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Palestinian prisoners declare campaign of ‘disobedience’

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Palestinian prisoners affiliated to Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and PFLP in Israel’s Rimon and Nafha prisons on Monday declared a campaign of “complete disobedience” against the Israeli Prison Service. The prisoners said in an open letter that the campaign began at 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, and would continue until their demands were met.

The letter did not specify the demands, although it said the Israeli Prison Service had prohibited movement in sections 4 and 7 in Rimon prison and sections 10,11, and 13 in Nafha prison. The Palestinian Authority Prisoners’ Committee said that the Israeli Prison Service also decided on Monday to transfer six Palestinian prisoners who set fire to rooms inside Nafha jail.

Raed al-Sheikh and Majdi al-Zatari were transferred to Eshel prison in the Negev, while Ammar al-Daghmi and Ali Hassan were moved to Rimon prison, and Khalid al-Asmiri and Zakariya Muhsin were moved to different sections inside Nafha prison. An Israeli Prison Service spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

The campaign of disobedience comes after days of chaos inside the southern Israeli jails, where nearly 200 Palestinians went on hunger strike to protest their treatment at the hands of the Israeli Prison Service.

On Monday, after six days refusing food, around 120 Fatah-affiliated Palestinian agreed to suspend their hunger strike for a period of two weeks following talks with the Israeli Prison Service. Separately, Hamas-affiliated detainees last week threatened a campaign of disobedience in prisons across Israel after the Israeli Prison Service said it planned to move Hamas-affiliated prisoners from Nafha prison in southern Israel to Gilboa prison in the country’s north.

The prisoners reportedly decided to disobey the authorities’ decision because it “breached an agreement to restore peace” inside the prison. There are reportedly about 250 Hamas-affiliated prisoners in Nafha prison, the majority of whom are serving lifetime and long-term sentences. There were around 5,750 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails as of May 2015, according to prisoner rights group Addameer.

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