Palestinian political prisoners in most Israeli jails, numbering about 8,800, began a hunger strike in the early hours of the morning. The strike is for one day only on the occasion of the expected meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The prisoners said in a letter arriving at the Palestinian Prisoner s Club two days ago that, the hunger strike, lasting one day, is an expression for the shout of the oppressed who are shackled, and whose freedom is lost.
The letter said that the Israelis, accuse one of being terrorist, just because he is defending his dignity and the freedom of his people against the occupation that is violating the people, the land and legalizing all the violations.
We are declaring our strike on the day of the summit to tell President Abbas it is time to put a limit for the Israeli acts that are inhuman regarding the prisoner issue. Those are freedom fighters. The orders come from their leadership in the different political parties, some of those leaders are now responsible in the PA, and some are now participating in the negotiations with the Israeli side. The issue is a political issue and peace cannot exist without releasing all the prisoners without condition or discrimination.
Director of the Palestinian Prisoner s Society, Issa Qaraqa, said that the hunger strike is taking place in most prisons. He asked that Abbas put a chronological agenda immediately to release all prisoners, beginning with the ill and injured people, and ending with those that Israel refers to as having, bloody hands. The expression itself is wrong-headed, says Qaraqa, and is unacceptable to people with conscience and the Palestinians. The prisoners are the promise of the Palestinian people.
He also stressed that the chronological agenda should not be more than two years, where by the end all the prisons will be empty of Palestinian political prisoners and this could be the basis of a real just and comprehensive peace. In the case that Israel is refusing such demands, the entire peace process is threatened, according to his declarations.
Source: Palestine News Network (PNN)