JERUSALEM (JTA) – At least 40 Palestinians in Israeli prisons have been hospitalized in Israel following a hunger strike lasting more than a month.
None of the prisoners had a life-threatening condition, an Israel Prison Service spokesman told The New York Times on Wednesday.
But the Palestinian Authority’s minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, told the Voice of Palestine radio station on the same day that the condition of the prisoners was “very dangerous,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
“Most are vomiting blood and fainting,” Qaraqe told the radio station. “They cannot walk, they are in terrible pain. We are afraid some will die if the situation continues.”
More than 200 other prisoners have joined the ongoing hunger strike, according to Maan, and as many as 20 prisoners plan to join the strike each day.
On Wednesday, nearly 500 other Palestinian prisoners participated in a one-day hunger strike in solidarity.
The prisoners are protesting administrative detention, under which Israel can hold prisoners for six months at a time without charge or trial. Administrative detention can be renewed.
Nearly 200 Palestinians are currently being held under administrative detention, according to Maan.