2 Palestinian female prisoners on hunger strike to protest transfer to tougher prison

Middle East Monitor  /  July 25, 2023

Two Palestinian female prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike in protest against their transfer to a tougher prison section and the harsh conditions of their imprisonment, reported Arab48.

The PLO’s Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs yesterday called out the Israeli occupation authorities on the collective punishment and arbitrary measures imposed by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

It also warned the Israeli prison administration against transferring the female prisoners, 33-year-old Fatima Shahin and 51-year-old Itaf Jaradat, to the tougher prison section where their lives may be in danger.

“The prisons administration is well aware of the dangers of transferring the two female prisoners to the section for criminal prisoners because those held in this section have criminal precedents and dangerous behaviour,” it stated.

Moreover, the statement slammed the transfer as an “immoral and inhumane crime” that aims to undermine the female Palestinian prisoners, who are on their third day of hunger strike.

Shahin was initially incarcerated with criminal prisoners despite suffering wounds to her shoulder and leg when she was detained at Al-Jalama Checkpoint, near the illegal settlement of Gush Etzion, confirmed the Director of Palestine Prisoners Study Centre, former prisoner Riyad al-Ashqar.

Following a protest by fellow prisoners, she was moved to the clinic of Ramleh Prison, then to Damon Prison to stay with other female prisoners. However, she was transferred back to the criminal section along with Jaradat after being treated at the Ramleh clinic.

Al-Ashqar accused Israel of psychologically torturing female prisoners and called for putting pressure on Israel to release them.

Since 1967, the Israeli occupation has detained more than 17,000 female Palestinian prisoners, including 34 who are still being held in its jails – most under harsh conditions in Damon Prison.