In commemoration of Prisoner's Day today, Palestinians in Israeli jails could only find one tool through which they can express their protest — going on a hunger strike. This is not something that is done out of choice — rather it is the only resort to bring to the world community's attention the gravity of their situation.
Hence, the decision of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners to start a hunger strike is apt, given the conditions under which they have been living. The state of Palestinian prisoners is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately as it is a suffering that has been going on for a very long time.
The aim of the strike is to highlight the injustices they have been facing over many years. Many are being imprisoned without charge and some have been kept in solitary confinement for long periods.
The action of at least 1,600 prisoners is an attempt to put pressure so that inmates who are currently on a hunger strike are released by the Israeli authorities. There are at least 11 prisoners, who are already on hunger strike, three of whom have been transferred to hospital.
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are being held in Israel prisons. Some have completed at least 30 years in jail. In addition, Israel does not differentiate based on the ages of those imprisoned.
For instance, since 2000, no less than 7,000 children between the ages of 10 and 18 years have been arrested. Some in fact have spent most of their childhood in prison.
Israel's policy is to humiliate, torture and mistreat Palestinian prisoners as a means of breaking the will of the people. Now it is the duty of the international community to act on behalf of those prisoners, as human rights are for all.