By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—
A recent hunger strike by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) prisoners held by Israel caught the attention of many journalists and media outlets. Reports about the hunger strike appeared in newspapers around the world and were included in dispatches by major news agencies.
The PIJ prisoners, who have been convicted of terrorism against Israel, received wide coverage because they are being held in Israeli prisons. They are being held in prison because many of them were involved in major terror attacks against Israel, including murder. The international media and the Palestinian Authority (PA), however, refuse to call these prisoners terrorists. Instead, they call them “militants” or “political detainees.”
While the world’s attention remains focused on the Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, there is hardly any mention of prisoners and detainees held by the PA security forces in the West Bank.
The international media and most human rights organizations do not care about them because they are being detained and imprisoned by Palestinians, and not by Israel. Moreover, no one seems to care about the Palestinians who are languishing in Palestinian prisons and detention facilities when they go on hunger strikes.
As far as the Western mainstream media and many international human rights defenders are concerned, a hunger strike launched in protest of the PA or Hamas has a very different — and infinitely lower — standing than one targeting Israel.
A Palestinian who goes on hunger strike in a Palestinian prison can only dream of being noticed by a foreign journalist or a human rights organization in the US and Europe. A Palestinian who declares a hunger strike in an Israeli prison, on the other hand, has nothing to fear. He or she knows very well that within minutes, the whole world will learn about his “grievances.” Continue Reading….