The far-right National Union Party held a barbecue outside Ofer Prison on April 20 in response to the recently launched hunger strike led by convicted Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti inside Ofer Prison.
Members of the National Union Party setup a large barbecue with fans directing the smell of the food towards Ofer Prison in an attempt to mock those continuing the hunger strike, which was launched on Monday, April 17, in response to poor prison conditions. Ofer Sofer, an organizer of the barbecue, said, “At this moment (the hunger strikers) will smell the food’s scent and maybe later in the evening they will see it on television. It is a bunch of terrorists who are threatening us with hunger strike. We are happy that they are on strike. Let them have this strike as long as they want.”
Israeli police shut down the barbecue less than an hour after it was setup in an effort to prevent any additional unrest in the area. Hours earlier, Israeli security forces suppressed a Palestinian protest outside the prison using tear gas and rubber bullets.
Approximately 1,500 Palestinian prisoners across the Israeli prison system have joined the hunger strike, which has spurred a series of Palestinian protests outside Ofer Prison, according to Israeli news reports. The hunger strike was launched in an effort to demand better conditions, including better access to medical care and telephones. In the time since, protests increased due to a decision by the Israeli Prison Service to prevent Barghouti and other prisoners from access to lawyers, a decision which has since been reversed. Israeli officials have said that they will not negotiate with the hunger strikers, while Palestinian leaders within the Palestinian Authority have threatened a renewed Intifada in the event that any hunger strikers die. Credit: National Union Party via Storyful