Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hamas prisoners end hunger strike in deal with Israel

More than 200 Hamas-affiliated Palestinian prisoners have halted their hunger strike after reaching a deal with Israeli prison authorities to end body searches and improve prison conditions, the Gaza-based Prisoner’s Media Office said.

The group published what it said was the terms of the agreement on Saturday. The deal reportedly includes an end to strip searches and other types of invasive body checks that are considered "humiliating", improving ventilation in prisons and reducing overcrowding in cells, among other issues.

Israeli authorities carried out a crackdown in prisons in recent days, which prompted Hamas, the armed movement that governs the Gaza Strip, to call for an open-ended hunger strike.

"Units from the Israeli prison authorities took a large number of Hamas-affiliated prisoners out of their cells and stripped them entirely naked, some were searched with dogs, beaten and humiliated in the prison’s shared space," Osama Shaheen, director of the Hebron-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, told Al Jazeera.

The Israeli Prison Service said on Friday that it had moved Hamas prisoners, searched cells and seized mobile phones earlier in the week, acting on "intelligence information about direction of terror from inside prisons", according to AFP news agency...

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