PA: Talks ongoing to resolve hunger strike demands
Published Saturday 12/05/2012 (updated) 14/05/2012 09:39
Rights groups say around 2,000 prisoners are on hunger strike.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A comprehensive solution to widespread hunger strike action by prisoners is being discussed between Palestinian, Israeli and Egyptian officials, the Palestinian Authority prisoners affairs minister said Saturday.
Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an that President Mahmoud Abbas, PA officials, Egyptian and international mediators have been working hard to find a solution which secures the demands of the hunger strikers.
Egyptian mediators are negotiating with the Israelis, in coordination with Palestinian officials, Qaraqe said.
Talks are trying to secure three demands; an end to administrative detention, family visits for prisoners from the Gaza Strip, and an end to the policy of solitary confinement.
Any agreement between officials would then have to be approved by a hunger strike committee, which consists of high profile prisoners from different Palestinian political factions, the PA official added.
Rights groups say around 2,000 prisoners are on hunger strike to demand improved conditions in Israeli jails.
The fate of the hunger strikers has touched a raw nerve in the Palestinian territories with daily demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip to support the protest.
An estimated 40 percent of men in the occupied territories have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.