh official Dr. Saeb Erekat, and the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, informing them of the latest developments. Islamic Jihad had also contacted the Egyptian leadership in an attempt to save the lives of Thiab and Halahla.
On Monday, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) – Israel Branch, warned that the health condition of Thaer Halahla and Bilal Thiab is causing grave concern, adding that both detainees suffer from an acute decrease of muscle tone and are bedridden, which puts them under dual threat of muscle atrophy and thrombophilia which can lead to a fatal blood clot.
Detained Leaders Meet Prison Administration Head
The demands of hunger-striking Palestinians in Israeli detention were discussed at a meeting in the Hadarim Prison between senior detained political leaders and the Head of the Israeli Administration, Aharon Franco, it has been revealed in a report issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees.
Franco called the meeting, and stated that the special committee tasked with discussing the detainees’ demands had concluded its work and will respond within 10 days.
Bargouthi and the other detained political leaders stated that their main demands included: ending solitary confinement policies, allowing visits to Gaza Strip detainees, reinstating education for detainees, providing adequate health care for detainees, and abolishing the “Shalit Law” that Israel imposed on detainees while captured soldier Gilad Shalit was in the hands of the resistance in Gaza.
The detainees also demanded that Israel stop its illegal naked body searches of members of their families before they visit their detained loved ones.
The detainees also stated that should the Prison Administration reject their demands they will widen their strike until it becomes as influential as the Irish hunger strike of 1981.
Israeli officials of the Prison Administration had held several meetings with detainees in different Israeli prisons, and said that they will discuss their demands and will respond to them in May.
There are more than 4,600 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel according to the latest figures published on Palestinian Prisoners Day, 17 April, by the Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support Association.
The vast majority are from the West Bank, while about 475 are from the Gaza Strip and 360 are from Occupied East Jerusalem and the 1948 territories. Israel is still holding captive 6 women and 183 children.
It is also holding 27 Palestinian members of the Legislative Council democratically elected in January 2006, including Marwan Bargouthi who was sentenced to more than five life-terms, Jamal Terawi who was sentenced to 30 years, and Ahmad Sa’adat who was sentenced to 30 years.
In addition, 24 elected Legislators are currently being held under Administrative Detention orders without being charged at all.
120 Palestinians have been in prison since before the first Oslo peace agreement was signed in 1993 between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization; 23 of them have been in prison for more than 25 years.