On Wednesday, 8th May, a committee appointed by the Commissioner of the Israeli Prison Service will release some prisoners from solitary confinement as some of the requests made by hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners are met. Among those to be released include Mahmoud Issa, 44, who has spent more time in solitary confinement and has not seen his family for a longer period than any other Palestinian jailed for security-related offences.
Issa was given three life sentences in 1993 for his role in the abduction and murder or Border Policeman Nissim Toledano and attempting to murder two other soldiers.
It is currently unclear whether the prisoners taken out of solitary confinement will be placed other prisoners jailed for security-related offenses or in a special ward designated only for them. Sources say that discussions between the Israeli Prison Services and the Palestinian Prisoners' Association have been progressing in the right direction, but several of the Palestinians' key demands have yet to be met.
The cause of the hunger-striking prisoners has been gaining increasing public exposure with Palestinians bringing their issues to the attention of the EU and the UN. There is serious medical concern for six of the prisoners involved in the hunger strike with calls from international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross for them to be immediately transferred to a hospital.