RAMALLAH, West Bank – More than 800 Palestinians jailed in Israeli prisons ended a 40-day hunger strike on Saturday after reaching an agreement with Israel on their demands, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club announced.
The suspension of the hunger strike was agreed by a committee consisting of several prisoners, including the leader of the strike and Fatah member Marwan Barghouti, which negotiated with Israeli prison authorities during the last 20 hours, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Qadura Fares told EFE.
At around 5:00 am local time, after many negotiations and a lot of pressure in the Ashkelon prison, Barghouti and his team agreed to stop the strike, Akram Al-Ayasa, spokesman for the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, told EFE.
The Israeli prison service reported in a statement that the end of the strike was achieved through an agreement between Israel, the Red Cross and the Palestinian National Authority, offering national security prisoners a second visit from their relatives per month, to be financed by the Palestinian government.
The restoration of the bi-monthly visits, a system that worked until last year, was one of the demands of the strikers, who also called for the end of solitary confinement, torture, medical negligence and administrative detention, as well as access to education and medical care.
According to Israeli prison authorities, 1,578 Palestinian prisoners out of the nearly 6,500 serving sentences in Israeli prisons were involved in the hunger strike that began 40 days ago.
Since then, 18 strikers were hospitalized and more than 750 abandoned the strike, which was upheld by 834 inmates until its suspension.