Restaurants in the Gaza strip stopped serving meals from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. local time Tuesday, offering only a mixture of salt and water in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli cells in a historic struggle continuing in the decades-long resistance of prisoners in the apartheid state.
The head of the Palestinian Committee for Restaurants, Hotels and Tourist Services, Salah Abu Hassireh, told Palestinian media outlet Ma’an that the staff of 50 hotels and restaurants in the Gaza Strip welcomed their customers wearing shirts reading “Salt and Water” and “Dignity is the Dessert,” referencing the slogan of the "Freedom and Dignity" hunger strike.
The latest show of support comes after thousands of Palestinians launched a general strike last Thursday in solidarity across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, shutting down their public transportation services, shops, businesses, banks and schools.
As the prisoners enter their 17th day of the strike, their health is massively deteriorating, while Israeli authorities are still unwilling to heed to any of their demands.
On Monday, 30-year-old Mazan al-Maghrebi became the first victim of the strike in the occupied West Bank, passing away at his home in the city of Ramallah. Al-Maghrebi succumbed to a kidney disease after joining the hunger strike, the Saba news agency reported
According to the news agency, many hunger strikers, who are being held in the Israeli Ofer prison, are suffering from low blood pressure, severe headaches as well as stomach and joint problems.
Additionally, Ma’an also reported that many prisoners on strike have lost as much as 22 pounds from the time they first started the strike.
Israeli authorities have cracked down on the prisoners by forcibly moving many to different sections of Israeli jails, confiscating their clothes and personal belongings and preventing lawyers and family members from visiting them in jail.
On Tuesday, the leader of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, blasted the silence of Arab and Muslim leaders over the ongoing persecution of the prisoners.
“Palestinian hunger strikers are only demanding their basic rights as prisoners in Israeli jails," Nasrallah said, according to Press TV. "Where are Arab leaders and Muslim organizations to see the situation of Palestinian hunger strikers?”