The Number of  detained Palestinians currently participating in an open hunger strike in Israeli prisons has rapidly escalated to 300, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.

PPS said that 285 Hamas-affiliated prisoners held at the Eshel and Nafha prisons entered an open hunger strike on Thursday to protest suppressive measures by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), while approximately 40 prisoners from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were striking in support of fellow prisoner, Bilal Kayed.

Palestinians hold posters with slogans and portraits of detainees during a demonstration on June 10, 2014 outside the Red Cross building in Jerusalem in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been on hunger strike for six weeks. Some 285 Palestinian prisoners are observing a mass hunger strike in protest against their being held without charge under a procedure called administrative detention. Of that number, 125 have been refusing food for more than six weeks, with 65 of them being treated in hospital, according to the Israeli Prisons Service. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI

he large-scale solidarity movement among prisoners has resulted in an equally massive crackdown by the IPS, which has conducted multiple raids, cell block closures, confiscations of personal property, carrying out “humiliating” searches, and transfers of detainees in attempts to quell the strikes.

The deputy speaker of the PLC in Gaza, Ahmad Bahr, called on all Palestinian resistance factions and their military wings to unite to release prisoners from Israeli custody. He also demanded that the Palestinian Authority