After 20 hours of negotiations, Palestinian prisoners suspend hunger strike

It is not yet clear which requests have been granted, as well as an additional monthly family visits. Marwan Barghouti participated in the negotiations. Issa Qaraqe, president of the Palestinian Commitment to Prisoners Affairs, says, "The prisoners have suspended the strike after their demands were met."


Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - The Palestinian prisoner's hunger strike, which had entered its 40th day, ended last night with an agreement reached after 20 hours of negotiations.

Issa Qaraqe, chair of the Palestinian Prisoners' Committee, issued a joint statement with Qaddura Fares, president of the Palestinian Prison Society (PPS), saying the "freedom and dignity" strike was suspended after a negotiation between some Palestinian prison guards led by Marwan Barghouti and the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) of Ashkelon Prison.

The declaration does not indicate which concessions have been granted. Qaraqe said today that the strike was suspended after "their requests have been accepted".

An IPS spokesman says the agreement was concluded between the Israeli State, the International Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority. The prisoners would be granted a second monthly family visit, the expenses of which will be borne by the Palestinian Authority.

According to the IPS, 1,578 detainees in total were involved in the strike, most linked to Fatah, the leader of the Palestinian National Authority.

The strike began on April 17, under the leadership of Barghouti, to seek better living conditions, medical care, family visits and the end of administrative detention. At the beginning of the month, his wife, Fadwa Barghouti, wrote a letter to the Pope asking for her intervention.

In recent days, the United Nations, the Red Cross and various NGOs had expressed concern over the health of strikers. Across Europe, meanwhile, and in some US cities, protests of solidarity were held.

Mahmoud Abbas on May 25 stated that he had "discussed in depth" the situation of detainees with Jason Greenblatt, US Special Representative of President Donald Trump for international negotiations. Speaking with Greenblatt, Abbas informed him of the details and hopes of "hearing his answer soon to the demands of the prisoners." Abbas also emphasized that the "world knows the demands of hunger strikers are right. Israel has no excuses to refuse them. "