Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended mass hunger strike on Sunday, Haaretz reported.

A Palestinian Authority official said that the "strike was called for by Fatah leader and prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti."

It comes in protest of the inhumane detention conditions that Palestinian prisoners continue to face. 

The official number of detainees who are taking part in the strike remains unclear. Issa Qaraqe, head of prisoners affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said that the number of participants is "around 1,300." Assaf Librati, an Israeli prison spokesperson put the number at 700. 

Librati stated that prison officials will be updating numbers later in the day as some prisoners "said they would only observe a symbolic protest strike and then resume eating afterwards."  

The strike coincides with Palestinian Prisoners Day, which is annually marked on the 17th of April, a month dedicated to Palestinian prisoners.

During the month, supporters of justice and liberation for Palestine all over the world organize events and activities to stand in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners of freedom. 

Thousands jailed in Israeli Prisons


According to Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, Israeli prisons hold around 6,500 Palestinians, including at least 300 children.

The poor prison conditions they are kept in have been condemned in an Amnesty International report

Issued last week, the report includes testimonies gathered by the organization from family members and Palestinian prisoners.  

It sheds light on unlawful detention conditions practiced by Israeli authorities. These include depriving families of visitation rights for many years and detaining prisoners in Israel rather than in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  

This is considered a violation of the Geneva 4 convention, according to Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

The report urgently calls on Israel to end the ‘unlawful and cruel’ policies that currently affect thousands of Palestinian prisoners.


In recent years Israel has also been condemned for passing the "Youth Bill," which permits the detention of children as young as twelve, if they are convicted of "terrorist offenses."

Israel's Military law, which is currently applied to Palestinian residents of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, also allows the imprisonment of children.