120 Palestinian Detainees End Mass Hunger Strike

Win 'Administrative' Concessions From Israelis

getty images

By Reuters

Published June 25, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Scores of Palestinians on hunger-strike ended their protest against detention without trial on Wednesday after winning concessions but no major change of policy from Israel.

About 120 Palestinians on so-called “administrative detention” began fasting on April 24 and were joined over the past two months by 180 others. About 75 needed hospitalization, fueling debate in Israel over a proposed force-feeding law.

Previous hunger-strikes had stirred international sympathy for the Palestinians and ended with some inmates being released.

But this protest was largely eclipsed by diplomatic crises over the collapse of U.S.-sponsored peace talks after rival Palestinian factions signed a unity deal and by the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank.

Qadoura Fares, a Palestinian official acting as an advocate for the prisoners, said the hunger-strike had been suspended overnight with Israel agreeing to remove punishments imposed on the inmates and to other measures affecting them in prison.

“We are not talking about a big, clear victory in the procedural, practical sense, but we are talking an improvement in addressing the issue of administrative detention,” Fares said, without giving further details.

Israel and the prisoners would also “continue the dialog over administrative detention”, he told reporters.

An Israeli official confirmed that in response to the protest ending the Prisons Service would not punish the former hunger-strikers. Such sanctions could have included fines or reassigning inmates to different prison wings.

Both sides said prisoners now in Israeli hospitals would be given time to recover before being returned to their cells.

The Israeli official said there was no change to the administrative detention policy, under which Palestinians suspected of security offenses are jailed without trial to avoid any court proceedings that could expose sensitive intelligence information. The practice has drawn international criticism.

There are at least 5,400 Palestinians in Israeli jails. The number has grown rapidly with the round-up of suspects following the West Bank disappearances. The military said 17 Palestinians were arrested overnight, bringing the number of those taken into custody over the kidnappings to about 370.

Israel’s parliament had been due to vote this week on a bill backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would enable force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger-strike. The vote was postponed as lawmakers debated the scope of the law.

The Israeli Medical Association, which represents most of the country’s doctors, has denounced force-feeding as unethical.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.