The prisoners were not asking to be released. Their non-violent protest has been about basic rights and conditions – see list below.
Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike ends, Israel Prison Service says – Yaniv Kubovich & Jack Khoury – Haaretz 26.05.17
After days of negotiations, hunger strike reportedly ended after 40 days and on eve of month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan. Additional family visits obtained. Not yet clear whether any other demands granted or whether US assisted in resolution.
What the Palestinian prisoners in Israel actually achieved with the hunger strike – Jack Khoury – Haaretz 27.05.17
Israel doesn’t like to use the term ‘negotiations,’ but ultimately it was forced to deal with Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in order to conclude the strike.
The prisoners’ demands were:
- Installing a public pay phone for the prisoners’ use.
- Improved visitation rights.
- An annual medical examination for every prisoner, more frequent medical examinations for prisoners over 50, transporting sick prisoners in a special vehicle, dental implants, allowing private doctors to enter the prison without delay.
- Cancelling disciplinary action taken against the prisoners.
- Giving prisoners access to 20 TV channels.
- Giving Gaza prisoners the same visitation rights as other prisoners.
- Allowing books, weeklies and newspapers to be brought into the prison without limitations.
- Changing and increasing the products available at the prison’s store and increasing the amount of money a prisoner’s family can deposit for him to NIS 2,000.
- Improving the conditions during prisoner transfers.
- Transporting female prisoners in special, separate transports, improving their conditions.
- Installing air-conditioners in the prisons, particularly in Gilboa Prison.
- Resolve the issue of overcrowding in cells by housing no more than four prisoners per cell, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
- Allowing prisoners to study at the Open University, as well as study for and take the high school matriculation exams.
- Improving and changing daily living conditions by having a dialogue with the prisoners.
- Compensating prisoners who don’t get a visit from their family with a phone call.
- Putting an end to the policy of placing prisoners in solitary confinement.
- Releasing prisoners who are chronically ill or have special needs.
- Allowing prisoners to prepare their own food and manage their own kitchen.
- Keeping the prison cells open in the summer until 10pm.