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Sunday Jan. 16, 2011 9:40 AM (EST+7)
Israel punishes prisoners for hunger strike

Read more: prisoners, detainees, jails, prisons, Ahmad Saadat, Jamal Abu al-Haija, hunger strike, human rights

RAMALLAH, January 16 (JMCC) - Israel has placed two ranking Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement for leading a hunger strike against deteriorating prison conditions, reports Arab News.

The High Committee on Palestinian Prisoners' Affairs said that the administration of Israeli Nafha prison placed Secretary-General of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa'adat and West-Bank Hamas leader Jamal Abu Al-Haija in solitary confinement late on Saturday night.

The committee said that Sa'adat and Abu Al-Haija have been on a hunger strike for three weeks to protest the deteriorating living conditions in Israeli jails.

The committee said that Sa'adat needs medical surgery due to pain in his neck and back and Abu Al-Haija is unable to use his arm due to amputation.

Sa'adat is serving a 30-year term for overseeing the PFLP's military operations, membership of an illegal organization, arms dealing and incitement. He was charged with being behind the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi in October 2001. The PFLP had claimed responsibility for the killing saying it was in response to the assassination of its leader Abu Ali Mustafa by Israeli forces in his Ramallah office in August 2001.

Israel kidnapped Sa'adat from a Palestinian prison in Jericho in 2006. He and the other PFLP suspects were being in the prison under the supervision of American and British wardens, in accordance with a deal reached in 2002. In an arrangement brokered by the United States that opened the way for Israel to lift a month-long siege of then-Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah, the PA had taken the six men into custody.

Abu Al Haija, who was arrested in May 2007 for his role in resisting the Jenin incursion of 2002, was convicted by the Israeli courts and sentenced to nine life sentences and an additional 20 years.







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