Palestinian prisoners to step up hunger strike action over treatment.

Palestinian militants held in Israeli prisons have declared an open- ended hunger strike in response to tightened restrictions imposed by Israel following last week’s escape of six prisoners from the maximum security Gilboa prison in northern Israel.

Four of the six prisoners were caught in northern Israel at the weekend and a massive search continues for the other two.

In response to the escape, Israel transferred hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners to other jails, put others in solitary confinement , restricted privileges including visiting rights and ended the system whereby prisoners from the same militant faction were kept together.

Searches of cells have increased along with the number of guards in each wing and security prisoners are now confined to cells throughout the day.

Six alleged militants are already on hunger strike, protesting at their administrative detention, Israel’s policy for a limited number of suspects of detention without trial.

A total 1,380 prisoners in several prisons will go on hunger strike on Friday in the initial stage of the protest and more inmates are set to join the protest next week. The prisoners are demanding that Israel cancel all the new measures and restore the status quo that existed before the Gilboa breakout.

Prisoners have also threatened to target and attack wardens and security officials in the Gilboa jail, the prisoner leadership said, citing what was termed the “violent repression against detainees” as justification.

“The situation is very bad in the prisons, that’s why they’re going on hunger strike,” said Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Authority’s commission for prisoners.

The more than 4,000 Palestinian militants incarcerated in Israeli prisons are held in great esteem in the West Bank and Gaza and the six who escaped were regarded as heroes.

Since the prison breakout there has been a marked rise in violent incidents in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and the Islamic Jihad fired rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel on three consecutive nights, prompting retaliatory Israeli air strikes.

On Monday two Israelis were stabbed and wounded close to Jerusalem’s central bus station, allegedly by a Palestinian assailant, and another attempted stabbing was thwarted at a West Bank hitching stop.

Right-wing opposition parliamentarians criticised prime minister Naftali Bennett for lifting the closure on the West Bank that was in place after the prison escape.

Israel is worried that if any harm comes to the two escapees who remain at large or any of the hunger strikers a wider conflagration may result.

Police investigating the prison escape revealed on Tuesday that 10 other inmates knew about the planned jailbreak and warnings that large amounts of sand discovered in the prison sewage system were ignored by prison authorities.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Germany's CDU leader Armin Laschet 'not happy' with election exit poll result.

Germany's CDU leader Armin Laschet 'not happy' with election exit poll result.

Germany's conservative CDU leader Armin Laschet said his party could not be satisfied with the exit poll results, but pledged to do everything possible to build a conservative-led coalition. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow...

What's at stake for Germany as Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves world stage?.

What's at stake for Germany as Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves world stage?.

Germany's parliamentary elections are underway, and the exit of chancellor Angela Merkel could have a massive influence on politics in Europe and around the world. Jeffrey Rathke, president of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies...

Nunes drags Dems for 'poisoning' Americans with Russia collusion lies.

Nunes drags Dems for 'poisoning' Americans with Russia collusion lies.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., weighs in on the 'never-ending story' of investigating the Russia probe. #FoxNews #SundayMorningFutures Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour ...

SDP leader Olaf Scholz says people in Germany voted for 'change'.

SDP leader Olaf Scholz says people in Germany voted for 'change'.

SDP leader Olaf Scholz said many people in Germany voted for his party because they 'wanted a change in government'. He was speaking to supporters at his party's HQ in Berlin after the polls had closed. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more vi...

Transport Secretary urges people not to panic buy petrol.

Transport Secretary urges people not to panic buy petrol.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is insisting that queues at the petrol pumps will continue if people carry on buying fuel when they don't need it. But after nearly two years of uncertainty during the pandemic, will people might listen to the advi...

New emergency measures introduced to co-ordinate fuel deliveries.

New emergency measures introduced to co-ordinate fuel deliveries.

The Government is to suspend competition law to allow suppliers to target fuel deliveries at petrol stations following a weekend of panic buying. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng met industry executives in an effort to find a way through the curr...