Some 400 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began a hunger strike on Wednesday against the punitive measures of the Tel Aviv government.


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The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) indicated that the prisoners began an indefinite hunger strike in protest at the punitive measures imposed against them by the Israel Prison Services (IPS) after the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa prison, to early September.

In a statement, the PPS added that the IPS administration began overnight forcibly transferring striking prisoners to separate cells due to their political affiliation, a measure the prisoners opposed.

The prisoners going on hunger strike is part of the struggle program recently approved by the National Emergency Committee, whose members represent all factions, aimed at confronting the punitive measures of the IPS, he said.

Following the escape of six prisoners from the highly fortified Gilboa prison on September 6, the IPS cracked down on Palestinian prisoners, particularly those belonging to the Islamic Jihad, to which five of the fugitives belonged.

The escape triggered a massive manhunt of the fugitives, including Fatah-affiliated member Zakaria Zubeidi.

Israeli government authorities recently announced new charges against members of the Islamic Jihad who escaped from Gilboa, and five other inmates accused of assisting them with their escape plan.

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