Women in Israel Hasharon Prison joined the hunger strike that lasted from April 17 to May 27 to protest the treatment of Palestinian prisoners and discrimination against women.
This was the largest Palestinian hunger strike in recent history. Women outside the prison joined the protest by holding rallies and peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza.
Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian parliamentarian and lawyer who was recently released from prison. She said the strike protested denial of visitation rights, lack of medical care, use of psychological torture, and use of extended solitary confinement and administrative detention.
Amal Hamad and Muna Nemura, members of the National Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Women, also assert that the Israeli government does not take into account the specific needs of women prisoners. Palestinian women are not given adequate access to resources for pregnancy or maternal care, and are subjected to threats of rape and sexual violence in addition to the rights denied to male prisoners.
Marwan Barghouti is the organizer of the strike. He is a well known Palestinian rights activist who has been imprisoned for the past 15 years. His wife, Fadwa Barghouti, states that “[the hunger strike] is [also] part of our battle against the occupation and for independence and dignity. The freedom of the prisoners would pave the way for the freedom of the entire nation.”
How Israel Denies Rights to Palestinian Prisoners, Al Jazeera, 25 April, 2017.
Palestinian Women’s Resistance and the Hunger Strike, Internationalist 360, 3 May, 2017.
A Thousand Palestinian Prisoners Are on a Hunger Strike. This Woman is Fighting for Their Rights, The Washington Post, 27 April, 2017.