Palestinian prisoners begin a hunger strike

JERUSALEM – Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike Sunday, but an Israeli Cabinet minister said he’d rather let them starve. Prison officials imposed more sanctions, including banning all family visits and the sale of cigarettes and candy.

The estimated 1,500 Palestinians want more family visits and phone access, and they sought to halt frequent searches of cells and strip searches of inmates.

Israeli officials said the prisons serve as hubs for planning and directing suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israelis.

About 3,800 Palestinians are held in 20 Israeli civilian prisons, Israeli prison officials say. The hunger strike is centered in three of those prisons and is expected to spread.

Israeli peace activists say an equal number of Palestinians are jailed in military facilities. Strike supporters say they hope the hunger action extends to the military jails, as well.

Meanwhile, the most prominent Palestinian prisoner is working on a smooth transition in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s planned withdrawal next year.

Marwan Barghouti, a leader of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, has presented an 18-point plan for Gaza to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the leaders of the two militant groups responded “positively, in principle,” reported a source close to Barghouti.

Barghouti proposed that after the Israeli withdrawal, militant groups be given a role in running Gaza, but insisted that they halt attacks on Israel from that territory – though not from the West Bank.

Militants would stop parading armed in public, and within three months of the withdrawal would have to sell their weapons to the security forces. Gunmen could join the security forces, but would have to cut their ties with the militant groups.

Under Barghouti’s plan, Arafat’s Palestinian Authority would be the sovereign in Gaza, but a “monitoring committee” with representatives from all groups would have considerable say.

Barghouti, seen as a possible successor to Arafat, is serving five consecutive life terms for a role in attacks that killed five people, and, his daughter said, is taking part in the hunger strike.

Early today, Israeli helicopters fired four missiles at an industrial area northeast of Gaza City, witnesses said. Israel often targets workshops in missile strikes, charging that militants use them for making weapons, including rockets.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Associated Press

Palestinians wear chains during a protest Sunday demanding the release of prisoners in Israel.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

Lynnwood
1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

The Snohomish River turns along the edge of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To build a healthier Snohomish River, more log jams

About $2.8M in grants will help engineer log jams, tear down levees and promote salmon restoration at Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve.

Dave "Bronco" Erickson stands next to the pink-and-purple 1991 Subaru Justy hatchback “Pork Chop Express” car that he is seeking to re-home for $500. The car has been on Whidbey Island for years, mainly as yard art. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
For sale: Whidbey’s fabled ‘Pork Chop Express’ gets great smileage

Asking price is $500 for the 1991 Subaru Justy, a three-cylinder econobox with 65K miles and a transmission as rare as hen’s teeth.

Ciscoe Morris, a longtime horticulturist and gardening expert, will speak at Sorticulture. (Photo provided by Sorticulture)
Get your Sorticulture on: Garden festival returns to downtown Everett

It’s a chance to shop, dance, get gardening tips, throw an axe and look through a big kaleidoscope. Admission is free.

Marysville
Marysville resident sentenced to 15 years for fentanyl operation

Jose Eduardo Garnica received a shipment from China labeled “Furniture Parts.” It had fentanyl-manufacturing parts.

Most Read