Palestinian Political Prisoners Suspend Hunger Strike
by Stephen Lendman
On Saturday, after 40 grueling days and nights, exacerbated by brutal Israeli treatment, hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners suspended their Freedom and Dignity hunger strike – after reaching partial agreement on their demands.
Israel claims no direct talks were held, none with strike leader/Palestinian national hero Marwan Barghouti, no concessions made, other than reinstating two family visits monthly.
According to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe, more than 20 hours of talks between the ICRC, the PA, Barghouti and prison authorities in Ashkelon prison reached agreement to suspend the strike.
It came on the first day of Ramadan. Some prisoners vowed to continue fasting, abstaining from salt and water along with food.
Palestinian leaders claimed “victory,” calling the agreement an “important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”
It’s unclear if other demands were met, more information to come later. According to Qaraqe and Palestinian Prisoners Society head Qaddura Fares, talks were at a standstill until Israeli authorities let Barghouti participate, what they adamantly refused to do earlier
Throughout the ordeal, Mahmoud Abbas paid lip service alone to harsh prison conditions, the suffering of strikers and their rightful demands. Trump administration officials ignored their brutal treatment entirely.
A Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network statement said “(a)ll salutes to the courageous, struggling Palestinian prisoners, on the front lines of the Palestinian struggle for liberation!”
“Their victories and their struggles are those of the Palestinian people and of all people seeking justice and liberation.”
“And salutes to all of those around the world who have been part of the prisoners’ struggle and Palestinian victory for the past 40 days.”
Partial victory is little consolation for decades of suffering, especially with Israeli authorities likely to reneged on what was agreed to – like they always do on dealings with Palestinians and others.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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