The Hamas terrorist group on Sunday called for the immediate release of hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to the AFP news agency.
Gaza's former Hamas premier, Ismail Haniyeh, appealed for the release of Khader Adnan, who was imprisoned by Israel and has been refusing food for about 40 days.
He also called for the release of Islam Hamad, who has been held by Hamas's rival Fatah and has been reportedly on hunger strike for 63 days.
Haniyeh said that Israel "arrests and kills our sons and our brothers, while our brothers use the same means."
The Ramallah-based administration of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is the bitter rival of Hamas, the de facto power in the Gaza Strip, despite repeated reconciliation efforts.
Arab terrorist prisoners have turned hunger striking into a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.
Some 1,550 Palestinian Arabs imprisoned in Israel ended a hunger strike in May 2012, in exchange for a package of measures which would allow visits from relatives in Gaza and the transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement.
Most recently, a military committee determined that Samer Issawi, a terrorist prisoner who went on a hunger strike in order to pressure Israel to release him, will be sent to 20 years in prison.
Earlier on Sunday, the government authorized for legislation a bill that would allow prison officials to force-feed security prisoners who go on a hunger strike.
The bill's sponsor, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, said that he intended to ensure that the law was enacted “with the greatest speed. Security prisoners who are trying to use a hunger strike in order to carry out a new kind of suicide terror attack will no longer be allowed to threaten Israel.”
The “threat” in this case is the likelihood that hunger-striking Arab terrorists demanding to be let out of prison – where they are serving time for multiple murders of Jews – will be turned into martyrs by anti-Israel forces at home and around the world, possibly triggering riots.