April 17 marks Palestinian Prisoners Day. Palestinian prisoners, across the political spectrum, have announced the launch of a collective hunger strike in Israeli prisons starting today, to address the wide range of human rights and humanitarian law violations faced by Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including women and children. The hunger strikers call for proper health care, education, phone access, family visits, humane transfer conditions, as well as an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. Other Palestinian organisations and institutions are also holding events today, as are solidarity activists globally.
Prisoners’ rights group Addameer said in a statement ahead of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day that, “Every day, Palestinian prisoners are on the front lines of struggle, facing torturous interrogation, nighttime raids, solitary confinement, and relentless attacks on their rights at the hands of Israeli occupation forces. Those attacks are aided by international and corporate complicity, support and profiteering.“Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is a critical time to stand against state and corporate complicity with Israeli imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners.”
Israeli authorities have detained approximately one million Palestinians since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967, according to a joint statement released on April 15 by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).