Middle East

Palestinian prisoners in Israel call off planned hunger strike

Mohammad al-Ardeh, brother of escaped Palestinian prisoner Mahmud al-Ardeh, stands by a poster depicting his brother at their home in the village of Arabah, near Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank on September 11, 2021, after the latter's arrest by Israeli authorities. - Four of the six Palestinians who staged a Hollywood-style escape from an Israeli prison may be back behind bars, but in their hometown they are being celebrated as heroes. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

RAMALLAH: Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have called off a planned hunger strike later this week involving some 1,400 inmates after their demands were met, a Palestinian group said Wednesday.

Tensions have been running high since six militants staged a dramatic escape from a high-security jail in northern Israel on September 6, via a tunnel dug under a sink. Four of them have since been recaptured.

Hundreds of their fellow inmates were transferred to other jails, and personal items were confiscated, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Club.

The Palestinian Authority's commission for prisoners had announced plans for a hunger strike from Friday.

Some 1,380 prisoners -- out of more than 4,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails -- were to start fasting on Friday, to be joined by other inmates next week.

On Wednesday, however, the Prisoners' Club said it had been decided to "suspend the collective hunger strike after the demands were met" including a "cessation of the collective punishments".

An Israel Prison Service spokesman said that as of Wednesday there was no indication that a hunger strike was set to begin, but refused to comment on the claim that prisoners' demands had been met.





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