By Qais Abu Samra
RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – More Palestinian prisoners plan to join an open-ended hunger strike staged by Islamic Jihad detainees in Israeli jails, according to a local NGO on Saturday.
"(We) will begin escalating measures in all prisons as of Tuesday when a new group of prisoners from all factions will join the hunger strike,” the Supreme Emergency Committee for all factions said in a statement cited by the Palestinian Prisoner Society.
The statement bears the signature of prisoners belonging to the Palestinian groups of Fatah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the People's Party, and Islamic Jihad.
The exact number of prisoners joining the strike has not been specified.
The statement warned that the prisoners will take other tactical steps, without disclosing them. It also called on all Palestinians to stand in solidarity with those staging the hunger strike.
A total of 250 prisoners from the Islamic Jihad movement continue their fourth day of an open-ended hunger strike, in protest of Israeli punitive measures against them following the Sept. 6 high-security Gilboa prison jailbreak by six Palestinian inmates.
Five were from the Islamic Jihad group.
The prisoners were recaptured by Israeli forces almost one week after their escape.
There are around 400 Palestinian detainees from the Islamic Jihad group in Israeli prisons.
The striking prisoners, according to the NGO, “demand that the prison administration stop its abusive measures.”
There are around 4,850 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 40 women, 225 children, and 40 administrative detainees, according to institutions concerned with prisoners’ affairs.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar