Sunday, May 28, 2017

  • Sunday, May 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Times of Israel reports:

Hours after Palestinian security prisoners called off a 40-day hunger strike, Israeli officials denied Palestinian claims that Israel negotiated with the inmates to end the mass protest or conceded to any of the prisoner’s demands.

Senior Israeli officials told Channel 2 that Israel did not so much as consider the prisoners’ demands. They also said the deal was brokered between the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Authority, and was not the result of US pressure.

The deal announced Saturday morning will apparently see just one of the prisoners’ demands met: that their monthly visits from family members be brought back from one to two per month.

However, the issue of visitation is not an Israeli one. Family visits to Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails are administered solely by the Red Cross. Last year, the organization reduced the number of visits it coordinated, citing a lack of funds and little family interest in the initiative.

Prison officials told Channel 2 that hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti negotiated the additional monthly visit in a phone conversation with PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh. They said officials at Ashkelon’s Shikma Prison allowed Barghouti to speak with al-Sheikh and meet with other leading prisoners in an effort to end the hunger strike before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to the Israeli officials, Barghouti and the other prisoners agreed to call off the strike after the PA promised to pay for the additional visits, at an estimated cost of $6 million per year.

Islamic Jihad's Palestine Today claims that the specific demands that were met will be published in the future.

The only specific other demand it mentioned was that punishments that the the prisoners received for engaging in the hunger strike, like solitary confinement,

Other Arab media flatly declared victory.

None of the major demands are even being mentioned.

Israel won, just as it won in all the previous prisoner hunger strikes.

UPDATE: Ma'an reports on specific issues that were supposedly resolved, including kitchens. It is difficult to know the exact parameters of what happened. (h/t Andrew)




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